Senior Sunrise with Hailey Yates


Did you know that Arizona has one of the most beautiful sunrise and sunsets in the United States? Because of the state’s dust particles, as well as the look of the ecosystem and landscape allowing for an open sky, the colors of the sun as it rises and sets are brilliantly highlighted. Every year, the seniors at ACP High School, formerly ACP Erie, watch the sunrise a few weeks after school begins to help them realize that, like the sun, every experience they share not only in their high school career, but even as they grow into mature adults, will rise and set and a new chapter will begin. Hailey Yates, a member of the Class of 2022, shares her experiences at this annual event and how this moment has empowered as a senior.

Q: Did you enjoy seeing the sunrise and if so, what did you enjoy most about the senior sunrise?

A: While waking up and driving 30 minutes first thing in the morning is not something I typically enjoy, I had a blast at the Senior Sunrise. A couple of my friends and I were lucky enough to sleep over at another friend’s house who lives right next to school, so in the morning, we all had breakfast and drove over together. Starting the day with the Class of 2022 was an eye-opening moment for me, realizing this truly was my last year of high school, and I needed to enjoy every moment of it.

Q: Did you enjoy seeing the sunrise and if so, what did you enjoy most about the senior sunrise?

A: I would have to say the sunrise simply because the senior class will actually watch the sunset together at the end of the year, symbolizing an end to our high school journeys and the beginning of a new.

Q: Are you excited to participate in more senior events like this one? If so, which aspect of these events are you anticipating?

A: I have always been a big believer in making the most of every moment, and this year is no different. I am very excited to be a part of the first graduating class at our new campus and I’m planning to attend every event, dance, and game I can. I still find myself struggling to wrap my head around the fact that I am a senior, all the excitement associated with that fact, and I think when we have senior events, each and every one of us have this mutual feeling. This connection, as brief as it may be, is my favorite part of senior events.

Q: What would you like to see added to our annual Senior Sunrise?

A: Next year, I encourage our current junior class to plan some activities following the sunrise. After the sun was up and the senior class dispersed, my friends and I were able to go to Denny’s; however, we ended up being late to class because of the sudden rush they experienced when we all showed up. Perhaps setting up some backyard games or bringing food from home to share with everyone can extend the fun and keep everyone together.

Q: Would you rather eat a house made out of cookie dough or cotton candy and why?

A: I would rather eat a house made out of cookie dough because I love cookie dough and normally eat it with a spoon, so a house can’t be to

o bad. Although, I can’t say that having a bright, blue mouth all the time would gain me many friends, so perhaps I better hold off on that one.

As a junior, I can only imagine the mixed feelings that come with being a senior, especially the first graduating class of Arizona College Prep High School. Even as a junior, the past three years have flown by so quickly, and the thought of being a senior feels so

far away even though 2023 is right around the corner. But, it doesn’t need to take just a senior to realize how precious life is. We’ve all had those moments of realization realizing how fast things have gone by, especially when you’re older. As the years go on, a ten-year-old will become twenty, and then thirty, and so forth and so on. As cliché as it sounds, make sure to value life and live to its fullest. Make the most out of it in any way you can. It doesn’t need to be anything extravagant, and you don’t need to reach enlightenment by the age of 60. But, at least recognize to value the people around you, and cherish the significance of every breath you take, because it might be your last.

Credit to the Yearbook Team for the pictures.