This week people on “the Facebook” started a new trend where adults started posting pictures of their own graduation moments as a way to “stand in solidarity with the 2020 Senior class.”
After my kid was tagged too many times to count on social media, she asked me if these people did not see how insensitive and “kind of hurtful” their efforts at connecting with Graduating Seniors was? Truthfully, most of them see it like this, “Sorry you missed out Seniors, but here are my graduation pictures. Love ya!”
So I went ahead and spoke out. Come to find out there are a lot of adults who saw the insensitivity of those posts as well. Yay us!
I know that a lot of the adults out there just don’t get why these type of posts are a problem, and probably never will, but when has teenager and adult understanding ever been what it should be? So I will leave that particular debate behind and wish to instead offer some alternatively simple, but meaningful ways that you can support a graduating 2020 Senior.
Ideas For Celebrating 2020 Seniors
1. Write them a little note or card. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Just tell them you are proud of them and that you understand this is hard, and that you have faith in them as they move towards their future. Simple right?!
2. After this is over take a senior you know to lunch. Talk to them about their hopes and dreams. Provide support and encouragement for this younger generation that was born the year of September 11th and graduated during the COVID19 pandemic.
3. On the night of what would have been graduation, decorate a Senior’s yard. Put up signs, balloons, chalk up the sidewalk. Let them know that even though they didn’t walk for themselves and everyone to see, their accomplishment is still recognized.
4. I am personally planning a drive-by parade in the early evening of graduation night to blow fog horns, play loud music and yell congrats form our car windows in front of the Senior’s houses that we know. I have invited quite a few friends , so it should be a party. If you know a Senior, I think they just might like their own little parade like this one.
5. Decorating a Senior’s door. Of course right now that might not be the best idea, but starting in May and June there will more than likely be opportunities to do this. Heart attack those doors or put graduation caps all over them. You don’t even have to say who did it, but that Senior will know they are loved, and most importantly that we tried to show them that love.
6. Senior spotlights- Spotlight on social media a Senior you know and share something sweet, kind and uplifting about them. This is way better than posting a picture of yourself in your cap and gown and saying, “Here I am graduating Seniors. Sorry you missed out. Love ya!”
7. Create a memory book. I was tagged on FB by another Senior mom friend to post pictures of my daughter and to tag another Senior parent. The only problem is that pretty much everyone who I could tag has already done this. So instead, I am doing this and asking my Facebook friends and family members to share memories or messages for my daughter.
8. Attend a virtual performance. A lot of Senior groups are planning performances for online. My daughter was 2 weeks shy of her last high school musical and will miss her other last theater performance. The teacher has come up with a fun way for them to perform online. If you hear about a performance like this, please share and watch!
9. Consider pitching in when this is all over to hold community backyard proms and graduation ceremonies. If you hear about a Senior family or group doing this, offer to bring some cookies or something to make the night special. I have told my family we are doing both a backyard prom and graduation, and because my daughter will be getting her diploma in her very own backyard, she gets to be the Humphries’ family Valedictorian, Salutatorian and Class President. Doesn’t that work out nicely?! She did work really hard to graduate with honors, much of which was done when she was literally blind due to her auto immune disease.
10. I have also heard about community run adopt a Senior programs that are happening on social media. I personally, haven’t joined one because I already have a load of Seniors I am planning to celebrate, but if you find one you like, and can do something special for a Senior in this way, then go for it!
I hope that this has helped you to brainstorm a few ideas for supporting and encouraging this 2020 class. They are heading out into a very different world from what they thought, and our love and concern for ALL of this younger generation will only pay-it-forward for years to come.
One last idea before I go, here is what my daughter’s High School is doing right now. This is pretty neat and I would love to see other schools participate and share!