I must admit that when I first heard about Senior Sunrise, I knew nothing about it. It was described to me little by little through conversations with seniors from the 2019 McKinleyville High School graduating class.
It seemed strange to me at the time, but when I received the call about the date, time, and location of the event, I was surprised at the anticipation I felt.
When I first envisioned my Senior Sunrise, I thought of a serene football field in the early morning, with a dark sky slowly lightening to the yellow and pink hues – the marks of a classic sunrise.
I woke up at 5:40 a.m. to give myself enough time to arrive at the school at 6 a.m. and quickly found a seat amongst my friends.
Yet from the very beginning, the McKinleyville High School's Senior Sunrise was completely different than how I thought it would be. The once empty football field is currently under renovation, making it impossible for students to enter. Instead, about 50 seniors and I were invited onto the soccer field near the school where some nameless man was jogging in the early morning.
Secondly, the sky was not clear enough to view the sun. Instead, seniors at McKinleyville High School were welcomed to the view of the dark night sky turning slowly to a grim grey in typical Humboldt overcast, foggy weather.
Each member of the senior class was bundled in blankets, sipping slowly on hot chocolate, and seated in lawn chairs; but, when they realized that the sunrise would be yet another misty morning, they quickly dispersed back to the warmth of their homes.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed myself by chatting amongst my friends about their summers and oncoming classes.
This was the start of our senior year. Certainly, Senior Sunrise was different than we had envisioned, yet this made it the perfect beginning for our school year. It showed us that moments of unexpectedness, while unplanned, can be a welcome surprise.
What may have been a dreary morning to some will forever be our first amusing, happy, and memorable moments as seniors.