Although it may not be how you imagined it, there are still ways to celebrate this important and exciting milestone.

I have been envisioning my graduation since I first arrived on campus four years ago. Now that it’s finally here, the class of 2020 has been challenged to come up with creative ways to celebrate the end of their college careers. Here are a few of my ideas on how to celebrate below.

1. Write letters/thank you notes

It's not ideal to be cheated of an in-person graduation ceremony with everyone you love. Nothing will replace the feeling of celebrating with your friends and mentors, but you can send them a handwritten note. It feels great to thank people and even better to receive a note.

2. Cook something delicious

Graduation is the perfect excuse to eat something delicious. My family has always made German chocolate cake for special occasions, but this year I’m going to make the cake from scratch and drop off some slices for my family. Successfully cooking your favorite food is sort of like finishing a capstone. It’s hard work and deserves to be celebrated!

3. Run through the columns and drink a beer

Why wait for the university to hand you a beer? The best part of being an adult is having the freedom to go after what you want. Now is the time to live it up (six feet apart), and run like you’re fleeing four years of homework. If you don’t have access to the columns, take a lap through your neighborhood, and have a friend or parent hand you your favorite drink.

4. Zoom your family and friends

My family is having a Zoom call the day of graduation to catch up and celebrate. They’re spread out from coast to coast, so I’ll be seeing some of them for the first time in years. It will probably be a short meeting (Zoom fatigue is real), but it's totally worth it.

5. Make a physical photo album

I haven’t thumbed through a physical album in years. Most of my photos live on my camera roll or on the computer. As a result, I rarely look through them. One of my goals is to go through my photos and pick out my favorite college memories to be printed. Photo albums are fun to look through and make great graduation gifts for friends.

6. Burn your homework and don’t look back

This is by far my favorite way to celebrate. There are quite a few items from school that I cherish, such as my grammar guide from magazine editing class and my favorite novels. My economics homework, however, is going in the burn pile. Walking across the stage is nothing compared to watching years of stress go up in flames.

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