What Side Should the Tassel Be On After Graduation


What Side Should the Tassel Be On After Graduation?

Graduation day is a momentous occasion in every student’s life. It marks the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. As students prepare to walk across the stage, one question often arises: what side should the tassel be on after graduation? This seemingly simple question has sparked debates and confusion among graduates, parents, and even educators. In this article, we will delve into the origins and significance of the graduation tassel, explore the traditional placement, and address frequently asked questions to help bring clarity to this age-old dilemma.

The Graduation Tassel: Origins and Significance

The graduation tassel has a rich history that dates back to the 12th century. It originated in European universities as a way to distinguish students based on their field of study. The tassel was initially worn on a hat called a mortarboard, which symbolized the academic achievement and scholarly pursuits of the wearer.

Over time, the tassel began to carry additional meanings. It became a symbol of transition, signifying the shift from student life to the professional world. When students don their graduation regalia, they wear the tassel on one side until a significant moment during the ceremony, when they move it to the other side to mark their official transition into the next phase of life.

Traditional Placement: Left or Right?

The traditional placement of the graduation tassel varies depending on the country, institution, and even the field of study. However, in the United States, the general convention is to wear the tassel on the right side of the graduation cap before the conferral of degrees. This signifies that the wearer is still in the process of completing their studies.

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After degrees are conferred, there is usually a symbolic moment during the ceremony when graduates are instructed to move their tassels from the right side to the left. This moment signifies the official completion of their studies and the commencement of their journey into the professional world. It is a symbolic gesture that represents the transition from student to graduate.

FAQs about Tassel Placement

Q: Is it acceptable to wear the tassel on the left side before degrees are conferred?
A: While the traditional placement is on the right side before degrees are conferred, some institutions may have specific guidelines or customs that deviate from this convention. It’s always best to consult the graduation ceremony instructions provided by your institution.

Q: Can I wear the tassel on the right side after degrees are conferred?
A: Once degrees are conferred, it is customary to move the tassel to the left side. However, some institutions or individuals may choose to wear the tassel on the right side as a personal choice or to honor specific traditions. Again, it is advisable to follow the guidelines provided by your institution.

Q: Can I wear the tassel on whichever side I prefer?
A: While there are general conventions, the placement of the tassel can vary based on regional customs, cultural practices, or individual preferences. If there are no specific guidelines from your institution or community, you have the freedom to choose the side that feels most meaningful to you.

Q: Can I keep the tassel as a memento?
A: Yes, many graduates choose to keep their tassels as a cherished memento of their educational journey. It serves as a reminder of their hard work, accomplishments, and the joyful memories associated with graduation day.

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In conclusion, the question of what side the tassel should be on after graduation has both a traditional and personal significance. While the general convention in the United States is to wear the tassel on the right side before degrees are conferred and move it to the left after, it is essential to consider specific guidelines provided by your institution. Ultimately, the choice of tassel placement is a personal one, and graduates should feel free to honor their own traditions, preferences, and cultural practices.