The spring 2022 semester is not the only thing coming to a close in the next upcoming days. As we hand in our last assignments, finish our final exams and end the semester strongly, many students find that their time at Binghamton University is also coming to a close. The next time they find themselves on campus, it will be as alumni. There are so many exciting things about graduating and an endless amount of opportunities that await. As our seniors gather in their caps and gowns, they may find themselves wondering: What comes after graduation? What does one even do with their cap and gown? Fear not class of 2022, this is the article for you:

1. Save them as a keepsake

Saving one’s cap and gown as a keepsake is probably the most common post-graduation purpose for them. Although they may end up in a dusty cardboard box in your attic, it provides a sense of comfort and reassurance to know that it will always be there whenever you want to think back on your graduation day.

2. Keep them to pass down to your siblings, friends or relatives

Holding on to your cap and gown to later pass down and give to someone else is not only a heartfelt idea, but also a smart one. It will serve as a well-thought and sentimental gift and will also save the gift receiver money and stress in the long run.

3. Create a shadow box with them

A shadow box is a type of case that has a transparent cover, allowing you to put objects on display. Graduation shadow boxes are a popular idea and usually include a student’s cap, along with other graduation-related items and accessories. While a shadow box may not be the best place for your gown (space-wise), to each their own! These boxes are completely customizable to your own personal wishes and desires.

4. Donate them to a thrift store

A great way to get rid of your cap and gown guilt-free is to donate them to a thrift store. It will find a new home, one way or another, and is almost guaranteed not to go to waste.

5. Hang them up

The endless amount of hard work required to become a graduate and earn your cap and gown should not go unnoticed. Hang them up in your room, office or anywhere that you please. Putting your cap and/or gown on display can serve as a great way to commemorate this long-awaited milestone and acts as a constant reminder that you’ve made it to the finish line!

6. Sell them

While selling your cap and gown may not be the first post-graduation idea that comes to mind, you’d be surprised at how many people would actually be willing to buy them. Graduation can get pricey and, more often than not, students would rather save some money and buy a used cap and gown than pay the hefty fee required to get a brand new one. List your cap and gown at a reasonable price and enjoy the monetary benefits.

7. Repurpose them

If you’re an especially crafty person, there are several ways to repurpose your cap and gown into a sentimental keepsake that you can use forever. Incorporating the material into the background of a picture frame, message board or even as a part of a scrapbook, is an original way to memorialize this huge achievement. Once you start thinking outside the box, the possibilities are endless!

8. See if any schools have a program for reusing them

Some schools instill a program for the reuse of caps and gowns, whether it be for recycling purposes or monetary reasons. Either way, your cap and gown will get a second life, and you will have a little more storage space in your attic or basement than you would otherwise.

9. Have friends and loved ones sign them or write a personalized message for you

If you don’t plan on ever actually using your cap and gown again, a creative idea is to have your classmates, friends and/or family sign or leave you a message on it. This will amplify its sentimental value and increase your likelihood of wanting to keep it forever.

10. See if they can be used as a costume in a school’s theatre department or children’s dress-up section

Caps and gowns can be very useful costumes for schools to use in plays, dress-up sections or even for Halloween. They can also be used for pictures or special events. Chances are the school will find some use for it and appreciate the gesture of giving it to them.