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Monday, November 29, 2021


‘Capping’ school’s end, students decorate graduation cap

graduation cap Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

For UH students, many look forward to the day they celebrate their hard work through graduation. Students partake in various traditions in preparation for the event, including decorating their grad caps.

Typically covered with funny or inspirational quotes and other visual mediums, each cap tells a story. UH alumna and graduate student Selenah Cartier is one of many students who decorated their cap during undergrad.

“I wanted to decorate my cap in a way that would draw attention,” Cartier said. “The quote ’17 with two degrees’ seemed like something that would raise a few questions and start a conversation.” 

Bedazzled with gems of the University’s colors, on her cap she has “17 with two degrees.” which is symbolic of her triumph in acquiring two degrees at the age of 17. This brought massive media attention to Cartier, accomplishing her purpose of the cap. 

Cartier’s message readily sparked conversation as media outlets highlighted her accomplishments, such as being the youngest graduate at the University at the time. 

Even with a virtual graduation ceremony, Cartier’s plans were still in the making to celebrate her achievements.

“I was somewhat discouraged purchasing the cap and gown package due to the pandemic. Our graduation was virtual, so no one would actually see the cap and gown,” Cartier said. “However, it was a major accomplishment for me, so I purchased and decorated it.” 

Like Cartier, psychology senior CaLeigha Callahan is also making strides to celebrate her big day this spring despite her graduation being virtual. 

With the lack of an in-person celebration, many students shied away from partaking in decorating their caps and taking pictures. Unlike her peers, Callahan is determined to move forward with participating in such activities. 

“The pandemic will not affect how I do things,” Callahan said. “Even though we won’t have an in-person ceremony, I will still take pictures.” 

For her cap design, Callahan is still deciding. But as she continues to tie up her last few months at UH, she is thankful for all of the memories, including those on the soccer field.

As for Cartier, her favorite moments revolve around the student events. Describing it as an eye-opening experience, she appreciates how each event showcases UH’s diverse community of students. 

To those about to start their journey at UH, Callahan and Cartier use their experience to share some advice.

“My advice would be to get out of your comfort zone and try new things,” Callahan said. “Meet new people, soak up every moment of the college experience because before you know it, it’ll be over.” 

As for students like Callahan who are soon graduating, Cartier also sheds enlightening words for them. 

“For Coogs graduating this year, congratulations! I hope regardless of the circumstances surrounding graduation, you feel a sense of accomplishment and can celebrate,” Cartier said.

“Take your time figuring out the next step in life, and know that your experience entering the workforce and following graduation will differ from the graduating class prior. Be kind and patient with yourself.”

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