Afternoon thunderstorms caused the graduation ceremony for 115 high school seniors at Rosewood High School to be moved inside the school gymnasium.
The class of 2018 gathered inside the school's cafeteria where they put the final touches on their caps and gowns. The senior class gathered in the cafeteria for their final class photo. History teacher Jennie Vanderhelm could be heard gathering all seniors together one last time.
Dressed in purple caps and gowns, the seniors stood with the tallest in the back and shortest in the front. Then, it was time to make their final walk through the halls as they made their way into the gymnasium, where they were greeted with cheers from family and friends.
Many paused to take selfies that were filled with hugs and bright smiles.
It was a bittersweet moment for the seniors as they said goodbye to classmates they have known since elementary school.
Many seniors said that they were sad to say goodbye to their classmates and teachers, but excited about what the future holds.
Jazmyn Lee and Allana Atwell said they are looking forward to attending college together at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. Lee will major in engineering and after completing college, she plans to join the Air Force.
"I feel nervous, but I'm excited and ready to see what the next chapter holds for me," Atwell said.
Many of the seniors said they plan to enjoy the summer with their family and friends, before departing for college in the fall. Some are planning on attending community college, while others will be heading to four-year colleges and universities.
Valedictorian Cameron Smith, in his final address to his classmates, challenged them to not to be afraid to face their fears. Smith said it is OK to step outside of their comfort zone. Smith plans to attend East Carolina University where he will major in computer science.
Salutatorian Marc Lewis also addressed the Class of 2018.
"As you go out into the world, starting that next stage of your lives, don't forget the lessons that you learned here," Lewis said. "You will be changed by the place you end up, but continue to hold the virtues of Rosewood close."
Lewis plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and will major in psychology.
Barbara Lewis was beaming with pride as her daughter, Hannah Lewis, walked across the stage to receive her diploma. Lewis said her daughter plans to attend North Carolina State in the fall.
The line to get inside stretched back into the parking lot, as family friends waited outside in the drizzle of light rain. Each senior was issued six tickets for their family and friends.
Caden Reiss' mother, Heather Reiss, showcased a smile of pride as her son earned his diploma. Reiss will leave in a few weeks with plans to attend the Air Force Academy.
Jordan Wiggins plans to attend Wayne Community College, His mother, Jenny Wiggins, said that she and his father, Matt Wiggins, are proud of their son. The family of Rayodi McCullen celebrated by going out to dinner after graduation. In the fall, McCullen will attend East Carolina University.
Before the ceremony, Assistant Principal Justin Bruyer offered words of advice to the graduates.
"Wherever they go, make sure they follow their dream," Bruyer said. "You have to have a dream to know where you are headed. Each senior is unique, and they each have different goals in life."