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We wake up before the sun’s rays have even colored the sky and jump into the bus, groaning at the time and our foolish choices in going to bed so late. On the way there many seniors sleep with their heads against the cool bus vinyl, their bodies rocking as we bounce along the bumpy roads on the way to the ocean.

We are going to watch the sunrise at Pemaquid Point. This is the Senior Sunrise, a chance for graduating students to watch a visible metaphor; the rising of the sun as they come into their adulthood.

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Some are quiet as they find places to sit.

Some settle in and begin to get rowdy, the excitement of the days before graduation bubbling up inside of them.

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We all have sleepy faces.

As the sun begins to peak over the horizon we hush.

We watch silently as the sun inches upwards, changing the colors of the sky and the length of shadows on the ground.

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While they watch, I am thinking.

I think that one of the greatest honors of being a dorm parent is watching these students grow and mature before our eyes until one day they are adults. This makes the day especially poignant; knowing that they are soon going to be stepping away from us.

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We hop back onto the bus, having woken up quite a bit more with the cool air and the rush of adrenaline that comes with a sunrise. We shuffle on back home, for the seniors still have a project to do today and many more to finish before they graduate.

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I’d like to say to all our seniors, I am honored to have known you.

Thank you for sharing those years of your lives with us.