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Long Island students decorate caps for graduation

Marissa Fitlin, left, and Marielle Erdheim of Half

Marissa Fitlin, left, and Marielle Erdheim of Half Hollow Hills High School East in Dix Hills decorate graduation caps with letters of the college or university they will be attending. Photo Credit: Beth Whitehouse

Marielle Erdheim's class at Half Hollow Hills High School East had graduation practice Thursday, and afterward many of the seniors headed to ... Michael's.

"Our entire school was there," said senior Erdheim, 17, of Melville. The seniors bought glitter and rhinestones and felt letters and glue at the crafts store because there was work to be done. Their caps and gowns had just been distributed, and it was time to decorate the caps before the weekend's graduation ceremony.

Apparently, decking out the top of your cap with your future plans is a graduation tradition, especially for the girls. Erdheim, for instance, was busy Thursday night making a large A for SUNY Albany on her cap and filling it with gold and purple glitter -- her new school's colors.

Friend Marissa Fitlin sat by her in Erdheim's kitchen, decorating her cap with a T. and a U. for Towson University in Maryland, where she plans to study biology. And classmate Rachel Schwartz, 18, included on her cap the blue-and-white Israeli flag because she'll be taking a gap year in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv before heading on to Syracuse University the following September. 

"We do it to show we're proud that we're graduating, but we also have plans after," Fitlin explained as she glued rhinestones to her cap.

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