Rise and Shine

The City High girls cross-country team continues its long-standing tradition of freshman wakeup.


Jae Dancer

Bella Skay '23, Natalie Kuhlmann '23, Jenny Gidal '23 and Eva Reynolds '23 posing in their freshman wakeup shirts.

Silly string, Walmart runs, and subtle yawns as 20 cross-country freshmen were shaken out of bed between 4:00 and 5:00 a.m. They were only given a few minutes to get everything ready for the day, before the seniors hurried them into cars.

“I was very shocked at first,” Eva Reynolds ‘23 said. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, what is going on here?’ because I couldn’t see anything.”

Freshman wake-up is a long-standing tradition on the City High girls cross-country team. Seniors wake the freshmen to complete team bonding activities before the start of the school day. 

“It was a surprise getting woke[n] up at 4:00 in the morning,” said Natalie Kuhlmann ’23. “I knew it was coming, but I didn’t know which day it was going to happen.”

While the seniors do their best to keep this event secret, they do let the parents know ahead of time, which sometimes leads to the freshmen finding out or suspecting what is going to happen.

 “After I got woken up, the seniors made us put on a bunch of crazy neon outfit clothes, and then we went to Seven Sisters where we had a dance party at 5 in the morning.” Renolds said.“After that we had to wear these crazy hats and we rode bikes around Walmart, which was really fun.”

The seniors organized the event themselves, contacting the parents beforehand and planning out all the activities. They split up into small groups of about three or four seniors so that they had time to wake up all the freshman.

“We tried to group freshmen based on location, and we were hoping that would kind of be a random sorting of freshmen because we wanted them to get to know new girls,” Estella Brady ‘20 said. “It was a team bonding [activity].”

Despite the high mileage training of max 43 miles for the week, seniors pulled an all-nighter the night of Freshman Wakeup to organize the last minute details and to make t-shirts for the freshman to wear the next day. 

“We originally didn’t plan to stay up all night, but we just kept talking and talking,” Grace Parrott 20’ said. 

That night, Parrott hosted all the seniors at her house. 

“It was basically just had a fun girls’ sleepover without sleep,” Brady said. “It made Friday’s school day really hard, but also really fun, because all the seniors would look at each other and we’d know we’re sharing this pain of exhaustion.”