Congratulations, you did it! You made it through your years at university even if it took some blood, sweat and tears to get to where you are today. You worked hard to overcome the challenges, celebrate the joyous moments and make the most of every moment that university brought.
It may feel like the achievement of finishing university has been taken away thanks to COVID but guess what... You still finished and you should still celebrate! You deserve to celebrate all the morning lectures you consciously made an effort to turn up for and the late nights you stayed up cramming for deadlines. You deserve to celebrate growing into the wise(r) young adult you have become compared to the fresh-faced fresher you were when you arrived. You deserve to celebrate every achievement you completed and mistakes you learnt from which you can look back on now and laugh (hopefully!).
Even though you may not be able to celebrate finishing university through an official graduation, it doesn’t mean that you should forget about everything you accomplished at university and pretend that your years of hard work didn’t happen or weren’t worth it. Your family and friends are still so proud of you for your perseverance, especially trying to finish university in a pandemic (that’s something in itself to celebrate!). Your university professors and coursemates are still in awe that you all finally made it! Your university church is rejoicing that you finished well and have watched you grow closer to God whilst being a light amongst the student culture.
Don’t let COVID rob you of this huge achievement just because it robbed you of graduation. Why not throw a home graduation with friends and family in your garden, gather a few coursemates together to have some drinks together. Spend time reflecting on your time at university and write down everything you’re thankful for and celebrate each one. There are so many ways which you can recognise and celebrate this huge milestone of graduating without the chancellor handshake or hat toss. Those things don’t make you a graduate: your hardwork, memories and growth is what makes you a graduate and you can still celebrate them!
So here's to you, class of 2021. A year no one imagined finishing university in, yet a year you can one day look back on and remember how you celebrated your academic achievements surrounded by family and friends simply in a different way that what was done before!