If you’re fresh out of college, or soon to be-especially if you’re going to grad school, the thought may have crossed your mind: “Should I display my diploma?”

There is no right or wrong answer to that, of course, but odds are, if you’re considering it, you just need to find the right place for it. The first thing to consider is whether to place it in your home, your office, or maybe even your parent’s or another relative’s home. I have a colleague finishing his Associate’s this summer, and he already has an empty frame hanging beside his desk. He tells me that the empty frame is symbolic, and very motivational- he says that seeing it there every day makes it all the easier to get to class in the evenings, because soon that very frame will display his hard-earned degree. It’s not only a great conversation starter in general, but also a creative way of letting his colleagues and supervisors know about his academic pursuits without having to make any sort of formal announcement.

If the office seems like the most appropriate spot, consider the nature of your work.

Serious pursuits call for more serious displays. Creative ones lend to a more whimsical incorporation of the document into your decor. A proper, matted and framed document is never out of place (check out Diploma Display for a vast array of easy, value priced and stylish framing options), but what you surround the document with will make just as much of a statement as the diploma itself. Family photos around the document have a warm, casual connotation, whereas a diploma displayed on it’s own accentuates its academic origin. A few pieces of fine art along with your diploma on the a wall, even if they are prints, will automatically take the display in a more sophisticated direction. Best of all, none of these options require a commitment. You can always move it should you find a better or more appropriate spot.

Home display in a hallway, living area, or den is also an option, whether it be your home, a parent’s, or a grandparent’s.

The mantle, if you have one, is the traditional spot, but some new graduates may find this a bit too old fashioned. A bookshelf is a fantastic alternative, as is the wall along a stairway. If you have a home office, or even just a makeshift office area that hosts a desk and computer, displaying your diploma can help define the area. Some parents love to display every award, citation, and trophy their child has received over the years, and handing over your diploma may be not an option, but a practically a requirement! If that’s the case-why not indulge them?

That little piece of paper is often a vast source of pride, and sharing it with them is lovely way to say thank you for their support, both financial and otherwise, as you made your way through school. A grandparent or other close relative may vie for a shot at the diploma, too…in fact when my grandparent’s were still alive, they kept mine and my sister’s proudly displayed in their entry hall for years. It did my heart good to know that it was one of the first things they pointed out to new guests in their home. My grandfather earned his Bachelor’s later in life, and HIS now diploma hangs on my mother’s entry hall wall now, and it not only looks good, but serves as a touching, loving tribute to his achievement.

Displaying your diploma can be a source of pride for you, too.

Wherever you decide to place it, whether on a wall, a shelf, a table, or even the inside of a drawer- take a look at it every once in awhile. Whether it’s tomorrow or years from now, just looking at it will whisk you back to those busy college days, and perhaps even inspire you on your life’s journey.

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