If you’ve ever felt stuck on public transport with no exit, you wouldn’t want that to happen to anyone. Having to rely entirely on public transport can be tough, especially when you have major life milestones to celebrate.

A student named Jerich Marco Alcantara figured it out the hard way this week. According to New York Magazine, Alcantara had planned to take the E train to his graduation at Hunter College on Tuesday, when a nearly three-hour delay pushed back his travel time and left him miss his ceremony. There is a private ceremony later that day, but Alcantara especially wanted to hold the ceremony early, as students only had two tickets for friends and family at the event afterwards. He wants to include as many people as possible on his big day.

Stranded on board in full graduation gown, Alcantara received a wonderful surprise from some of the New Yorkers and friends who had traveled with him on board—they held a graduation ceremony filled with improvisation on the Subway, complete with “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” playing in the background. A nearby passenger recorded the event and it was heartwarming:
Moments like these give you a little more faith in your fellow countrymen during times of national upheaval. While these aren’t all strangers, it’s great to see people coming together to make sure someone feels the proper recognition—or at least some recognition—for their success. their great fortune.

Although he was not able to fully perform the ceremony, in a way it will become a more memorable moment for Alcantara later on. He will be able to point to his diploma and not only think about the hard work to earn it, but also the one-of-a-kind memory his actual graduation created. And from the sound of things, he even received a reward ceremony after leaving the subway.

“I missed the opening ceremony, but after the auditorium was empty, my close friends held a small graduation ceremony for me,” he said. “It was a great time.”