Students get creative with their “Senior Sunrise”

After the cancellation of the annual Senior Sunrise, seniors find new ways to celebrate their last year


Erica Honer

Seniors Grettel Sainz, Quinn Mullany and Emma Shores gather at Feist Park on the first day of school.

Senior year is the year where it all ends. Granite Bay High School is rich with senior traditions that give seniors the opportunity to soak in their final moments of high school. 

On their last first day of school, seniors usually gather in the football stadium to witness the sun rise together. Unfortunately, due to Covid- 19 restrictions, however, gathering safely as a class was not possible. 

Instead, a few students organized their own Senior Sunrise in Fiest Park, independent of the school. 

“I realized that we were missing out on a lot of senior festivities and it’s something that we may never get back,” Grettel Sainz, a senior at GBHS, said. 

The question remains if organizing such an event in which seniors came together outside of school to replicate Senior Sunrise was safe and ethical for all involved. 

“I personally ensured my safety by wearing a mask and hanging out around the people that I had already been in contact with,” Sainz said. 

Others, however, decided to celebrate the sunrise by themselves or with a small group of people.

On the first day of school, many seniors rose before seven to watch the sunrise from their own home. The seniors who stayed home were mainly worried about the possibility of not being able to properly keep themselves safe if they were to go to Fiest Park. 

Maryam Mahmood, a senior at Granite Bay High School, was among those who decided it would likely be best to enjoy their last first day in the safety of their own home.

“I did not attend (Senior Sunrise at Feist Park) since I did not want to expose myself to the novel COVID virus or intentionally expose others,” Mahmood said. 

I did not attend (Senior Sunrise at Feist Park) since I did not want to expose myself to the novel COVID virus or intentionally expose others.

— Maryam Mahmood

Despite not having an authentic sunrise with the rest of her classmates, she found that enjoying the sunrise in her backyard had some unknown perks she had not previously thought of.

“I watched the sunrise from my balcony,” Mahmood said. “There were some trees blocking the sunrise but overall it added an additional naturalistic touch which I appreciated.” 

Another common way students decided to witness the sunrise was at local parks with a few other people. This way, they could feel comfortable knowing that they could properly socially distance and wear a mask. 

Senior Megan Panicker watched the sunset with two of her friends at a nearby park.

“I thought the choice I made was safer because I (knew) that my friends would be wearing a mask and social distancing,” Panicker said.

As time goes on, some students are beginning to venture off and feel safer about interacting with others.

Senior Makenna Stewart explained how she might feel comfortable in the future, joining her class traditions due to the fact that Covid-19 cases are likely to go down if stronger safety protocols are put into place. 

“The longer it has been since the main bout of (Covid-19) cases, the more I felt I could trust that the people going weren’t sick, (and) the more likely I would be to consider (joining gatherings),” Stewart said. 

Until then, how seniors may choose to enjoy their last year as a class is still debatable. Seniors can only hope for the best and enjoy what they can in the meantime.