Yet another school year is coming to an end, which means another graduating class is moving on from the South Walton High School halls.
For seniors Kati Trejo and Colton Myers, the mere days before graduation are the perfect time to reflect on the past four years.
"I'm going to enjoy it as much as I can," Myers said of his time left in high school. "Every summer until now has been preparation — four years of the constant, looming, grand idea of college. It's hard to believe it's almost over."
Trejo and Myers agreed that the past four years — and especially senior year — have gone by in a flash. Of course it would for these two. Both seniors have stayed busy maintaining good grades while excelling in extracurricular activities and sports. As a Lady Seahawk, Trejo and her fellow basketball team celebrated winning state this year.
While she doesn't plan on playing basketball in college, she does look back at the State Championship as one of her favorite high school memories.
"It would be nice, but I think it would be too overwhelming," she said.
"It'd be so cool to see you go pro," Myers said to Trejo.
For his part, Myers got to be part of the Seahawks' fun as saxophone player in the Pep Band that cheered and played at the games. He was also active in the school band, Spanish club and SGA. Myers favorite high school memory? Being crowned 2012 Homecoming King.
"Everybody loves Colton," Trejo said.
"It's a great opportunity for me to have an excuse to come back and pass on the crown next year," Myers added.
For these two seniors, being involved in school activities is an important aspect to high school life. And they have plenty of advice for those that follow in their footsteps.
"Don't slack off, you'll regret it later," Trejo warned. "Become involved while you have the chance. It isn't anything to be ashamed of."
"I've learned that you should never take much for granted," Myers added. "Any opportunity you're presented with is great. Constantly looking for ways to improve yourself will benefit you later on. There are so many opportunities that I can't wait to be presented with in college."
While Trejo said she has no regrets looking back on the past four years, Myers did express that he wished he would've added a sport to his busy schedule.
"A lot of work kept me from being in the athletic field," Myers said. "I wish I would have found a sport to be involved in, like baseball — I used to play when I was younger."
Academics play a major role in high school, too. Thirteen years attending schools in Walton County, Trejo said she feels her education has been top-notch.
"The academics have been one of the best parts [of Walton County]," she explained. "With smaller schools, the teachers are more focused on their students."
Looking forward to college and beyond, graduating high school is like transitioning between childhood and adulthood, Myers said.
"It's hard to comprehend not waking up and going to this school — it's almost scary," he explained. "The scariest part is the choices that will be presented once we're left to our own devices. We'll be expected to learn how to fly on our own, which is ironic since we're Seahawks."
Even if it may seem scary, the two seniors should have no problem excelling in college like they did in high school. While many other students scramble at the end of the year to send transcripts and write essays, Trejo and Myers wasted no time choosing colleges. In the fall, Myers will be in Gainesville at University of Florida where he'd like to study in the diagnostic health field.
"I've been a gator fan for a long time," he said, proudly showing off his orange and blue shirt. "I've always admired the medical programs there."
Trejo is looking forward to her move to Orlando, where she'll be attending the University of Central Florida. She's still undecided in her area of study, but is leaning toward psychology. Growing up in Walton County, Trejo said she's eager to explore a larger campus and city.
"I'm excited to move on," she said of her hometown. "Even though I'm going to miss it."
Operation Graduation: Want to cheer on your favorite seniors? The South Walton High School graduation will be Thursday, May 23 at 7 p.m. Celebrate graduation at Freeport High School, Friday, May 24 at 7 p.m.