Salute to Spouses Blog

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Decorating your Graduation Cap? Check the Rules First

When I graduated from college, more than a decade ago, I took a few slices of silver duct tape and spelled out -30- across the top of my graduation cap.

Journalism students knew it designated the end of a story. I thought I was savvy and cute, designating the end of my own story that day.

And, it made it easier for my family, two stories up in the graduation venue, to spot me amid a sea of black cap and gowns.

Back then, my cap decor garnered a chuckle from the administration. Today, when mortar board decor is trending on Pinterest throughout the spring and my simple cuts of duct tape have been surpassed by bows, glitter, cut outs and tiaras all glued to the top, the administration doesn't always chuckle.

Students may see the decor as a matter of personality, of setting themselves apart.

School administrators may see it as destroying the decorum of the ceremony. It's the same reason beach balls and festive activities are kept at a minimum during many graduation walks.

So, before you check out ideas online for making your graduation cap scream your name across the sea of gowns, make sure your school allows cap decor.

And if the answer is yes, follow these rules:

- Keep it clean. No profanity, nudity or rude comments.

- Don't mount items to your head that will obstruct the view for others.

- Make sure items are secure and not falling off, this includes excessive glitter. In fact, you may just want to forgo the glitter completely. It can't be trusted.

- Avoid battery operated devices or blinking lights. Again, you do not want to ruin the ceremony or view for someone else.

- Do not use anything that makes noise.

- Be prepared to be told you cannot walk in the ceremony if administrators do not like your decor. It's their party, their rules.

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