Within the past four years, you’ve been forced to: shack up with a stranger who has a fairly irregular bathing routine; gobble down dining hall chicken patties still thawing out around the edges; struggle through countless all-nighters; and absolutely destroy your liver after guzzling down pints of PBR six out of seven days a week. Simply put, you’ve been dealt a strenuous hand and prevailed. It’s graduation day, after all, and you deserve some sparkles, hence why you have a commencement cap.

That mortar board isn’t there solely to mess up your perfectly coiffed hair. It will do that, but it will also portray a message—if you let it. That obnoxious square pinned to your head is prime real estate. You could inspire an entire crowd by pasting some sentimental quote on that graduation cap of yours. Or, you could start spelling out cheeky phrases with friends. Hell, you could even post your resume up there.

And you don’t need to stop there. You still have that tassel dangling in front your face to spruce up and turn into a bookmark after commencement is said and done. Or a car air freshener.

New: 23 graduation-cap ideas for the class of 2014 

Harness your inner third-grader and let your creative flag fly. After four years, you deserve to have all the glitz, glam, bedazzled bows and blow-up electric guitars you want on the top of your head. Give a shout-out to your sorority. Cleverly thank mom and dad. Strap a video camera to the top of your mortar board and start rolling.

If you need some inspiration, we have pulled together 21 of the most creative graduation caps we found while perusing the Web. Go out and buy some sequins, sparkles and the like and get to cutting and pasting, kids. You owe this to yourself.