A Forever Club Member’s Perspective on Greenhill Traditions

Bennett Broaddus

I’ve gone to Greenhill since kindergarten. Everything I know has been Greenhill. Though weirdly, I feel as if the Greenhill I grew up with is not the same Greenhill I attend today.

School-wide pep rallies, ice cream socials, Heart on the Hill, and school spirit that infected the entire campus are all things of the past due to COVID-19 protocols and a changing campus. Even the core values I grew up with, honor, respect and compassion are now relics replaced by the values of a new administration.

I feel nostalgic for life before the pandemic; a pandemic that has removed traditions that I loved from Greenhill piece by piece.

Instead of running through the Philips Gymnasium doors on Homecoming to hundreds of screaming kids, I ran through to see just the high school; to see kids who thought they were too cool to scream and yell.  There was no faculty dance or any school-wide activity that could bring our community together. Homecoming is supposed to be a time of tradition and school spirit, but it seems as if the love for Greenhill within the student body is quickly evaporating.

COVID-19 has separated us by more than just six feet. The pandemic made it hard to meet new people and branch out. To preserve health and safety, you had to choose which friends to let into your bubble during the summer of 2020. This bubble was largely restricted to people your own age. My freshman year, pre-COVID, I was very close to the upperclassmen. Now as an upperclassman, I don’t feel that same connection.

Even more vital to the cohesiveness of Greenhill is Heart of the Hill groups. These groups of lower, middle, and upper school students have not met in over two years. I remember being excited to be the oldest in my HOH group, to pass down advice to the eighth and fourth-graders whose shoes I was once in. These groups and meetings brought the campus together, but I can no longer remember the last time I even went near the lower school.

This disconnect is not the fault of the administration, even though a lot of the blame seems to fall on the employees in the Three Chimneys Building. Both students and faculty have been faced with extreme adversity and placing blame on any individual are unfair.

It is important for us as a student body to realize that Greenhill is changing. We must roll with these changes to remain safe but also try as hard as we can to keep the traditions that make Greenhill what it is alive.

As students, it is our responsibility to be involved around campus. High five lower schoolers, be a role model for middle schoolers, connect with all grades in the high school, and be friendly to the faculty that works so hard to give us an amazing education.

With the impending construction of the new science building as well as new athletics building, Greenhill will look much different in five years than it does today. It is imperative that we as a student body view Greenhill not as the buildings and services it provides but as the community and traditions it upholds.