Class of 2023 wants creativity!

Seniors should be allowed to decorate their caps for graduation


Wagner Portrait Group

2022 graduates throw their caps in the air after the ceremony is over.


Exciting but also a little scary, it’s what every kid dreams of. After 12 years in the school system, you finally get to be released into the real world. You can go to college or you can take a gap year. You can go into the military or travel across the world. “Graduation” is more than a word or an event–it’s a moment that carries so much possibility with it it’s almost frightening. The suspense of walking across that stage and receiving your diploma is a turning point in every person’s life, and that turning point should be the most memorable it can possibly be. 

However, a lot of schools are seeming to restrict that memorability to students, including Parkway South. When many students graduate, one idea that pops into their heads is decorating their caps. It’s a fun activity that makes graduation just a tad bit more exciting. However, this is not allowed at Parkway South, and as a member of the graduating class of 2023, I think it should be. It’s an exciting activity that expresses individuality and gives a little bit of fun to graduation, and furthermore, the seniors are the ones buying the caps. 

First off, we should be allowed to decorate their graduation caps because it helps express individuality. In the past, students have had to wear the same blue cap and gown as their peers. I could understand how the school would want this because it creates a uniform and clean look, however, graduation is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s not going to hurt to ditch that uniform look and let us stand out. By decorating caps, it can help students express individuality and add personality to their outfit and graduation. We don’t all have to look the same. We can have a chance to show everybody in the crowd, the principal, and the other students what kind of person we are. A little self-expression isn’t going to hurt anybody. 

It’s understandable that the school could be weary of doing this because some students might take advantage and use the opportunity in an inappropriate way. However, a group of students could easily form a committee to check all the designs of the students. Students could fill out a google form and submit a picture of their design to the committee. On graduation day there could also be a member of faculty checking the designs before they go to their seat just to make sure. This could all be easily done with a little effort, but the school doesn’t even want to think about it. Why be so against individuality? If students are being responsible with their designs, there should be no issue. 

Secondly, students should be able to decorate their caps because of how hard and long it took to even get to graduation. We’re put in school when we’re about five or six years old, and from that day forward, we’re shuffled through 12 years of dedicating three-fourths of each of those years to school. We go to school five days a week, absurdly early in the morning, and then finish with even more work at home with only two days off a week. It consumes your life. You barely have time to be your own person, and then when we get to graduation, we still can’t be ourselves? Every student in front of that stage has deserved the right to have some fun at their graduation. Schools can’t loosen up the chains a little bit and let the students celebrate in their own way? Not everything in life has to be serious. There can be a little celebration and fun, and students who have put 12 years into being forced to go to a building for eight hours a day should be able to have those celebrations. 

Lastly, students should be able to decorate caps because we are buying them. In past years, seniors had to rent their caps and gowns. However, this year, we will have to pay a graduation fee that includes our cap and gown, which we will get to keep. If we are paying for the outfit, why can’t we decorate it? We could also buy press-on tops, or the school could sell them, if they really don’t want us to mess with the actual caps. The fact that the school wants us to not decorate our caps even though we’re the ones purchasing them shows that their whole motive is control. Why do we have to be controlled? Why can’t we have a little bit of freedom on our last day of school? School wants us to prepare us for the world where you have to be independent and make your own decisions, but they aren’t preparing us by making those decisions for us. 

In conclusion, graduation is a turning point in nearly every person’s life, and the Class of 2023 should be able to have our graduation be the best it can be. Not only did we work for 12 years for this moment, and the fact that we’re purchasing our own caps and gowns, but decorating caps can help each student express themselves in their own unique way.

C’mon South, let the creativity flow.