What Side Does the Tassel Go Before Graduation


What Side Does the Tassel Go Before Graduation?

Graduation day is an important milestone in every student’s life. It marks the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. As the day approaches, students often find themselves wondering about the small details, like what side the tassel should go on their graduation cap. In this article, we will explore this age-old question and provide some insights into the traditions and etiquette surrounding the placement of the tassel.

Traditionally, the tassel on a graduation cap is placed on the right side before the conferral of the degree. This custom is followed in the United States and many other countries. The tassel remains on the right side throughout the ceremony, and it is only moved to the left side once the degree has been officially awarded.

The reason behind this tradition dates back to the early 19th century. During this time, academic caps were not as standardized as they are today. Instead of a tassel, students would wear a cord or ribbon that denoted their academic discipline. When students received their degrees, they would move the cord from the right side to the left side as a symbol of their achievement.

Over time, the cord evolved into the tassel we are familiar with today. However, the tradition of moving it from right to left has remained intact. The act of switching the tassel signifies the transition from being a student to becoming a graduate.

In recent years, some schools and universities have adopted a slightly different tradition. They instruct their graduates to wear the tassel on the left side throughout the ceremony. The rationale behind this change is to create a more visually appealing and uniform look during the graduation procession. However, it is important to note that this practice is not as widespread as the traditional right-to-left movement.

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Q: Can I switch the tassel to the left side before the official conferral of the degree?
A: It is generally recommended to follow the tradition and keep the tassel on the right side until the degree has been awarded. However, some universities may have their own guidelines, so it is best to check with your specific institution for any deviations from the norm.

Q: What if my tassel falls off during the ceremony?
A: If your tassel falls off, it is considered a minor mishap. Simply retrieve it discreetly and reattach it to the side it was on before it fell. If you are unsure, observe the other graduates around you or ask an usher for guidance.

Q: Can I keep my tassel as a souvenir?
A: Absolutely! Many graduates choose to keep their tassels as a memento of their academic achievement. You can attach it to your graduation cap or display it in a shadow box along with other graduation memorabilia.

Q: Are there any specific rules regarding the color of the tassel?
A: The color of the tassel often varies depending on the academic discipline or the institution. Some schools use a standard color for all graduates, while others have specific colors for different majors. It is best to check with your school’s guidelines to ensure you have the correct color for your field of study.

In conclusion, the tassel on a graduation cap traditionally goes on the right side before the degree is conferred and is moved to the left side once the degree has been officially awarded. This symbolic gesture represents the transition from being a student to becoming a graduate. While some schools may have their own variations, it is important to follow the guidelines set by your institution. So, as you step onto the stage and prepare to receive your diploma, ensure your tassel is placed correctly to honor the traditions and achievements of this momentous occasion.

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