The first day of senior year was perfect. We kicked off the year with a bright and early “Senior Sunrise” at about 6:30 in the morning. That morning, most of the seniors arrived when it was still dark out. We sat on the football field, covered in blankets, talking and laughing.
Some of us hadn’t seen each other over the summer so this was a nice way to reunite. Soon enough, the sun began to rise. As it rose, we knew this was the beginning of the end of our high school career, but we also knew that we were in it together, as the first senior class of Mountainside High School.
The relationships and memories I’ve created in the past three years at Mountainside have simply been unforgettable. As the first graduating class, and really as any high school class, we have been looking forward to our senior year since the first day of freshman year.
Our freshman year, hundreds of kids from the different schools in our district took a bus, and met on the football field of Mountainside. The purpose of this gathering was to meet new people and become familiar with the setting. That day, we ate lunch on the field, laughed and exchanged social media information, and met some teachers.
This was our first time meeting the people we would be friends with for the next three years, the friends we would graduate with. We all started at Mountainside our sophomore year, because that was when the school was ready for us. Many seniors, to this day, say they remember that day like it was yesterday.
For three years now, our class has been labeled as the “first graduating class of Mountainside.” At every sophomore, junior, and senior assembly for the past three years, our principal has so proudly greeted us with a loud “Hellooooo the FIRST GRADUATING CLASS OF MOUNTAINSIDE HIGH SCHOOL!”
I can speak for everyone when I say ‘this always put a smile on our faces.’ As the first graduating class, we did not have seniors to look up to, traditions to follow, traditional homecomings to attend. So yes, we deserved this last year to be something of our own.
Yes, I know we will have a postponed prom and graduation. Yes, I know there are bigger problems in the world that don’t revolve around a high school dream. But personally, I think this year was just important for so many people. I have a vivid memory of my friends and I planning our color-coordinated prom dresses with our imaginary dates in just elementary school.
When I was younger, I attended my friends’ graduations and grad parties and thought to myself, “I can’t wait.” Unfortunately, the class of 2020 won’t be experiencing this. And yes, to some it is not a big deal. “It is just a dance, you still have a college graduation.” But to some, it is a big deal and these feelings should not be invalidated.
A part of me wishes I could stay in high school forever, and repeat homecomings and football games, and live in the exhilarating NOW. Mainly because as you grow, so do responsibilities. Now, all of us are going to different colleges and branching out. In fact, most of us are never going to see each other again.
I know that a lot of my classmates, including my friends and myself, are having the same realization right now. It is hard to believe that these past few years spent together are coming to an inevitable end, and we don’t even get a proper goodbye.
We’ve created so many memories with so many wonderful people: counting down to the New Year with each other, cheering on our fellow school teams, taking pictures at fall and spring dances, participating in school events such as Powderpuff.
We all knew we had to part ways eventually, but we didn’t know it would be like this. I think we all deserved to have one final goodbye — to each other and to the school that brought us all together. We began our senior year with a sunrise, and we most definitely deserved our sunset.
Aarushi Dhamdere is a senior at Mountainside High School in Beaverton, Oregon. She will be attending University of Oregon, Eugene this fall.