Class of 2019: Senior Sunrise

Skijler Hutson and Zoey Greenwald


  It’s Aug. 24 at 5:43 in the morning, and, funny enough, I don’t feel awful. The interesting thing about mornings is that they are not intrinsically awful —  it’s just the waking up that makes them feel awful. I guess I never made the distinction.

   It’s 5:44 in the morning and I don’t feel awful. Actually, I feel great. I’m in my sister’s little blue car in the West Ranch parking lot, over an hour before school starts. I turn to her, and realize that this must be what goes on inside the head of a “Morning Person” such as herself. Sometimes I’m shocked to remember that they exist.

  It’s 5:45 in the morning, and I am not the only one awake. Other students of the Class of 2019 stumble languidly onto the football field. Sleepy heads trip over words, friends snuggle up in blankets, and groggy minds struggle to keep their eyes open — everybody’s come together just to watch the sun rise in its ever-symbolic pinks and golds.

Yet for all of its glory, for all of the hype over three years leading up to this event, it was still just a sunrise. The same one that happens every morning. The one I could have seen at home instead of trekking to school in the dark. But no one went just to see the sunrise — that was understood. We went to begin the last moments of this chapter in our lives. Collectively, we sat there and started to understand that we were, in the coming year, going to finish the journey we started so long ago.

  Even in their groggy stupor, most seniors recognized the relative gravity of the event.

  Ayden Mckenzie stated that she wanted “to celebrate [her] senior year,” because it was “probably the last year with [her] friends.”

  The senior sunrise is only the first of many events to come this year. There are big things like senior prom and graduation, but there are also little things that we have looked forward to for years.

 “Part of it’s, like, sitting in the senior section at rallies, which, like, is kinda dumb.” said Yael Brynjegard-Bialik, “but it feels kinda different.”

In the brightness of the sun and in the students’ golden faces, that “kinda different” made itself apparent. Made itself a friend. It told us that, yeah, this was going to be a bittersweet ending. A year of lasts. But it’s also going to be a year of firsts. Of newness and excitement.  

  I don’t think I knew that, sitting in the car with my sister this morning. She went on about senior year: “It’s ongoing. It doesn’t stop. The year doesn’t stop. Maybe… maybe it feels like one day. Like, when you’re at the senior sunset, the year’s practically over. And it just feels like it went by in the blink of an eye.”

  We’re all more awake now.