Graduations have looked very different the past year. From missed friends and milestones, to delayed first years and careers – pandemic high school and college grads have deal with a lot, whilst simultaneously, getting very little.
The emotional lead up, the final tests, those excited last days on campus…. And, of course, the post-grad celebrations? Not so much.
“Watching my university dean deliver our commencement speech from behind a computer screen was something I never dreamed of having as my final, and most important graduation,” said Larissa, a Class of 2020 University of Southern California graduate.
“I feel like I haven’t graduated until I walk across a stage and I’m given a diploma,” said Jasmine, a Santiago High School Senior.
It’s been tough, there’s no doubt about it. We’ve felt the huge absence of connection and memory-making moments with the people we love most. We’ve dug deep into our wells of resilience, and felt the impact on our mental health – more than ever.
Cap and Gown and Quarantine Lockdown: The Mental Health Pandemic
For the Class of 2020, graduation didn’t have a lot of demarcation – other than being another, albeit more elaborate, Zoom call. As we move through 2021, it’s unlikely there’ll be many widespread in-person events either.
It’s not just an emotional moment come and gone with no fanfare. There’s a very real issue connected to missing out. In 2020, the Centers For Disease Control dedicated resources to tracking mental health, recording spikes of anxiety, depression and disconnection, and finding extremes in young adults.
Studies from the National Institute of Health noted the decreases of active employment paired with limited job options increased depression and anxiety in the same groups – both negating key components of post-grad life. Vital internships, residency programs and experiences have all been put off, extremely modified or canceled. And the impact is real.
Because of this, grad-aged adults are the demographic group overwhelmingly planning for travel. It’s not just wistful thinking: The act of planning something positive is, in itself, a stabilizing force to battle anxiety and depression according to research from Cornell University. In fact, just daydreaming about going places and seeing things is a radical act of mental health self-care.
After hearing about so many of your celebration cancellations and moments missed, Contiki wanted to find a way to help. We believe in the power of travel to change your life for the better – and we’ve got the research to prove it. We know it can make you happier, more aware, and help you to find value in what you might take for granted at home. It’s why we’re taking action to ensure you don’t miss out anymore.
Introducing …. #ContikiSavesSeniorYear Graduation Trip!
A contest for both High School and College graduates to win trips to Greece.
Here’s what’s going on. Know what a Promposal is?
- Treat this trip like the Prom you didn’t get (or maybe want to uncringe from) and give us your best ‘#ContikiPromposal’ to Greece using TikTok
- Remember to tag @contikitravel and use #ContikiPromposal – we need this to discover you!
- The most impressive TikTok will win a spot on our epic grad trip to the Greek Isles
The Goods, the Grads and the Grecian Islands
This is an exclusive Grad Trip where YOU get to be the one in control, to create new memories and new stories, with an amazing adventure to the Greek Isles. Recreate the most important moments across nine epic days, covering three locations: you’ll start in Athens on August 14, 2021, then explore the very best that Santorini and Mykonos has to offer.
Mortar board, prom, professional photographer, grad celebrations and selfies – included. You can opt-in for dinner, see UNESCO World Heritage Sites, sail in the Mediterranean and visit the places you’ve read about in mythology and history courses. It’s sun-soaked, it’s food-filled and most importantly – it’s the celebration you deserve.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to travel together and make every moment count!