For graduating seniors, the transition from high school to college is an important milestone. Celebrate it with a send off to college or whatever exciting plans they have next that recognizes and commemorates your grad’s new chapter in life! While saying goodbye is never easy, a send off celebration is an opportunity to honor their achievements and wish them well, while also letting them know how much you’ll miss them. Whether it’s a meaningful graduation gift, a virtual celebration, or a drive by graduation parade, take a look at these unforgettable college send off ideas to make this momentous occasion as memorable as possible.
Ideas For Hosting A Virtual Celebration
Send off celebrations are a fun way to create lasting memories with friends, family, and loved ones before your high school graduate moves away for college, nursing school, the military, a new job, or next life adventure. But this year, of course, students and their proud parents face a unique challenge: How do you honor the graduating class of 2020 and all their hard work during coronavirus? You just have to get a little creative with things like hosting virtual parties. Get inspired by these clever ideas for celebrating a virtual send off.
Send A Virtual Event Invitation
Make your college send off celebration official with fresh and unique invitations. Shutterfly has a wide selection of graduation cards that are completely customizable for virtual events and college send offs – for example, a graduation announcement or invitation has room to talk about a virtual party and proudly announce what college or next plans the student is headed to!
Make A Commemorative Video
Ask all of your high school graduate’s classmates, friends, and family to record a special message – like a favorite memory. Once everyone submits their clip, string the whole thing together into one touching tribute to share at the virtual party.
Explore Group Games And Activities
There are plenty of party games you can play as a group in the online space. Aside from video games, you could host virtual varieties of in-person games like charades, bingo, Pictionary, karaoke, or even a simple game like “Two Truths and a Lie” – all centered around memories of the graduate you are celebrating.
Dress Up And Ask Guests To Dress Up
You may have to move the send off party to an online event, but everyone can still glam up! Make this even more special for your graduate by implementing a formal dress code. Asking guests to dress to impress will really make the virtual send off feel more formal. You can even have the honoree wear a graduation cap and gown.
Plan A Virtual Tour Of The College Campus
Consider exploring the campus together with loved ones through a virtual tour. This simple activity will get them excited for the next adventure and remind them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Graduation Festivities While Social Distancing
Going away parties can be bittersweet affairs. These graduation festivity ideas will help set your grad up for success while strengthening bonds at home. Here are some creative ways to celebrate your grad going off the college without large or in-person gatherings.
Decorate With A Class Of 2020 Yard Sign
Honor your graduating high school student with a custom yard sign. Personalize your own graduation yard sign to encourage some festive community participation. Alternatively, a more permanent version of a custom graduation sign is a garden flag to keep the celebration going all year long.
Host A Drive-By Graduation Parade
You can still host a graduation celebration during the coronavirus – you just have to think outside the box. Send invites to family and friends to participate in a drive-through party. Have the grad sit outside in a lawn chair as loved ones drive by in celebration with fun paper signage. Add some special touches with graduation party supplies by safely handing off party favors to those who wish your grad well.
Plan Around A Theme
If you are planning to have a small gathering for your 2020 grad, a fun theme can help to make sure a farewell party is the perfect balance of celebration, acknowledgment, and fun. Here are some creative party themes to help you brainstorm:
- College Theme: Dress up and decorate with the grad’s future school colors, mascot, logo, sports jerseys, and other recognizable items for their soon-to-be-home.
- State Theme: If your grad is going to college in a new state, consider making that state’s history and reputation the theme. Places like Hawaii, New York, California, and Idaho all have strong identities that you can showcase as wall art to make an exciting theme.
- Sports Theme: If your grad’s school is known for a great football or basketball team, that can easily become your send off celebration theme. Jerseys, equipment, and sports memorabilia can all be used to make a sports-themed party stand out.
- Off-to-See-the-World Theme: A travel themed party can be especially meaningful if the grad is interested in studying abroad. The theme can be achieved with maps, globes, and other world-theme décor.
- What-Will-You-Become? Theme: Use the graduation celebration as a chance to explore a few possibilities of the high school graduate’s future. Ask guests to write down predictions for the future student.
- Role Model Theme: If your grad wants to go to college to help their community or become politically active, this theme offers the opportunity to acknowledge those who helped pave their path. Find and display information about role models who helped set their goals and motivations.
Collect Words Of Wisdom
Ask friends and family members to offer their best life advice, write each one in a personalized journal to give to your graduate as a thoughtful keepsake. You could even print out a set of advice cards instead and instruct guests to write some inspirational words for the grad to hold on to.
Coordinate A Family Dinner
There is really no substitute for time spent around the dinner table as a family. Enjoying each other’s company and having a special meal together might be even more important than ever during these uncertain times. Make it special for your grad by cooking their favorite food or ordering in their favorite restaurant.
Plan A Packing Party
A lot of college students have to pack quite a bit. They’re officially moving out for the first time, and this is a big adjustment. Have guests bring something the grad can use at college, and joining together to pack everything up is a big help for the family.
Capture The Moment
Consider planning an at-home photoshoot and use our app feature – Moments – to take your images to the next level! Once you have a beautiful photo of your graduate, turn it into a unique graduation announcement to send to family and friends from afar. You can use the back of the announcement for a heartfelt thank you to the ones who made this moment possible or details about the graduate’s exciting plans for the future.
Best Graduation Gifts For College-Bound Seniors
You can also consider celebrating your recent grad with a personal and meaningful gift, in lieu of a party. Whether they need a new laptop for college classes or a photo book filled with memories, a great gift can help them start the new chapter.
Motivational Wall Art
Pretty wall art is always appreciated, but beautiful pieces that are also inspirational? Well, that’s a double whammy. Gift your graduate with the perfect wall decoration for their new apartment or dorm so they can get out of bed ready to tackle the day ahead.
Customized iPhone Case
Send your grad off with a customized iPhone case to keep them unique. Use pictures or favorite quotes to help their personality shine through.
Personalized Laptop Case
Give your grad something special to carry from class to class or even just for the everyday. These personalized laptop cases are the perfect mix of useful and unique.
This framed magnetic board makes a great organizational tool as well as a unique graduation present. Simply add your graduate’s favorite photo to the design and pick out some fun magnets.
Personalized Photo Book
No matter the occasion, making a photo book for a loved one as a keepsake is a must. Giving them a hard copy of photos and handwritten notes is thoughtful and personal. They’ll look back on this gift with love and fondness for years to come whenever they miss home.
Showcase portraits and snapshots commemorating this special moment in beautiful graduation frames. Our photo frames are easy to customize and can match the style of any home, dorm room, or office space.
Planners are a must when going off to college – give your grad this essential tool for staying organized with a monthly planner full of photos and memories that is sure to put a smile on their face. You can choose from a variety of styles to find the perfect one to match their personality.
Reusable Tote Bag
Whether they’re carrying books to class or use it as a work bag, a reusable tote bag is a perfect gift for your recent grad. Customize it with photos of loved ones or a snap of your family pet.
For parents and students alike, going away for college is a momentous occasion and a great accomplishment. This moment was years in the making. There is no need to miss celebrating it even if it’s a bit different than anyone imagined in their head. Here at Shutterfly, we want to congratulate you and the entire graduating class of 2020 for persevering. Congratulations and best of luck, graduates!