West Ranch Class of 2022 Seniors welcome the start of their last high school year at the Senior Sunrise


Alyssa Chang, Lauren Guss, and Andrew Kang

   After over a year of distance learning, the 2022 senior class received their much-deserved Senior Sunrise, one of the most anticipated events for West Ranch seniors. The gathering is paired with the Senior Sunset at the end of the year, yinning the yang of Senior Sunrise and marking the conclusion to the Class of 2022’s last year of high school. As West Ranch students and staff return to a sense of routine at school, attending the event was not only a welcome return for the seniors but also a return to normalcy for everyone at West Ranch.


   On the bright morning of Aug. 20, seniors gathered on the football field at the early hour of six a.m. to celebrate the beginning of the last year of their high school careers. With hearts filled with Wildcat spirit and hands full of blankets, breakfast take-outs and lawn chairs, the 2022 senior class was able to create yet another successful Senior Sunrise. 


   “Our goal was to bring our seniors together through an event where we can all cuddle in blankets, recall warm memories and enjoy bonding with one another through watching a beautiful morning sunrise,” explained Junior ASB member Julia Quinones. 


   ASB’s hard work and dedication paid off as the seniors laughed together and enjoyed the celebration of their last year together. 


   Senior Pratika Prasad said, “There are a lot of feelings associated with the sunrise and the sunset. It is the starting of an era but also the end of an era if you will. It’s almost like beginning your chapter and you are on the edge of seeing it end. So it’s emotional but at the same time, you are just excited for everything else that’s going to happen.”


   Many seniors seem to feel the same way, as they gathered in clusters to take photos and create memories at their senior morning together. As the Senior Sunrise is a tradition that many Wildcats keep in their hearts, the current senior class inevitably longed to have this morning with their friends, especially as last year’s graduating class was not able to have one due to the pandemic. 


   “I’m lucky enough to have really great friends around me and people around me that I can share this moment with,” said Prasad happily. “I feel like it’ll just be a great start to the year.” 


   Members of the Class of 2022 clumped together as a whole class and posed for their first group photo of the year, cheering in unison, “Class of 2022!” 


   As the event concluded, some seniors headed to their first-period classes while others got into their cars to get breakfast and Starbucks with their friends before class. 


   And with this beautiful morning together, senior year, the year that these seniors have all dreamed about, officially began.