I’ll be honest. I, myself, am not part of Batch 2020 so this article comes from the perspective of a mere observer. But I do have friends who are, and I’ve seen the memes and heard all the stories of what it’s like to graduate this year.
Admittedly, I feel bad. Marching onto the stage and receiving your diploma, while really quick and something you don’t even have to think about (except for when you have to shake hands with the dean and your school’s president– is it the right hand or the left?), is pretty symbolic. And to miss out on that ceremony seems like you skipped something really important to sit at home and watch Netflix shows. But it’s not like it’s your fault, right?
I know. I’m probably not making 2020 graduates feel any better by pointing all that out. But the lack of a graduation ceremony this year has brought about some of the funniest and most creative graduation rites I’ve ever seen.
For starters, the Department of Education made a way to hold their own virtual “graduation-in-a-box” program in partnership with Microsoft 365 called #HelloGraduates2020. With this program, schools all over the country are able to host the graduation ceremonies through a Microsoft live event feature, allowing a maximum of 10,000 users to watch the ceremony from anywhere in the world.
There have also been schools that would use robots as placeholders for the students with their pictures just flashed on the monitor of the robot-graduate. It’s pretty funny to look at but also kind of cute of the schools to do.
As for the graduates themselves, in true Zoomer fashion, they’ve managed to make several memes of their situation.
I’ve seen countless videos of group chats that simulated the ceremony, with one person sending in the names of the graduates in alphabetical order and the graduate sends in their graduation picture as the graduation march music plays in the background.
Aside from all that, I think one of the coolest things about graduating in this rollercoaster of a year was Youtube’s Dear Class of 2020 event. Imagine having not just one commencement speaker but nine (9!) of them, including both Michelle and Barack Obama, Malala Yousafzai, Beyonce (!) and BTS (!). Not everyone can say they had such big names at their graduation, can they?
To top it all off, batch 2020 got the biggest and coolest afterparty. You’ve got names like Megan Thee Stallion, Lizzo, Lady Gaga, and, again, BTS. I mean, I wish I got an afterparty like that! Not to mention, you can relive this entire ceremony ー and skip the people you don’t care to see, I might add ー over and over again because the whole thing is up on Youtube.
So, sure, if you’re among this year’s graduates, you don’t get to dress up and put on a toga or throw your graduation cap in the air like they do in the movies (I didn’t get to do that, either, but that’s because we really don’t have those caps so… I feel your pain) but that doesn’t have to be a bad or sad thing.
To class of 2020, look at it this way: you either get to celebrate with your family without having to leave the comforts of your home or you get to do absolutely anything you want to do without having to worry if your bow was too low or if your palms are sweaty before shaking your school president’s hand.
That, and you get to have the best graduation memes in history, I think.
Congratulations, Batch 2020! Enjoy your free time and stay safe!