DIY pomp and circumstance

Ways to celebrate graduation creatively this semester

Lauren Dougherty
Mercury Staff

With December graduation ceremonies cancelled and traditional celebrations put on hold for another semester, you may be wondering how to commemorate your academic accomplishments. Here are a few safe, socially distanced ways to celebrate your hard work and remember your time at UTD.

  1. Take some photos at the Campus Mall

Dressing up in your graduation regalia for some pictures at the heart of campus is one tradition that can continue during the pandemic. The trees and fountains provide the perfect backdrop for graduation photos and are a great place to relive your favorite campus memories.

  • Dress up as your Animal Crossing character

Move your celebration into your Animal Crossing village with a customized graduation outfit. When December hooding got cancelled, Vrishali Kanvinde designed PhD regalia for the game to celebrate herself and the other graduating members of the UTD criminology program, customizing the character to look like each of her colleagues.

  • Make the lawn your graduation stage

If you want the experience of walking across the stage, set up a backyard ceremony with family. Dress up in your cap and gown and have a family member hand you your diploma case, toss your cap in the air and FaceTime a few friends to cheer for you.

  • Host a virtual party

Celebrate with family and friends over Zoom: have a virtual cap decorating get-together with friends, order a celebratory take-out meal from your favorite restaurant or have a casual party. Connect the virtual meeting to a TV so it really feels like you’re all together!

  • Have a drive-through graduation parade

Grab a few friends, decorate your cars with orange and green streamers, balloons, or window markers and plan a parade route to visit favorite study and hangout spots near campus. This is also a fun way to celebrate with at-risk family members.

  • Decorate your front door with UTD colors

Let your neighbors see your school spirit and admire your accomplishments: deck out your front door with wrapping paper, streamers and anything you can find that’s orange and green!

  • Get your complimentary celebration package

Claim your UTD gift box when they become available through the bookstore in January. You’ll get a commencement program, a cover for your diploma and other gifts.

  • Sew your favorite UTD memories into a t-shirt quilt

If your post-graduation plans require an upgraded wardrobe, now might be the time to retire all those t-shirts you picked up from campus events and organizations. If you’re not quite ready to part with them yet, try turning them into a quilt like 2020 neuroscience and biochemistry alum Alyssa Hutch did.

No matter how you choose to celebrate, you deserve to reward yourself. Congratulations 2020 graduates!  

When December hooding got cancelled, Vrishali Kanvinde designed PhD regalia for her Animal Crossing character to celebrate herself and the other graduating members of the UTD criminology program. Photo Courtesy of Vrishali Kanvinde