Hey Class of 2020!
Lately, self-care feels more important than ever. For all you upcoming grads, we hope you’re getting enough time to treat yourselves—and we hope your version of self-care is looking a lot like self-celebration! It’s a weird time, but you should still be celebrating your accomplishments, celebrating the next phase of your life, and celebrating that you’ve made it this far.
But we know that self-care can feel tough right now, so we’re here to help, with a few free and easy self-care tips for 2020 grads.
Real quick, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room: We’ve got some fun ideas for you — but they can’t replace all the exciting things you had planned for the end of this year. So it’s OK to feel weird, or sad, or mad right now. Feel the way you need to feel, and mourn the stuff you want to mourn.
Just don’t forget to celebrate yourself, too. Graduation is a huge achievement — you’ve made it!!! So here are some of the things you can do to get into a good mindset moving forward:
1. Commemorate the weirdness
A classic reaction to change is to pretend it isn’t happening, or to wish things would just go back to normal. So a lot of us feel like documenting this weird time is something we don’t want to do, or something we’ll never want to revisit.
In light of that, it probably feels like taking graduation pictures is especially pointless this year if your graduation day is going to be spent sitting in front of a computer!
But when you take a step back, you’re living through one of the most unique times in history. Years and years from now, when you tell people about your graduation, they’re going to be bowled over by the fact that you rode out such a huge personal change in the midst of total chaos.
So even though it might feel like there’s no point to documenting this terrible time, you should still make sure to document (and celebrate!) your achievement. And how better to do that than through a classic, cliche graduation photo shoot?
We know a lot of you opted not to order your caps and gowns this year (what’s the point when sweats work just fine?!) but if you want to get creative, you can use this handy little guide to the left to make your own grad cap!
In terms of grad robes and stoles, well, they’re easy! Any old blankets or towels will do.
Next, you just need to find a secluded place, set up a tripod (or bring a family member along), and snap away!
In the future, you’ll be able to look back at these silly pictures as a show of strength, and think, “Yep, that was me! And I made it through.”
BONUS IDEA: Blast your photo into space! No, seriously; SpaceX is accepting submissions from 2020 grads who want to commemorate graduation—by sending their grad photos into space! Submit yours: https://www.spacex.com/classof2020
2. Talk to someone who’s been through it
These times feel totally unprecedented—and they are! (Unless you can get in touch with a 1918 grad…)
But plenty of people alive and thriving today graduated in the midst of incredibly tough times, and got through, too. So if you’re feeling totally overwhelmed by the prospect of entering college or the “real world” right now, you should reach out and talk to someone who’s been in a similar spot!
Talk to friends’ parents, or use LinkedIn to reach out to 2002 or 2008 high school or college grads—really anyone who had to move or jump into the workforce during down economies and uncertain times. Tell them how you’re feeling, and ask if you can pick their brains via video chat or email!
You can ask them about what kinds of skills they found valuable, the starter jobs they took to get their feet in the door, and how they ultimately managed to build up their resilience and find fulfilling career paths.
Their stories may not exactly mirror the path you have ahead of you, but you’ll undoubtedly hear universal lessons and advice that you can apply to your own road right now.
3. Archive your school stuff
If you’re anything like us, your weekends are getting pretty stale. Yeah, maybe homework is still there…but what else?
Many of us are finding refuge in home projects, whether they be cooking or cleaning. In fact, our homes have never been so clean…who knew we’d ever actually look forward to chores??
And while you’re getting your personal space in tact, it’s a great time to organize your school projects!
Whether your school projects are paper or digital, you’ll be surprised at how much fun it can be to look back—and organize—all of the hard work you’ve put in over the past few years. You’ll certainly find that revisiting your essays, artworks, apps…anything and everything you’ve built will help you feel the weight of what you’ve accomplished, and put into perspective just how hard you worked.
Plus, this can be a great start to a portfolio, or a file of reference projects you can take with you to college or into the workforce. You never know when you might need to show off your stuff!
4. Find your bliss
Honestly? Everything is overwhelming right now, and summer’s almost here, so you can totally take a much-needed break! We just want you to make sure to find time to celebrate yourself and your achievement in some way — even if it’s just by doing some pampering!
So next time you’re feeling slightly stressed about what’s ahead, just take a spa day—and make it work with whatever you’ve got in the house!
Light a candle, break out that old face mask you’ve had stuffed in your medicine cabinet forever, make a scrub out of the brown sugar or coffee you might have in your pantry, give your hands a break from the sanitizer and soak them in lotion, do your nails for the first time in weeks, splurge on that fancy aftershave—whatever makes you feel totally blissed out right now.
You worked hard to graduate; you deserve this!