How to deal with canceled graduations due to Shelter in Place restrictions: coping with disappointment, ways to celebrate from home.
When Shelter In Place Cancels Graduation
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My family had a lot of graduations this spring. My nephew was graduating from high school – the first grandchild to do so. Emma, my oldest daughter, was graduating form 8th grade. Lily, my third child, was graduating from 5th grade. Mike (my husband) is a university professor, and he had students looking forward to their graduation ceremonies. I had 8th graders at the middle school where I teach graduating. My 60-year-old coworker had planned all year for her graduation trip to receive an online master’s degree, and she was devastated to cancel that trip.
Where we live, all ceremonies are canceled because we live in a county with extensive shelter in place guidelines that don’t seem to be ending any time soon.
What Does a Shelter in Place Graduation Look Like?
Shelter in Place graduations vary widely! Here are some of the things that are being done for the people in my life who are graduating:
- Graduation parade routes where people drive through to be acknowledged
- Online graduation ceremonies
- Online graduation social get togethers
- Car parade route through the school with teachers applauding as they go
- Signs for front lawns and front windows
My 5th grader is feeling pretty celebrated. That’s especially nice since her main reason to go back to public school after home schooling for two years was because she loves the way our local elementary school celebrates their fifth graders.
My 8th grader’s school hasn’t planned much. She also returned to public school largely to be part of 8th grade graduation events, and so she is pretty disappointed.
How to Deal with Shelter In Place Disappointments
Shelter in Place disappointments like missing graduation seem pretty superficial given everything that is going on in the world right now. That doesn’t mean we should belittle people who feel disappointed. Here are some ways to cope:
- Acknowledge the disappointment. SO easy and often shockingly effective.
- Ask for ideas of things that CAN be done to make up for the disappointment.
- Listen. Empathize with the disappointment of broken plans.
That’s really all it takes – time will do the rest.
Setting Goals for June 2020
This is a big month for our family! Here are my goals for the month:
- Celebrate my 5th and 8th graders’ graduations at home.
- Celebrate my own students as they finish the year – and as my 8th graders graduate.
- Enjoy a Father’s Day with Mike home for a change! He is usually at graduation ceremonies for work, although this is actually a rare year where the two weren’t planned for the same day.
- Celebrate 19 years of marriage.
- Continue to get out in nature. This was a focus goal for me in May and has been huge for me throughout shelter in place (which is extended indefinitely for my county).
- File taxes. I technically have until July but I really want to get them in by the end of June.
- Continue to check in with friends and family.
- Continue to edit photos. I made progress in May but not enough.
- Sew. Hopefully something other than masks (all I did in May), but we’ll see…
- Continue to declutter. I’ve been doing this a little bit nearly every day throughout 2020 so far, and I am seeing results.
Do you have a child graduating this year, or are you graduating? How are you celebrating?
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