If you think mortarboards are a waste of money and yet another single-use affront to our planet, you just haven’t explored their versatility. There are many practical ways you can use graduation hats for years to come:
Charcuterie Platter: It’s flat, it’s firm, and you can fit a lot of Gouda on there. Walk around a party holding it like a tray, saying, “It’s a good-a thing I graduated, right?” then make sure to keep it steady when someone tries to cut off a hunk of cheese.
Incontrovertible Proof of Your Degree: Wear it to interviews. Anybody can exaggerate and falsify their resume, but only certain people – graduates – can get their hands on that sophisticated square chapeau. If you’re afraid the interviewer doesn’t notice it, tip it cowboy-style right after you shake hands. If you add on a “Howdy pardner,” you’ll plant a seed in your future boss’s subconscious to make you a partner in the firm, just as soon as this unpaid internship is over.
Everyday Accessory: Make a fashion statement any day of the week while running errands, or even for special occasions, like at your pap smear, at the DMV, or to bolster your confidence at trivia night. You can even give it a little stylish tilt. Just make sure the tassel doesn’t obscure your vision while driving or operating other heavy machinery.
Sunshade: If you remember to wear this to the beach, you won’t have to take an umbrella or apply sunscreen to the top half of your face. You also won’t need to worry about anyone approaching you to make small talk in their Speedo, as they might think a beachside graduation ceremony is about to start.
Frisbee: The fact that it flies vertically better than horizontally provides the perfect excuse for your horrible throwing skills. The next time your friends are being sporty at the park, just blame your equipment. Look down at it judgmentally in your hands, and say, “Ugh, this Frisbee sucks. I’ll just sit on the blanket and keep an eye on our drinks.” If they try to suggest that it’s not actually a Frisbee or that you can just use theirs, rustle the ice in the cooler and pretend you can’t hear them.
Arrive On-Theme to Your Own Child’s Future Graduations: You’ll get a lot of mileage out of this headgear if you treat your child’s yearly graduation ceremonies as costume parties. What better way to celebrate your kid finishing preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, all the way up through high school, and medical school than to also toss your ol’ tattered hat in the air?
Weapon: You don’t actually have to to hurt anyone, but “open-carrying” the sharp corners of your mortarboard could send a threatening message to your mainsplaining neighbor down the hall, the person trying to cut in front of you at the supermarket checkout, and that elephant-sized dog with daggers for teeth who thinks it’s okay to move in on your personal space to sniff your shoe. On the flip side, if you find yourself in need of some self-defense, it also makes an excellent shield.
Centerpiece on the Altar of your Lost Youth: This is a nice reminder that you were once young, you accomplished something pretty big, and people once gathered all in one place to celebrate you. Even if you’re “between jobs” and back living in your childhood bedroom all these later, remember that the crowd went wild for YOU! Well, you and your 957 classmates.