Back when I was in high school, my classmates had a tradition when it came to birthdays. Typically, someone would head to school early to decorate the locker of the person being celebrated.
Typically, all we used was some wrapping paper and ribbon. But when the birthday guy or gal arrived, it made them feel loved.
These days, parents are using a similar technique when it comes to the graduating class of 2020. But instead of lockers, they’re decorating doors. Because many seniors will not have a graduation ceremony and prom this year, it’s a secondary way to celebrate their achievement. Graduating high school is a big deal. And even though there are plenty of other unfortunate situations happening across the world that may be deemed more important, it’s still important for people to grieve their own losses.
Aside from graduation and prom, these students also need to face an unsatisfying closure. Many of them won’t be able to see their friends and classmates again. These two events aren’t just a way to celebrate. They’re also perfect moments to say goodbye.
Luckily, some parents are bringing smiles with their elaborate door decorations. It may not be the same, but it’s something.
California mom Darla Pool is one of the many moms who’s supporting the idea. “[My daughter], she’s devastated,” she said to Good Morning America. “They’re getting ready for this new chapter and some of them, they might not see each other again … I thought, ‘What a great way to give seniors the recognition they deserve?'”
But Darla isn’t the only one out there who’s been decorating doors in her neighborhood. People all over the world have tried to celebrate their seniors with some festive decor. For the student athletes, many door decorations include a sports jersey. Other doors include other accomplishments.
Other communities are switching up their doors to acknowledge individual students. It must be an honor to be chosen, especially since many of these mentions get a social media shout-out. Again, it’s a good reminder for students to know that their high school years mattered.
While the world will be different for many of us at the end of this period, think about what it’s like for high school seniors. Many of them are afraid that their plans to go to college in the fall will be delayed. Others know that they won’t get a chance to say goodbye to their friends in person.
Graduation is also a big moment for parents. It’s a milestone they get to experience that also serves as the official end of childhood. While some children will head off to college, this is the end of the academic journey for many students, which is also big.
Plus, let’s face it. Door decoration gives parents a project to do, which is so important during times like these. And since they likely have a lot of pride for the schools that their kids attend, they probably have plenty of memorabilia at home to use for their door.
Door decorations are also great for the neighborhood. People everywhere who’ve been cautiously following their state’s stay-at-home orders have enjoyed more walks throughout their neighborhood as a safe way to enjoy the outdoors. These decorations make every walk more of an adventure.
That’s why many homes who don’t have graduating seniors have been utilizing chalk to create fun, cheerful designs and showcase inspirational quotes. It seems like a small gesture, but it can change the course of someone else’s entire day. So these door decorations will definitely be noticed.
Looking for ideas to help celebrate your own senior? You probably have all of the material you need at home. Much like the lockers of my day, wrapping paper and ribbon is always a good start. But you can also find ways to incorporate the clubs and organizations they were part of.
For example, if they were in the student newspaper, you could use a newsprint background. If they were active in the swim team, you could create a water motif. With a little bit of construction paper and some markers, the sky is the limit. Just make sure you get their approval ahead of time, if you happen to use their photos.
These door decorations can also help you get to know your neighbors just a little better. Even though we’re all keeping our distance socially, people have been able to reconnect in plenty of different ways. By advertising that you have a graduating senior, you’re opening yourself up to plenty of great neighborhood conversations in the future.
By creating outdoor art, we’re expressing ourselves without feeling socially awkward or pressured. For people who are looking to make new friends but are slightly shy with active conversations, celebrating life with chalk or door collages is a great way to introduce yourself without that added pressure.
As for the seniors, news of their two big events looks grim right now. But many schools worldwide are attempting to try to reschedule these celebrations to take place in the summer, in the hopes that the government will eventually rescind the social distancing rules and regulations. It may be a little strange to celebrate a prom in August, but it would be better than nothing.
Even if you’re child-free, go ahead and decorate your front door. It could be in celebration of the graduates, or even just a way to celebrate you and your family. Find a way to make your door stand out and bring cheer to your neighborhood. Anything we can do to stay positive is a craft worth completing.