What Side Do You Put the Tassel on Before You Graduate


What Side Do You Put the Tassel on Before You Graduate?

Graduating from high school or college is a significant milestone in one’s life. It signifies the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. Along with the traditional cap and gown, there is another iconic symbol of graduation – the tassel. But have you ever wondered which side to put the tassel on before you graduate? In this article, we will explore this age-old question and provide some insights into the tassel placement tradition.

The Importance of the Tassel

The tassel is an integral part of the graduation cap, also known as the mortarboard. It is a small, dangling ornament made of silk or other materials that is typically attached to the top of the cap. While its primary purpose is decorative, the tassel also holds symbolic significance.

Traditionally, the tassel is worn on one side of the cap before the graduation ceremony begins. However, the placement of the tassel can vary depending on the level of education, academic institution, and regional customs. Let’s delve into the different scenarios:

High School Graduation

For high school graduations in the United States, students usually wear the tassel on the right side of the cap before they receive their diploma. Once the diplomas are distributed and the graduation ceremony concludes, there is a symbolic moment known as the “tassel turn.” During this ritual, all graduates move their tassels from the right side to the left side of their caps. This act signifies the transition from being a student to a graduate.

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College Graduation

College graduation traditions can vary across institutions. In some colleges and universities, undergraduates wear the tassel on the right side of the cap before they receive their degree. Similar to high school graduations, the tassel is moved to the left side during the commencement ceremony. On the contrary, some colleges and universities have the tassel placed on the left side throughout the entire ceremony, indicating the students’ status as candidates for graduation.

Graduate and Doctoral Programs

Graduate and doctoral programs typically follow the same tassel placement as college graduations. The tassel is worn on the right side before the conferral of the degree and moved to the left side during the ceremony. However, it’s essential to note that customs may vary among different graduate programs or universities, so it’s advisable to consult with your institution for specific guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can I wear the tassel on whichever side I prefer?
A: While there may be some flexibility in tassel placement for certain institutions or ceremonies, it is generally recommended to follow the traditions set by your school. This ensures uniformity and adherence to established customs.

Q: What if my school has different guidelines?
A: If your school has specific guidelines regarding tassel placement, it is crucial to follow those instructions. These guidelines are often established to maintain consistency and honor the institution’s customs.

Q: Can I move my tassel before the official tassel turn?
A: It is generally recommended to wait until the official tassel turn during the graduation ceremony before moving your tassel. This moment holds symbolic significance and is part of the collective celebration.

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Q: Can I keep my tassel as a memento?
A: Absolutely! Many graduates choose to keep their tassel as a cherished memento of their academic achievement. It can be displayed in a shadow box, added to a graduation scrapbook, or used as a decorative piece.

In conclusion, the placement of the tassel before you graduate depends on the level of education and the customs of your institution. Whether it’s on the right or left side, the tassel holds symbolic significance and marks the transition from student to graduate. So, as you prepare to don your cap and gown, remember to follow your school’s traditions and enjoy this memorable milestone in your educational journey.