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What Your Grad Tassel Color Says About You

At the end of spring quarter, Spanos Stadium fills up with grads and grad caps…but not all grad caps are created equal. Each has their own tassel with a specific color relating to a student’s major. What does your tassel color say about you?

College of Engineering & Architectural Engineering: Orange

Orange tassel kids are more used to plain V-necks and graphic tees from the discount section of Target, but during graduation they finally break out the bright colors. They might not seem like the life of the party — lab hours can wear you down — but after this many years of college, they’re stoked to get the hell out. Orange tassel is a casual beer drinker but still has a 50/50 shot of letting their mom talk them out of any pre-graduation festivities. What a good child.

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences: Maize

Apparently, Poly admin wasn’t feeling particularly creative when they picked “maize” for CAFES; they literally just chose a food item and went “close enough.” But maize kids do their corn color proud and are a pop of sunshine in anyone’s day. They’re up bright and early the morning of graduation, either organizing family or getting rowdy with friends. Maize tassels are running up and down the rows trying to get pictures with everyone, despite commencement organizers yelling at them to get back in line.

Related: 8 Things You Did During Freshmen Year That Sound Crazy Now

College of Architecture and Environmental Design (General): Brown

Brown tassel, between sips from hidden flasks, is telling everyone the various ways the commencement ceremony and the stadium layout could be better organized. They also haven’t slept in 24 hours and their eyes are starting to glaze over. Make sure they get to their seat in one piece; their parents will be very grateful.

Architecture: Blue Violet

You’ll probably find blue violet tassel curled up in a ball, on the ground, next to some random check-in table. They’ve spent the last 48 hours trying to make up for all the sleep they missed out on the last five years. Honestly, just let them keep napping. They get easily startled outside of studio.

Orfalea College of Business (General): Drab

In one final attempt to tame the wild business major, Poly literally gave them a color called “drab.” But spoiler alert: drab tassel is still wild af. They’re the first one in line at the pre-graduation bar crawl and are probably screaming inside MoTav at 7 am. Drabs also have the sharpest looking outfit for commencement, but whether or not they make it to the ceremony is still up in the air.

Industrial Technology: Sapphire

Sapphire blue tassel kids needed a color as unique as they are. They just float around the commencement prep area, and no one really knows what they’re up to, but they have cool hair and seem put-together, so admin lets it slide. Rumor has it that sapphire tassel has some awesome job lined up for post-grad. But no one knows anything more details than, “It’s like in the Bay…or something. Wait. What does I.T. do again?”

College of Liberal Arts: White

White tassel was either out drinking with drab tassel at 6 am, or they hit snooze so many times they almost missed graduation entirely. There’s no in-between. White tassel is running on a solid four cups of coffee by the time they finally crawl their way to Spanos Stadium. Five minutes into the ceremony they just pass out in their chair anyway, either from lack of sleep or lack of sobriety.

Related: Why CLA is Just as Important as COSAM or CENG

College of Science and Mathematics (General): Golden Yellow

Golden tassel is the only one with their act actually together during commencement morning. They probably had a nice mug of tea while sweetly teaching Grandma and Grandpa how to print out ceremony tickets. They somehow got a full eight hours of sleep last night, despite the rest of the student body looking various levels of zombified. No one knows how golden tassel does it. It’s probably witchcraft.

Kinesiology: Sage Green

Sage green kids are the hipsters of the tassel world, being way too cool for just boring, normal green. They probably still went on their regularly scheduled run despite it being the morning of graduation — you can’t skip leg day when those robes show off your calves! Sage tassel also has an 80% chance of showing up late to Spanos Stadium with a half-eaten acai bowl. But if you don’t tease them, they might share the other half with you.

So many caps and so many tassels… But no matter your tassel color, one thing is for certain: everyone’s just happy to be there. Congradutations, graduates!

Sinéad Schouten is a fifth year English major at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Her life is a constant cycle of late night coffee and midday napping. Someday she'll get real sleep.
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