Burbank High School bid farewell to more than 700 graduates Friday evening at the Starlight Bowl.
Among the graduating class were close friends Nouneh Boodaghian and Alin Katoronian, girls who have known each other since they were in kindergarten.
"It's a bittersweet moment," Boodaghian said.
Together, the two friends have put in nearly 150 volunteer service hours over the past two years as part of the school's Key Club. They've also competed together on Burbank's swim team and were members of the Armenian Club.
Although they plan to attend different schools in the Los Angeles area, they will both remain in Burbank and work toward degrees to enter the medical field.
They've joked about running the same hospital with Boodaghian in the neurology department and Katoronian in cardiology.
"We're attached at the hip," Katoronian said.
"I feel like my life is about to start," she said later.
Then Boodaghian said jokingly, "Reality's about to hit us in the face."
Not long before the graduation ceremony began, fellow senior Keith Torrez said he was nervous, but he was also excited.
"It feels good to actually graduate," he said. "Everything is worth it. I know people who aren't graduating, and it's just sad because you know they wanted to make it past high school and get their diploma, but they couldn't make it," he said.
Chris Zarco, 18, said he could recall being an eighth-grader at John Muir Middle School when he was told how fast his high school years would go, although he didn't believe it then.
"I just blinked, and we're seniors," he said. "It's just the beginning."
Senior speaker Casey Moore addressed the entire class of 2014 by recalling that everyone's freshman year was an "awkward transition period" while students gained more confidence the next year.
"Today, you have been ignited. Today, you fuel the rest of your life," he said, telling the graduates that although life could meet them with dark moments, "Always remember the sun is around the corner and never give up hope."
Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.