All the Unique Ways 2020 Graduates Are Celebrating Amid Quarantine

Good News - Senior Walk Challenge
Instagram/Chance Kennedy

High school seniors and college graduates everywhere may not be able to have the ceremonies they always dreamed of due to the coronavirus pandemic, but they're still finding ways to celebrate their achievements!

We've already seen entire yearbooks being made on Instagram, plenty of drive-by parades and virtual commencements, but how people across the country are honoring the Class of 2020 in new ways is continuing to amaze us. 

On Instagram, recent college graduate Chance Kennedy, 22, created the viral #SeniorWalkChallenge. It all started when the Charlotte, North Carolina, native posted a video of himself in his cap and gown, dancing around to a remix of Marvin Sapp's "Never Would Have Made It" as if he were walking to a podium to receive his diploma. 

"During this pandemic, especially for the Class of 2020, it's been rough on us, because we've missed out on a lot of things," Kennedy, who played football and studied Business Administration at North Carolina Central University, tells ET. "So I came up with the challenge as a way for seniors to be able to celebrate. It's basically for us to have a great time, to act like we're walking across that stage. Just dance your heart out, have a good time, all positive energy."

"I actually did not choreograph the dance. It was just a freestyle I did while my brother was recording and my mom was driving," he adds. "It was just something I did out of love and entertainment, and it ended up going viral."

Since posting his dance video, plenty of other recent graduates across the country have gotten on board, recreating their own versions of the "#seniorwalkchallenge."

"It's amazing! I love seeing all the people celebrating themselves even though we weren't able to walk," Kennedy tells ET. "I've actually tried to comment on most of them and tell them how good of a job they did, and shout them out on my story."

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#MBAwalkChallenge Gospel music with a beat like this heals my soul! Excited for the next degree or two 😉 #GratitudeStole #GiftToMyHarrisParents #CouldNotHaveDoneItWithoutThem #GodGotMe #NeverWouldHaveMadeIt #fromFosterCareToHere #UneditedVideo #ThrowBackDanceMoves #BronxRaisedMe . . . About me: I was ashamed of my story. Of growing up in foster care since the age of 2. In living in more than 10 foster homes in high school alone. In living in more than 3 while attending Columbia Univ. Talk about nomadic lifestyle. But like Michelle Obama recently reminded me sharing your story breaks down barriers. Breaks stigmas. I pray that every foster child becomes an indomitable force. May we know them. Love them. Fight for them. BA done. MBA done. Thank you to ALL of my friends that have been my stability when my world was shaky. I LOVE YOU WITH ALL OF MY HEART. PS stick with me for this next degree. I’m going to need it. ❤️🙏🏽

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University of Michigan graduate Ali McLean had a similar idea, but traded in the dancing for some fun in the sun. She shared a video of herself on Twitter, surfing across a lake in her cap and gown.

"Why walk across a stage when you can surf across a lake for graduation?" she wrote. "#GoBlue #ClassOf2020."

Meanwhile, in South Carolina, the town of Walhalla is celebrating their local graduates by putting up their portraits on 257 lamppost banners along Main Street.

"These seniors are missing out on the greatest half-year of their high school career," Dwight Addis, who came up with the idea, told CNN. "[We thought], let's do something. So, here's a little thing to say, 'We didn't forget you.'"

See more Class of 2020 celebrations below:

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I GRADUATED WITH MY MFA YESTERDAY!! (courtesy of my loving family) Forreal, my family did the most in the best way possible to celebrate this achievement with me and I am beyond thankful. With all the bad and injustice going on in the world, especially to black and brown people, this day to celebrate my family’s joy and love was very needed. I hope you enjoy this day with me. . . #utgrad2020 #mfa #mfagrad #graduate #graduation #familytime #graduating #classof2020 #grad2020 #blackgirlmagic #love #joy #celebration #teamnatural #4chair #rona #quarantine #covid19 #2020graduate🎓#singer #actor #theatre #theatremajor . Edit 05/11/2020: Wow thanks so much for all the love!!!!! If you want to share my video on your platform or use it for something, DM me first as this video is now licensed by Caters News. Thank you so much!!

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Congratulations Class of 2020! 🎓Despite incredible adversity, we have made it here! Thanks to @somegoodnews for letting me perform this commencement poem on the latest episode. Tag a graduating student who deserves a round of applause! #classof2020 #graduation Today, we burst into a new world. Around the globe, You might not have your robe, But this is our ode, our moment. Let’s own it. Let’s smile, because we didn’t mount this milestone alone. This took a village. We are the impossible image seen Only in our ancestors’ wildest dreams. This is a rite of passage, but more so a passage of light. We’re the bright torch that Never quits burning, never stops learning. This night too shall pass, And when it does, This 2020 Class Won’t just navigate a new normal. Together, we’ll build a better one. We come to this commencement to search no more-- We’re the good news we’ve been looking for, Demonstrating that every dusk has a dawn disguised within it. Today, we don’t burst into a new world. We begin it.

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Have you heard an uplifting story that brought you joy amid the coronavirus pandemic? I'd love to hear it! Share it with me on Instagram (@desireemurphy_), and for more heartwarming moments like this one, visit our Good News section for daily inspiration.


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