Campus Life
How to celebrate the end of your semester in style
by Gabby Dumonceaux | April 17, 2020

Started from the syllabus, now we’re here.

There’s no better feeling than walking out of your last exam. (Or, in this semester’s case, logging out of your last exam.) You have one more semester in the books and you’re one step closer to graduation. Or, hey, maybe you just graduated—congrats!

Tina Fey as Liz Lemon in "30 Rock" high fives herself and then points forward while smiling.

No matter where you are in your educational journey, the end of exams is something to celebrate. But, how can you do that when you’re stuck in quarantine?

Never fear, IGNITE’s got you covered. With these social distancing-friendly festivities, you can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and kick off an amazing summer:

Live it up

The end of the semester means free time, and free time means finally rekindling your social life. Instead of letting lockdown keep you lonely, get creative to curate the comfort of a crowd.

Members of the Black Veil Brides wear gothic hair and makeup and individually lean towards the camera performing a hugging motion as the words "Virtual hug" appear across the bottom of the image.

Online parties

Believe it or not, Zoom is good for more than online lectures. Although you’re stuck in your respective homes, you can still have a post-finals party with your friends.

Use your favourite music streaming platform to put together the ultimate playlist. Make it public so your group can jam out, apart but together. Plan to pick up some party snacks at your next weekly shopping trip. (Or, whip some up yourself!) Dress up in your best party outfit. Do your hair. Put on makeup, if that’s your thing. Go the whole nine yards.

Drag queen Mayhem Miller wears a turquoise top and dramatic makeup and stares intensely into the camera.

Alternatively, scratch your itch for a night out with Club Quarantine: a virtual nightclub created by, and for, queer people since usual hang-outs are temporarily closed. To join, log in to Zoom using the custom code posted in Club Quarantine‘s Instagram bio at 9 p.m. EST nightly. All are welcome; but, keep in mind that it’s a queer space.

Books down, volume up!

Movie marathons

You finally have time to watch Tiger King and learn what all the hype is about. But, you can’t be expected to bask in Joe Exotic‘s eccentricity alone. That’s where Netflix Party comes in.

The Google Chrome extension synchronizes video playback and adds a group chat to whatever you’re watching, so you can stream and socialize from far apart. Netflix boasts over 32,000 hours of content—whether you’re a casual consumer or a movie maniac, you certainly won’t run out of new shows.

Spongebob Squarepants sits in front of the TV and happily eats popcorn.

Find your perfect series with IGNITE’s latest quiz!

Bucket lists

Experts predict social distancing measures may have to last up to a year. While that may be hard to digest, it’s a practice that will truly save lives. I get it, though—you had so many summer plans, and how they can’t happen. And, it sucks.

My advice? Don’t get upset over things you can’t control. Instead of mourning all those beach days you were hoping to have,  start putting together the ultimate post-quarantine bucket list.

A smug-looking cartoon character flicks their wrist and unfurls a long list.

Include your favourite patio spots, parks, stores and clubs. Post your list somewhere you’ll see it every day, so you’ll be reminded all of this is temporary.

Daydreaming never hurt anybody.

Give in to wanderlust

There’s nothing like a fun day out to get you into that summer spirit. These virtual attractions mean you can still take yourself on a congratulatory date.

Museum tours

If you’re eager to get inspired this summer, look no further than the online art collections available through the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). For a more immersive experience, take a virtual tour of Casa Loma or the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Time-lapse of patrons at an art museum walking past various paintings.

These are just a few of the many ways you can keep busy at home. What are you waiting for? There’s a whole world of exhibits for you to explore!

Live-streamed concerts

There’s nothing like listening to a feel-good album to unwind after a long day—and, let’s be honest, we’ve had a lot of those lately.

Summertime usually means a surge of outdoor concerts and festivals. But, just because we can’t gather together this year doesn’t mean there won’t be music. All your favourite Canadian artists, such as Serena Ryder and the Arkells, are regularly live streaming shows and music lessons on Facebook and Instagram.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-p2KoCDzCa/

Music truly makes the world go ’round.

Broadway shows

Nothing’s as amazing as a musical. (Isn’t that right, Nostradamus?)

Streaming service BroadwayHD is offering users a seven-day free trial to keep users entertained while quarantined. After that, a monthly subscription is only $12.55!

The cast of Broadway's "Something Rotten" perform on "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon.

Laugh, cry, be amazed and fall in love with the beauty of live theatre—all from the comfort of home!

Virtual roller coasters

OK, so, Canada’s Wonderland is closed. That’s no reason you can’t commemorate the start of summer break with a killer adrenaline rush!

Aiming to keep the spirit of summer alive, Canada’s Wonderland is offering 34 of its most thrilling rides virtually on its YouTube channel. Check out favourites like the Yukon Striker, the Leviathan and Night Mares; or, if you have little ones at home, browse through the list of family ride POVs.

first-person perspective of a roller coaster ride.

Not crazy about coasters? Try some of these other ways to see the world without leaving your bedroom.

Treat yo’ self

Donna Meagle knew what she was talking about. Kick-start your summer by using your extra time to indulge in some self-care.

Retta as Donna Meagle in "Parks and Recreation" wears a bright pink and black headscarf and says, "Treat yo' self."

At-home spa days

It’s time to pamper yourself like the royalty you are. Spread on a face mask, deep condition your hair and immerse yourself in a luxurious bubble bath. You deserve it.

Or, hey, if you’re feeling bold, dye your hair a fun colour! Now is the time to experiment with all the fun looks you’ve always wanted to try.

Speaking of experimenting, there’s no need to shell out for designer skincare. Some kitchen staples are the real MVP when it comes to getting your glow on (looking at you, tomato juice toner)!

A young woman wears a sheet face mask and dances contently.

Gourmet eats

For many, going out to eat is the ultimate way to celebrate. Good times, good food and great people—what more could you want? But, with restaurants across the country closed to the public, we need to get creative with our cooking.

Those cans you have in the back of your pantry are just waiting to become the star of your stove. These simple meals require few ingredients and even less time. Excuse me, Bon Appétit? We’re ready to be featured in the Test Kitchen.

Chef Chris Morocco from the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen mimes wearing headphones and dancing to music.

As another option, many restaurants across Toronto are still open for takeout and delivery. Uber Eats has waived delivery fees for local restaurants to help uplift the city’s businesses. If you prefer to pick up your food in person, be sure to follow the necessary safety precautions.

Let’s eat!

DIY photoshoots

Your timeline doesn’t have to suffer because you’re stuck inside.

Spend an afternoon showcasing your favourite summer outfits by turning your bedroom into a DIY photo studio. Snag some decoration inspiration from Pinterest or Instagram and let your inner model shine!

Indya Moore as Angel on FX's "Pose" poses for the camera.

A picture is worth a thousand words. But, something tells me even that’s not enough to sum up what a strange time we live in. So, take a few.

After all, years from now, you’ll want to remember this summer.


Make this summer a productive one with these isolation-friendly side hustles.

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