From sunrise at the Lakefill to sunset on cherubs

The sunrise at the shore. Photo by Kevin Du

I looked at my phone and realized I had slept past my alarm. My eyelids felt heavy, and my whole body was glued to the bed like a magnet. I almost allowed myself to sink into the bed again.

However, the sunrise at the Lakefill was more alluring. I could embrace Northwestern all at once while sitting on one of the painted rocks at the shore.

So I jumped off my bed, quickly got dressed and brought a bottle of water. When I washed my face in the bathroom, I saw through the window that one part of the sky was already light pink. I was so worried that I would miss my first sunrise of my life that I sprang out of my dorm.

Under the dark blue sky, the suburban streets were empty.

As I was walking to the Lakefill, I found I was not alone. A couple of students were also on the way to the shore wearing their blankets or sweaters. I began to regret I did not call my friends to come with me. Later, my friend told me it was wise not to wake her up. Otherwise she would be “like a grumpy grandpa.”

When I arrived at the Lakefill, I chose a rock painted with a giant purple heart. I used my water bottle to prop up my phone and started to film the sunrise.

The sun hid behind the clouds, and I remembered how my friend and I walked along the Lakefill after dinner the night before. We talked about how instructors criticized our stories and how we felt overwhelmed when we read exhaustive comments on our papers.

However, without exception, we both appreciated how we grew not only as journalists, but as writers and communicators.

As the sun rose over the horizon, the sky turned from red to warm gold. My memories suddenly brought me back to the Junior Junior Olympics held on the lawn behind me. Cherubs in their team colors swirled in my mind. I remembered the running after dizzy bat, the falling on the ground after tug of war and the cheering. No matter which state we came from or nationality we had, we were all Medill cherubs. Period.

When the sun rose, bright gold light embellished the Lakefill. The glistening light reflected on the waves of Lake Michigan while birds flew by like couriers of a new day and reminders of the passing time. I suddenly felt sentimental to only have one week left in the program. Junior Junior Olympics was already three weeks ago.

On the way back to the dorm, I told myself to cherish every moment I had with my fellow cherubs, instructors and the campus. After one week, we may not share the sunrise of Northwestern, but we shall marvel at the sunrise of journalism in the future.