MORGANTOWN — Taking a final pull off an energy drink while making sure you didn’t drop your tassel.
Yep, University High School senior Philip White said, grinning.
It’s graduation night.
There was one other thing, he said, as he waited in line to get into the WVU Coliseum on Friday night with 275 other members of the Class of 2018 readying to go forth.
“I have no idea what I’m gonna do,” he said.
Don’t get him wrong, he said. He knows he’s going to college. West Liberty, up north.
White is also a Promise scholar and an athlete who signed a letter of intent for cross-country and track there.
It’s just that he still isn’t quite sure what academic track he’s going to take.
“I don’t have a major yet,” he said. “So I’m just gonna enjoy my classes and consider the possibilities.”
And sure, he’ll miss his fellow Hawks of UHS, he said. He’s just ready for the next thing, whatever that is.
Which is the bedrock of any high school commencement.
On Friday, the UHS seniors looked ahead, and looked back with the instant nostalgia that only graduation night can bring.
Lydia Bowers, who will study engineering at WVU in the fall, said she enjoyed prom and all the social activities that helped her unwind from all that serious studying.
Same for Lia Deiriggi, a future occupational therapist who pulled down a whopping 225 hours of community service, on top of her coursework.
“Yeah, I’m ready to get going,” said Chance Burkle, a soon-to-be business major who will commute from Morgantown to nearby Fairmont State University.
A respectable crowd filed into the basketball arena for their sons, daughters and grandchildren who were center stage.
One mom (emotional, but quite dexterous) laughed, whooped, brushed tears and fanned herself with her commencement program — all the while managing to spot her kid among lots of Hawks for the smartphone video.
Then, the concert band did it. It hit the opening notes of “Pomp and Circumstance,” and you know the rest.