No Cap: Allow Seniors to Decorate Graduation Caps


Kristen Thompson, Editor-in-Chief, Online

Kristen Thompson, Editor-in-Chief, Online

“Having personalized, decorated caps will allow us to be recognized even further for our efforts and individuality.”

  Across the country, high school graduates decorate their graduation caps to honor their big day. At Gulf Breeze High School, graduates aren’t given that opportunity. As an upcoming graduate, I strongly believe that my class and every class after mine should be allowed to personalize our graduation caps.

   Before COVID-19, graduates returned their caps and gowns to the school after they graduated. Following the pandemic, graduates now get to keep their caps, so we should be allowed to personalize our property as we wish. 

  Decorating our graduation caps allows graduates to stand out in a sea full of blue gowns. It also makes it easier for parents to find their child among 500 graduates.

   First and most importantly, graduating high school is a major accomplishment! Graduates should be able to look special on such a huge day. Decorative caps allow graduates to stand out as individuals and gloat about their success, for just one day.

   Many students aren’t going to college. High school graduation is one of their only opportunities to feel such an honor. By decorating their graduation cap, graduates can feel even more accomplished and established as an individual going into the next major years of their lives.

   Graduates can express themselves outside of academics on their caps. Not every student is graduating with cords, medals or pins. For example, students who play sports or have strong successes outside of the classroom could incorporate those highlights on their caps.

   Having a personalized cap makes it easier to find it after the cap tossup. This will prevent graduates from picking up the wrong cap off the ground and decrease the possibility of catching germs from someone else or getting head lice. Especially since we’re in the midst of a pandemic, picking up the same cap will prevent further exposure to health risks.

   High school seniors go through so much during the last year of school. Applying for colleges, deciding where to attend college or going straight into the workforce and saying goodbye to their closest friends are just a few things graduates face.

   Decorating caps gives us a chance to reflect on fond memories and how far we’ve come in the past thirteen years, since kindergarten. Decorating graduation caps can be a bonding experience for friends. The glitter and glue can provide one last activity with friends during graduates’ time in high school. Graduates can also decorate their caps with their parents and remember the ones by their side during their school days, adding sentimental value to such a personal day.

   Senior Laken Harvey touched more on why graduates should be allowed to decorate their graduation caps.

   “Students should 100% be able to express themselves and their accomplishments through art and creativity,” Harvey shared.

   Another GBHS senior, Paige Davis, added on to Harvey’s comment. “It’s confusing to me why we wouldn’t be able to decorate our caps,” Davis expressed. “We’re graduating and going off and this is our last chance to express ourselves, so I don’t know why we all have to look the same.”

   Even if GBHS does not give every student the opportunity to decorate their cap, they should open the chance to students who have taken art for at least two years. These students have worked hard to have their creativity and talent noticed and graduation is the perfect time to showcase their talents, even if it’s subtle.

   GBHS administration and parents may raise the question, “What if the decorations are inappropriate?” I propose that graduates submit their designs to the school for approval, like those of senior parking spaces. Once the design is approved, graduates will design their caps exactly how they drew it on their submissions.

   Another option would be for graduates to treat their caps like senior crowns. On the first day of school, seniors traditionally wear crowns designed as they wish. These designs do not have to be approved by GBHS. If these designs don’t have to be approved, then logically, our decorated graduation caps shouldn’t need to be either.

   As a senior, I am looking forward to walking across the stage of the Pensacola Bay Center on graduation day. I am excited to be recognized for my accomplishments and to celebrate coming so far, alongside my peers. All of us graduates are unique, strong individuals and we deserve our recognitions. Having personalized, decorated caps will allow us to be recognized even further for our efforts and individuality.

   GBHS, let graduates cap school’s end with decorated graduation caps.