Complaining about grad caps is trivial; graduation is about unity


Sofia Sayabalian - Staff Writer, Nadia Grauman and Veronica Barsoomian- Photographers

After a four-year-long rollercoaster ride of highschool, seniors excitedly commemorate their accomplishments at graduation—a symbol of crossing the finish line and entering life’s next race ahead. Their shiny gowns and contagious smiles ignite the atmosphere with jubilation and remembrance. At the end of the ceremony, seniors prepare to reenact what they’ve all been waiting for: toss their graduation caps in the air and pretend like they are living vicariously through a graduating character in a cheesy highschool movie. Graduating seniors can expect to be a part of this notorious scene with the exception of one small but controversial detail. At Calabasas High School, seniors are not allowed to decorate their graduation caps. At first, this policy may seem as if it is restrictive toward students’ self-expression and individuality. Yet when the rationale behind this rule is closely examined, the reasons supporting this decision become plain and understandable.

To begin with, the night of graduation is a symbolic ceremony that emphasizes a sense of unity among accomplished seniors. Students should feel empowered on this special night to look around at each other and think about how far their senior class of hundreds has come. A decorated cap strips away the sense of unity among students and disregards the message of solidarity is celebrating their future steps. Regardless of one’s academic background and personal views, an unflashy graduation cap adds to the humbling experience of this personal milestone.

In addition to preserving a oneness on graduation by excluding graduation cap decorations, students do not need to worry about innate competition among one another. Besides the school-appropriate restrictions that students would have to abide by if they were allowed to decorate their caps, the options are endless as to what students could put on their blank square canvas. This could allocate space for college emblems or even political statements, completely taking away the focus of unity and accomplishment from graduation. Besides, there are plenty of outlets from which students can freely express themselves, and complaining over a ban on graduation cap decor is trivial.

In the end, there are many rules and facts of reality that students will have to face. However, Calabasas High School’s choice to outlaw graduation cap decorations is one that people can hopefully look past. A solidarity among graduating seniors is more important than an invitation to divide students by allowing studded caps and unneeded juvenile rivalry.