Life hack: Watch the sunrise

We are fortunate enough to be situated next to Lake Michigan, which is on the east side of our campus. This makes the lakefront the ideal spot to watch the sunrise.

Now I know what you may be thinking. Why not just watch the sunset?

Sunsets are magical, but not exactly a feat to accomplish. It’s convenient, because you can easily catch a sunset on your way home from class or work, since you’re normally awake during that time.

But there is something therapeutic about driving for long lengths of time, especially if you have nowhere to go, if the windows are down, and if the sun is just starting to dip low into the horizon.

There’s something about a silence filled with nothing but music…long drives can be epic, provided that you spend them with the right people. – Michelle: A Chapter of Our Long Distance Relationship

But you have to make the effort to watch a sunrise, and that’s what makes it a feat worth accomplishing. You either have to stay up or wake up early, both of which are challenging. I have attempted both. FullSizeRender (27)

Imagine walking along a path in the dark. You stumble along though the grass, eyes adjusting to the light darkness. It’s a bit chilly. FullSizeRender (28)

Slowly, the air around you starts to thaw, and night breaks into day. Every 15 minutes yields drastic changes in the horizon, as clouds, which initially illuminated the sky, now become dark patches against young sun rays. They add mystery and depth and shadows to an otherwise obvious truth: the day is starting. Yet you’re ahead of the game, and though you want nothing better than to head back and collapse into bed (5:30AM), you also feel ready to take on the day.FullSizeRender (29)

You feel like you’re watching the world wake up. An ambitious jogger jogs past. You never noticed just how glorious the rays of sun can be, until you turn back as you trudge towards your dorm and realize just how much has changed since you last faced what was once a dark, dark canvas.

You realize that this happens every single day, and the fact that you have missed nearly all of them terrifies you. If you’ve overlooked this, what else have you overlooked? In our lives we put simple but rewarding activities off because we are too lazy, or have other things to check off on the to-do list of life.

At sunrise everything is luminous but not clear. It is those we live with and love and should know who elude us. You can love completely without complete understanding. – Norman Maclean

My advice to you:

resolve to watch the sunrise, and resolve to watch it soon. Don’t take too much time in planning it, and decide to be spontaneous one evening. Bring along a friend who doesn’t mind sitting next to you in silence, who is also eager to absorb all of that vitamin D and ruminate about life.

And if you’re like me and can’t resist watching a gorgeous sunrise to a mix that’s pretty devoid of words, check out this playlist, created by yours truly:


  1. Pingback: This Kid I Know: Christina | Catherine Zhang

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