Next fall, Curtis Williamson will study mechanical engineering at the University of South Carolina at Aiken. But for now, the 17-year old Lakeside High School senior is looking forward to "doing nothing for a while."
"It's so cool," he said, anticipating his pending graduation. "I'm ready to get out. Everybody's ready. ... Everybody's starting to slack off."
On June 7, as Curtis and his classmates -- bedecked in academic regalia -- shuffle through Augusta/Richmond County Civic Center to the tear-jerking strains of Pomp and Circumstance, parents' chests will swell with pride while they sniffle just a little.
Their sons and daughters will celebrate the bittersweet close of childhood, some tossing their mortarboard caps into the air to start the next chapter in their lives.
Seniors across the Aiken-Augusta area finish school this week, marking the final answer on the final exam of the final year of high school and vacating the hallowed halls for good. Baccalaureate and graduation ceremonies continue through early June.
Graduation festivities across the area began Sunday, with Aquinas High School's ceremony at Church of the Most Holy Trinity.