We’re All In This Together

Senior Staff Writer Lilla Gaffney Reflects on her High School Years


Class of 2021 gathered in the junior lot for a tailgate in October | photo by Lilla Gaffney

Lilla Gaffney, Staff Writer

If I was told in my eighth-grade year that I would be spending my final years of high school on a Google Meet, I would have laughed. This year clearly has not been what we anticipated as our final moments of High School. Curveball after curveball was thrown our way but in classic 2021 fashion, we picked ourselves up and continued ahead. 

Class of 2021 jumps for water bottles at freshmen year pep rally | by Veronica Mildish (Veronica Mildish)

For some reason, the class of 2021 immediately clicked as we entered the building in September of 2016. I am not sure if it was the impending fear of the years to come or the excitement that created an unbreakable bond. Although we couldn’t have guessed at the time, this bond would be what allowed us to end our senior year on a good note even when it seemed impossible. 

In 8th grade we ended the year with the boat cruise, dancing as the sunset over Boston Harbor, which is something that we all still talk about to this day. As we look forward to senior reception, we used those memories of the boat cruise event as a blueprint for what to expect. 

Freshman year brought us the DC trip and hilarious tour guides, John, Lori, and Diane, and the rivalry between the green, yellow and blue buses. Sophomore year we ended up winning the spirit stick at a pep rally, an extreme rarity to beat the senior class. At last, junior year was the year that everything changed, our worlds turned upside down. What we thought would be a 14-day vacation turned into 14 months of hybrid hell.

Sophomores winning the spirit stick at the Thanksgiving pep rally.

Even through these times, we kept our hawk spirit alive by playing games outside in the junior lot while remaining socially distanced. We felt at home in the lot, still seeing our classmates in a familiar space. 

At the beginning of this year, it was hard to be separated. Friends were isolated by cohorts and we went weeks without being able to see one another. Seniors all around the world were feeling this, but the HHS class of 2021 had something special. Time passed but we were still active in our senior group chat, finding ways to stay close. We tried to emulate the spirit of classes ahead of us, specifically the class of 2019 who showed us that school spirit was super cool. 

Finally. Yes, finally we all saw each other at the Valentine’s Day breakfast. It felt surreal to be surrounded by those we missed seeing for almost a year now. That event made us feel like no time had passed, we were finally back to our roots. We danced, laughed, and ate… the usual trio, but it felt so much different this time. Cherishing our moments with each other was something we finally learned to not take advantage of.  

Class of 2021 pushed for events and badgered any adults we could to make things happen. Although we were annoying, it paid off. In the impending weeks, we have a Field Day, Baccalaureate, Awards Night, as well as a Senior Reception. The fact that we are even having a normal graduation is amazing, although we all feel bittersweet about leaving. Events that we would not have dreamed of happening are here.