Cardinals Shine a New Light on Senior Year
In the sleepy hours of Friday, August 25th, seniors of Bellaire High School did what most students couldn’t imagine: They woke up at six in the morning and came to school during the summer.
The vacant roof of Bellaire’s new garage soon became a medium of celebration as seniors trickled in to celebrate the start of the end of their high school journey. This was Bellaire’s first annual Senior Sunrise, an event where seniors mingled and caught up with their fellow upperclassmen, some of whom they hadn’t seen all summer.
One of Bellaire’s Student Council Vice Presidents, senior Karis Chen was delighted to see the event come to fruition. “It was really exciting to see how many people showed up and how excited people were to do a senior sunrise,” Chen explained. “I think it was a good way to bring together all sorts of different seniors across our grade. Not just the athletes or people who were really academic. We really got to blend together and share the sunrise.”
Coordinated food stands by the Student Council allowed seniors to savor the sweet taste of creamy donuts and assorted bagels, both of which were provided for free by Fresh and Best Donuts and the Bagel Shop Bakery respectively. Sunglasses, summer-themed props and a large photo booth picture frame allowed attendees opportunities to capture the moment in style.
Having had a particularly hard time with the early rise, senior Trenton Gardner utilized an age-old ritual to attend the event. “I woke up and I flashed my shower cold, then hot, then cold and then hot again because I had a really hard time waking up,” Gardner described. “They were selling these little sunglasses for a dollar and I bought a pair [for me] and a pair for my friend. We decorated them and we took pictures together. It was stupid and cheesy, but it was fun.”
Even faculty members joined in on the fun, with science teacher Jimmy Newland stopping by to conjure old memories and make new ones. “It was before school had actually started and there had been so much sort of negativity surrounding the start of school, that having something that was student-driven and about the students was a great mental health thing for me as a teacher,” Newland said. “As I was coming up there, I saw people leaning over the edge with their elbows up and they were looking out. It felt like a big moment of community that you know, we need.”
As the sun rose on the chatting seniors, the abyssal black sky gave way to a soft orange hue that the clouds blended into a swirl of yellow and blue. Couples huddled together to absorb the peaceful sight and niche friend groups laughed merrily while recounting the stories they’ve made. Even as the bitter end of summer approached, these old cardinals got a chance to stretch their wings.
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