These Are The Hours: A Tribute to the Class of 2021

An extract from Editor-in-Chief, Gloria Greenfield’s, personal blog about what could have been for senior year


The faces of the babies that had not learned to dream big yet, but always knew they wanted to leave their handprint on the world.

      These are the years  we will remember. These are the months we will hold dearest in our hearts. These are the days we should not have taken for granted, yet, we so effortlessly and so mistakenly did. 

  I remember my mom telling me how I need to stop growing up, that she wishes she could make time slow down. I remember my dad telling me how I am his little girl, and it is so hard to see me grow up and that it just came out of nowhere, yet, it really didn’t; he just didn’t notice it until now. When my older brother always knew what middle and high school would be like before I did because we are two years apart. I remember the words that came out for the first time of my little brother. 

  And now we are here. It is almost graduation day, and it is actually not like I dreamed of. Honestly, it is very discouraging, but I’m hoping this letter could meet you where you are and lift you up with encouragement. 

  These are the hours I remember what it was like to anticipate going into high school because all the movies made it out to be something it actually wasn’t. The rush of excitement on the first day of freshman year. How I gelled back my curls into a half up half down hairstyle, applied the slightest bit of mascara and lipgloss, laced up my new sneakers my dad bought for me the weekend before and rushed out the door in a quick “Bye guys! I love you.” How the drive with my friend to school was so nerve-wracking, yet, exciting all rolled into one. 

  These are the hours where I remember my sparkly black and white dress, black heels, and little clutch my mom let me borrow because I thought it was just so pretty. How she filled it with gum, lip gloss, and a little money to spend if I needed it. How my best friend and I took photos in the parking lot before it was time to drive off to homecoming. These are the hours where we heard the corniest music play, but we were with those we loved, so we danced and sang like no one was watching. 

  These are the hours where I remember waking up on the day of love and always wanting to feel appreciated. My dad always made sure a card, roses, teddy bears, and candles decorated the table for me in the morning. 

  These are the hours I remember the walk home on Valentine’s Day 2018 and getting a phone call asking where I was and to get home fast because a shooting happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. I remember how my heart sank to my stomach and how I fumbled to grab my phone to find the contacts app to text my friend to see if she was safe. I remember how I battled the thought to run back in the direction I came from to pick up my little brother from school because I wasn’t sure if it was safe to leave him there. The aftermath. The news stories. The lights and cameras, and the movement started. Yes, I remember all of that. I remember getting the text that an old friend of mine passed, but not in vain. A hero is how we remember Peter. 

   These are the hours when I really wondered what the true meaning of love was at the young age of 15, and learned a small inkling of it for a short while. 

  These are the hours where I remember all the small details. First crushes, First kisses. First dates. 

  These are the hours where I remember my sweet sixteen and all that went into it. The dress and the cake and the music and the ambiance. These hours came and went, yet, I still remember them like it was yesterday. 

  These are the hours where I remember getting my first job and the tan that came with it. These are the hours where I remember cramming for tests and staying up late for homework. These are the hours. 

  These are the hours where I remember my first heartbreak and the weeks it took me to accept it and move past it. These are the hours I remember crying into the pages of my journal, slowly watching my book come along. 


  And then, the pandemic happened. And then, there was nothing. I felt nothing.


  Then came the dark hours of fear. Then came the dark hours of hopelessness and anger and confusion. 


   So, no more hours of prepping for homecoming, senior step-up day, pep rallies, and field trips. Lunches in the cafeteria with friends, laughing in the halls between classes, and rushing before your teacher caught you at the late bell. No passing notes in class and flirting in the sticky notes. No more drives in and out of the senior parking lot. No more football games and baseball games and late-night parties. 

  It is March 2021 now, and in a few days, it will be one year since all of this pain happened in the world. And as much as I hate to be selfish and think about myself and how I missed out on so much, I have to remember that I am not alone and that so many have it so much worse.

  But for now, I remember all the hours I would have stayed after school working on the school paper since I am now the Editor-in-Chief. These are the hours of what could have been.

 We could have danced at homecoming one last time. We could have partied at prom. We could have hugged our friends one last time. 

  I guess I can unsave the prom dress pins on my Pinboard. I can stop fantasizing about how I will get asked to prom, and I can definitely push away the thought of tripping on my gown at graduation because I am too short. 

These are the hours where I’m losing friends left and right. Losing chances at happy endings because I am too scared to put up a fight.

  These are the hours I plan to go to college with my best friend.


  These hours are long. I’m waiting patiently for good. I can almost reach out and grab it. 


  I don’t know what is next, but I know what has happened, and I know it has made me who I am. I know that I am finding myself. 


  Well, these are the years, the months, the weeks, the days, the hours and minutes and seconds and milliseconds we should all hold dear because we so mistakenly took them for granted.