Sun Rises on Senior School Year

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Jessi Salka, Arts Editor

Every day there is a beautiful sunrise awakening us to a fresh new day, but how often do high school students get to see a sunrise that awakens us to the beginning of the end, to senior year? The answer is only once.

There is one sunrise every year that marks the day the newest graduating class begins their roller coaster journey through the very last year of high school. And there is absolutely no better way to celebrate this memorable moment than waking up in the wee hours of the morning, meeting friends, cuddling in blankets on a lightly dewed field and welcoming the brand new year together. This is a common tradition at many other high schools around the nation.

“Animas high school also just started this tradition, but I think it will stick. It was refreshing to start the year appreciating the beauty of our little hometown that most of us will soon be leaving,” said Animas High School Sr. Becca Schaldach.

This year, the class of 2016 made it their mission to try and get this simple tradition started. So, as the morning of August 25  rolled around, young freshman eagerly awaited reuniting with friends in a brand new place and sophomores and juniors enjoyed every extra minute of sleep given as a privilege to high school returners. Meanwhile, the seniors gathered and pulled their sleep heavy eyes open to watch the the sun rise on their last first day of high
school. It was undoubtedly a morning of mixed emotions.

“It was a time to start building the community for our senior class, a symbolic way to begin our year together,” said Sr. Maddie Robertson.

The word of senior sunrise was initiated through the powers of Facebook, spread from one senior to the next as a way to bring the class of 2016 closer together before the hectic year truly began. Though thought of by DHS Student Council, the invitation was open to any senior in the area. A reminder that we are all in the same boat, going through a year full of excitement and “last times” all together.

Student Council also inspired some seniors to organize a Senior Sunrise adventure of their own. A few high school students modified the idea and took a night stroll up Handies Mountain to watch the morning sunrise before school.

When asked why they watched it on top of Handies instead of with the rest of the seniors in Durango Bryce Gordon said, “What’s cool about Senior Sunrise is that you can watch it from anywhere and know that all the seniors are watching the same sunrise, despite where you are. It makes you realize how connected you are to your fellow peers.”

Starting an ongoing tradition is no easy feat, but class of 2016 hopes to pass the idea on to classes yet to come. Though the first class to start Senior Sunrise in Durango, the class of 2016 certainly hopes to not be the last.

“I hope the tradition of Senior Sunrise continues and grows every year. It was such a cool way to begin the year with everyone and I think it’s an awesome way to start building a strong and connected Senior class,” said Student Body President Chloe Ciotti.

The year goes on with many sunrises in between, but none as monumental to the class of 2016. Now, the countdown begins to the Senior Sunset that will close senior year the same way it began.