Putting a “Cap” on Senior Year

Seniors and Teachers Reflect on The Emotions of Receiving Their Cap and Gowns


Madison Barger

Senior Eli Stearman With His Cap and Gown.

Maggie Phelps, Writer, Editor-in-Chief

With grad season swiftly approaching, there are many reminders that notify seniors that their time at Central Hardin is coming to an end. One of those reminders came on Mar. 28 as seniors received their cap and gowns. 

“I felt like I should throw up everywhere, on everyone. I realized how little time I have left,” senior Hannah Martin recalled. 

Martin, along with her peers, have reveled in the wave of emotions that this moment brings. 

“When I received my cap and gown, I knew that that was the first step to having a successful future,” senior Eli Thompson said. 

Seniors are not the only ones to feel this bittersweet moment, their teachers that have guided them to this accomplishment have consumed their own set of emotions. 

Math teacher and senior sponsor April York is completing her fourth year at Central Hardin, and the class of ‘23 is the first class she has walked with through the entirety of their high school career. 

“I taught two sections of Algebra I that year [seniors’ freshman year], so I actually gave a cap and gown to somebody that was in my Algebra I class as a freshman,” York said, “so it’s this really great moment of seeing how much you all have grown. You have been so resilient.”

English teacher Lindsey Corley recognizes the formative moment that this brings for seniors. 

“It’s such a  big moment and I know that it makes it feel more real for them, that’s one of the first things that you all get and hold and it’s like ‘Oh wow this is coming’,” Corley commented. 

The urgency of graduation is an emotion nearly every senior can relate to, and the reality of the event begins to settle in. 

“Once graduation happens, it’s all over, the only thing I have left will be project grad,” Martin remarked.  

Graduation doesn’t have to be constricted to feelings of sadness and uncertainty. Graduation is a triumphant moment for every senior, and senior Micah Brown recognizes the thrill of the occasion. 

“I have to learn how to do a backflip so that I can do that on stage cause I think everybody’s done it every year, either that or break dancing or something,” Brown said.

There is no doubt that graduation triggers reminiscing. Seniors begin flipping through their memories and locate the moments they will miss most about high school as they enter the new phase of their life. 

“[What I will miss most are] probably the laughs and the memories,” Martin said. “I guess you could say the experiences I’ve had and how I’ve grown as a person through those experiences.”

Thompson shared his feelings on a lighter note, providing a comical element to growing out of these four walls. 

“I’m also going to miss the fact that the walls are not white, it’s actually a very light light blue,” Thompson explained. “I don’t know if anyone else knew that, but they always have looked white to me, but the brick walls are actually a very light color of blue, and I’m going to miss that.”

With the clock ticking down nearly two months to the big day, senioritis plagues the future graduates. 

“Now that I have it there’s not really a point in me putting more work in,” Brown shared. “I don’t even care about graduating at this point, I just needed the cap and gown you know?”

Thompson related to the feelings Brown expressed.

“I feel like the rest of the school year is just a waste of time,” Thompson said. “I don’t really understand the point of coming to school now that we have our cap and gown. We’re not really learning much.”

Corley provided advice to guide seniors through this challenging time of the year. 

“If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing crappy. Just don’t leave things undone here at the end of the year,” Corley advised. “You don’t have to do it perfectly, you don’t even have to do it well to get enough credit to keep yourself afloat. You got to push through, don’t let perfection paralyze you, just get it done and move on.”

Emily Wortham added to Corley’s advice. 

“Keep pushing yourself, don’t get lazy, and pay attention to the Reminds and things Ms. York says,” Wortham said, “but really, I feel like that’s the best advice I can give you is to listen to Ms. York.”

Social Studies teacher Tyler Jackson shared a piece of advice that he finds most important regarding the gown.

“Iron your gown. Don’t take it out of the bag and put it on and come to graduation,” Jackson said.

Brown, likewise, shared his strong opinions on the gown. 

“It may not be the best quality, I tried it on when I got home and even if it feels like velcro on my skin, I still am really really satisfied with the work that I’ve put in and I’m just so happy,” Brown explained. 

Graduation is to take place on May 25 at Broadbent Arena in Louisville with the ceremony beginning at 7 p.m. Friends, family, and loved ones of the graduate are all invited to join in the occasion. 

Graduates must arrive in proper graduation attire including their cap and gown. Men are advised to wear dress slacks along with a collared shirt, ties are strongly encouraged but not required. Women may wear a nice blouse along with a skirt or dress slacks or a dress. Casual attire such as jeans, shorts, tennis shoes, and flip flops are not permitted for graduation. Contact York in room 218 if you need to borrow clothing for the graduation ceremony. 

Graduation practice will be held at Central Hardin the morning of May 25 at 8:25. Graduates should arrive at Broadbent Arena no later than 6 p.m. on graduation day. 

Regardless of your fears or your worries about graduation, or if you are beyond ready to enter into the new chapter of your life, look back on these last four years and find a sense of accomplishment. You have so much to be proud of. 

“I’m very proud of this class because you are great leaders and I think that you all are going to inspire some great change in the world, a lot of you have very strong convictions and are going to do a lot to make that the future,” York expressed, “so in many ways, this cap and gown is just a symbol of the fact that you’re grown up and ready to be adults, because you guys have been ready to be adults for a long time.”