WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- High School students throughout New Hanover County dressed in caps and gowns for graduation this weekend at UNCW's Trask Coliseum.
Graduates from Ashley, Hoggard, New Hanover, and Laney High Schools say they are excited for the next step in their lives.
"I'm happy I finished it and ready to go on complete my next endeavors," said Walter Barnett. "I'm going to major in graphic design and minor in business."
Other graduates agreed that they will miss the friends they have made.
"I'm excited but I am very nervous to leave all of my friends and my family...everybody," said Luisa Hartley.
But Hartley says Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media are making graduation easier. Friends of Hartley are also anxious for new friendships.
"I'm nervous, but I am looking forward to meeting new people, too," said Hartley's friend, David Wilson.
Wilson says this next step will help him and Hartley grow up more and become more independent.
The graduation ceremonies started at 9:00 am and went until 7:30 pm. The high schools combined handed out thousands of diplomas.