Tag Archives | graduation

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If you have attended a graduation ceremony, you are likely to notice a rainbow of colors on the caps and hoods of the students. These colors are not random but have academic and historical significance. Your university probably gave you your graduation gown specifications – but did you know that academic regalia design is governed by a voluntary inter-collegiate code?

Graduation Gown History
The tradition of academic gowns goes back to the 12th century when medieval clergy wore them while studying or teaching. These gowns were originally meant to keep the wearer warm, but over time became the symbol of an educated individual. By the 14th century, the gown design became more elaborate, representing the field, level of education and profession of the wearer. After the American Civil War, the attire became symbolic and has since been worn at ceremonies only.

The American Academic Costume Code was established at the end of the nineteenth century to set the standard for gown design. While some revisions have been made to the code, the basic design remains largely unaltered. The code is optional but has been adopted on a large scale by universities worldwide.

Gown Design Differences – Level of Study
There are subtle differences in gown cut and shape, based on your level of education. For example, Bachelor gowns are designed to be worn closed, with square-cut sleeves. The width of the hood trim is 2 inches, and its shape is typically the Wales simple shape with a partial white lining.

The Master gown’s sleeve is oblong with a slit at the wrist opening. The width of the hood trim is 3 inches and has a split salmon cut with a full lining of rich, blue silk.

Doctoral gowns tend to be most elaborate with bell sleeves that have three velvet bands on them. The color of the gown may also be different, to be decided by the university. The cap will have a golden tassel, worn to the left. The trim color of the gown will change, with Ph.D. holders permitted to wear a dark blue trim, and Th.D. holders a scarlet trim, irrespective of their field of study. The width of the hood trim is 5 inches with panels attached to the side and a full inner lining of crimson silk.

Similarly, accessories like stoles may be used to highlight the level of academic study. The stole colors will change – for example, diploma and associate diploma holders may have pearl white stoles, while graduate certificate and graduate diploma holders may have gold stoles. If you look through your university’s gown specifications, you will note the minor color differences to categorize a student’s academic level.

What to wear underneath your gown?
There is always some uncertainty around what to wear underneath your gown. The general rule of thumb is to stick to smart attire and avoid wearing anything flashy which could be visible underneath the gown or contradict the colors on the gown.

It is recommended that men wear dark trousers coupled with a lighter colored shirt while women wear a dark skirt or slacks with a light colored blouse. Women may also choose to wear a dark dress underneath their gown. Shoes and socks, too, should be dark and formal wear.

This article was contributed by guest author Shweta Shetty.

Image by PublicDomainPictures, pixabay.com

Image by PublicDomainPictures, pixabay.com

It’s graduation season – which means it’s a good time to start thinking about college life. College is a time of unbridled opportunity and freedom, but it’s also a time of unprecedented challenge and work. Done right though, college can open doors for self-discovery, connections previously unknown and can leave you ready to take on the workforce in a blaze.

Here are 6 ways get through your college years grinning:

Mind Your Finances
Student debt is a trending word right now for good reason. With the idea that a degree equals a lucrative job, many college graduates have taken out thousands in student loans. Unfortunately, grads often find themselves saddled with loan payments and no immediate job prospects.

To get your college life started right, avoid the added burden of loan payments. Look for ways to pay tuition without putting yourself in the red. Apply for scholarships, grants, and work-study positions. There are scholarships for just about everything nowadays. It is a good idea to start looking for scholarships now so that you can be ahead of the game.

College years are for experimentation. Take classes in a subject you’ve never heard of, or study abroad for a semester! Your new experiences will teach you invaluable life skills that will serve you well throughout your life. Especially when you’re just starting out, you want to make sure to sign up for a wide range of classes so that you can figure out what you are interested in early on.

Challenge Yourself
If you don’t challenge yourself, it’s hard to gain the confidence needed to accomplish anything. Do things that scare you. Take a hard course. Raise your hand during group discussions. Launch into a challenging field like nursing and push your degree even further with programs like an RN to BSN nursing program. You’ll likely find that you have the ability to do far more than you think you do.

Don’t Forget to Play
Constant classes and deadlines can be exhausting. Luckily, most college campuses are buzzing with student activities and organizations. Take some nights off to soak it in. By taking some time to relax you can actually learn a lot more and work a lot more efficiently. This is definitely an essential part of being a college student.

Colleges are dense with experts in a variety of fields. Take advantage of this! Maintaining relationships with your professors and classmates will make your college experience more enriching and may help you in unexpected way after graduation. Networking is a great thing to do as soon as you start college. That way you can have solid relationships built for right when you graduate college. That can really help give you a foot in the door for your career.

Maintain Balance
Take care of yourself. Don’t let the challenges of college life keep you from being healthy. Take time to refresh yourself, mentally and physically. Learning to have a work-life balance in college will do wonders for you.

College is teeming both with new responsibility and new opportunity. Take full advantage of your college experience, and you’ll be sure to end your collegiate career with a smile!

This article was contributed by guest author Kara Masterson.

Image by Merrimack College on Flickr

Image by Merrimack College on Flickr

“Are you excited to graduate?”

That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? Over the past six months, almost every single person in my life has broached the topic of graduation at one point or another. After being asked about it so many times, you’d think that I’d know how to answer the question by now. But the truth is – I have absolutely no idea. At first, this realization was a terrifying reality that I had to face, and I sought out to discover the answer. However, upon undergoing some significant soul-searching, I thought to myself – maybe it’s okay to not know how to feel.

Graduation represents the closing of one chapter in life, along with the opening of another. Understandably, it’s natural to be bombarded by a surge of different emotions. Of course, there is the initial excitement that comes along with saying goodbye to midterms, finals, huge assignments, and those infamous all-nighters that left you feeling like a zombie for days on end. But at the same time, there comes the sadness associated with saying goodbye to familiar faces, a safe environment, and that comfortable routine that you’ve been living in for four years. Moreover, there comes the overwhelming fear that stems from not knowing what exactly the future is going to bring, as well as the stress of becoming what feels like a tiny fish in a sea of recent grads searching for jobs. And let’s not forget the pressure connected to becoming a real adult, taking on much heavier responsibilities, and nearing important milestones such as getting your first full-time job, potentially moving out, and better yet, getting married and having kids.

With that being said, it dawned on me that I was getting way too ahead of myself. And I think that coming to that realization is what is essential in moving forward in a stress-free and happy manner. Having obtained my Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from a prestigious business school, I have been told time and time again that a successful student is one who obtains full-time employment either a) in September of their final year of school or b) no later than twenty minutes after graduation (I say this with little to no exaggeration). But is this realistic? Not at all. I’ve finally come to understand that I’m still only twenty-two years old, I have the rest of my life to work, and I don’t have to get hired the day that I graduate in order to be successful. It’s not the end of the world if I don’t find a job right away, and I shouldn’t feel bad about wanting to take the summer to relax, travel, do the things that I enjoy, and figure out what exactly I want to do moving forward. I know so many people who just rushed into accepting job offers without truly considering whether or not it was a job that suited their interests and passions. Through my academics, work, and extracurricular experiences, I’ve learned that it is important to do what makes you happy. If it takes a little longer to figure out what that is or find a job that incorporates your passions, then that’s okay.

So where do I go from here? I’m not entirely certain yet. But having this great revelation has evoked one more feeling out of me – hope. I’m hopeful for my future and I look forward to finding my professional calling – whenever the time is right.