Which Side to Wear Tassel for Graduation


Which Side to Wear Tassel for Graduation?

Graduation is a significant milestone in one’s life, symbolizing the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. It is a time for celebration, reflection, and the beginning of a new chapter. Among the many traditions associated with graduation, one common question often arises: which side should the tassel be worn? In this article, we will explore the history, significance, and answer some frequently asked questions about wearing the tassel during graduation.

The History and Significance of the Graduation Tassel

The graduation tassel is a small decorative cord made of silk or other materials, attached to the top of the graduation cap. It is a long-standing tradition in academic ceremonies, with its origins dating back to the medieval period. During this time, graduates would wear hoods with tassels as a mark of their scholastic achievement.

The tassel itself carries symbolic meaning. In most cases, it represents the transition from candidate to graduate. It signifies the completion of academic requirements and the readiness to embark on a new journey. The tassel also serves as a visual representation of the individual’s field of study, with different colors often representing different disciplines.

Which Side Should the Tassel be Worn?

Traditionally, the tassel is worn on the right side of the graduation cap before the conferral of the degree. After the degree is officially conferred, it is customary for graduates to move the tassel to the left side. This is done in unison, often following the instructions given by the commencement speaker or ceremony organizer.

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The rationale behind this tradition is to visually demonstrate the transition from candidate to graduate. By starting on the right side, the tassel represents the individual’s status as a student. Moving it to the left side signifies the completion of their academic journey and the attainment of their degree.

FAQs about Wearing the Graduation Tassel

Q: Can I wear the tassel on the left side throughout the ceremony?
A: While it is generally recommended to follow tradition and wear the tassel on the right side initially, some institutions may have different guidelines. It is crucial to check with your school or university to ensure compliance with their specific graduation dress code.

Q: Can I switch the tassel before the official conferral of the degree?
A: In most cases, it is best to wait until the degree has been officially conferred before moving the tassel. However, if your institution allows it, some graduates may choose to switch the tassel during a symbolic moment or at the conclusion of their speech.

Q: What if I forget to switch the tassel?
A: It is not uncommon for graduates to get caught up in the excitement of the moment and forget to move the tassel. If this happens, do not worry. You can still move the tassel to the left side after the ceremony or take a picture with it on the right side as a memento.

Q: Are there any exceptions to the traditional tassel placement?
A: While the right-to-left movement is the most common practice, some institutions may have variations or unique customs. It is essential to consult your school’s guidelines or seek clarification from your graduation coordinator to ensure you follow the correct protocol.

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In conclusion, the tassel is an integral part of the graduation ceremony, symbolizing the completion of academic achievements and the transition into a new phase of life. By wearing the tassel on the right side before the degree is conferred and moving it to the left side afterward, graduates honor tradition and visually represent their successful journey. Remember to follow your institution’s guidelines and enjoy this momentous occasion as you proudly wear your tassel on the correct side.