Seniors Socially Distance at the Top of the World

Krisha Konchadi and Clara Ferreira Lopes

The Top of the World, Laguna Beach, is the traditional spot that most Irvine High schools host their senior sunrise, because of the local shops and breakfast spots nearby, and the breathtaking view of the ocean and sky from high elevation. 

A group of seniors came together to host a student-run senior sunrise on Aug. 19 at the Top of the World, Laguna Beach. Keeping up with the yearly tradition that was cancelled because of COVID-19 restrictions, seniors Lily Robertson and Yousseff Yassin collaborated and hosted the event.

“So I was kinda just thinking every year everyone gets a senior sunrise, and I realized since the effect of Coronavirus, we wouldn’t be able to have one this year…held through the school, so I kind of texted [Yassin] ‘would you be down to make our own senior sunrise?’” Robertson said.

Social media was a big help for Robertson and Yassin when advertising for the event. Even though people were unable to use the traditional picnic form of senior sunrise, they spent their time bonding and laughing about their three years of high school memories and also took pictures to remember the candid moments of the sunrise.

“Even though you are just watching the sun, I thought it was important to go because it might be the only senior event we will have in a while,” senior Hope Paredes said. “I was a little surprised at the turnout. I thought there were going to be actually less people since COVID, but I was really glad at how many people showed up.”

Even though the seniors were constantly checked on by the hosts to make sure everyone had masks and were respecting social distancing guidelines, many seniors opted out of the sunrise out of fear of other students’ irresponsibilities. 

“I felt excited when I saw people posting that senior sunrise was still going to take place and gave me hope for a nice senior year,” senior Pranathi Kollolli said. “Then later I found out it wasn’t something Portola organized, so I was not sure how safe it would actually be.”

Seniors missing out on many last-year traditions is what provokes the constant battle between trying to have a memorable final year of high school while maintaining health and wellness.

“It’s our last year of high school; it’s kind of a tradition to have senior events. It’s kind of like our last point of childhood before we reach the next life point,” Robertson said.