WILTON, Conn. -- Wilton High's Class of 2016 graduated Saturday with students looking forward to the future while fondly remembering their school years in Wilton.
Carolyn Vaum was happy to start her future: She had decorated her graduation cap with the word DONE to emphasize that — but she also was a little sad that she would be leaving her classmates behind.
"I have lived here since first grade so I have known these people my whole life," she said about her fellow graduates.
Vaum will attend Central Connecticut State University in the fall and will study biology. She was walking in the ceremony with her friend Daisy Rozario, who she has known since second grade. Rozario will attend Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, where she will study marketing.
Rozario said the day was a little bittersweet. She's excited to charge forward but was tinged with the knowledge that the class is splitting up.
"I'm pretty sad about it, personally," she said. "I have grown to love everyone here and I am going to be pretty said to see them go separate ways."
Tommy Crimmins is heading off to Wake Forest University, where he said he will be joined by a couple of his classmates. He's aware that he and many of his friends from Wilton High are going separate ways but is looking forward to making new friends.
"I do think about it a lot, almost every day, because obviously a lot of my friends are going to different schools," he said. "Leaving your friends is obviously tough but something that you are going to have to deal with going off to college. And you are going to be able to make new friends in college, so I am looking forward to that."
Olivia Phelan said she chose Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., in part because it is a small school of just over 2,000 undergraduate students, similar to Wilton High School.
"Being in such a small town I love to walk around and see everyone I know," she said. "You go to a party and you feel like you have a community surrounding you and supporting you. That's kind of what drew me to a smaller school. I wanted to continue that sense of community."
She plans to study business at Babson.
Jake Tucker, who will attend the University of New Hampshire but hasn't decided on a major yet, said it will be an adjustment to attend a large school after getting to know his classmates so well.
"It's tough.There are 300 kids here in your grade and you know every single one of them," he said. "You go to a big school and you don't know anyone and you are never going to know everyone at that school like you do here."
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