“So we went on break, obviously, and then we just like never came back. And I worked in a school so that kind of…stunk because I couldn’t work anymore because obviously no schools were in session right when it first happened and I work in a special needs school so it took even like a little bit longer.”– Megan O’Donnell
Megan O’Donnell is a junior studying human development and human services at Merrimack College. She was a freshman when the pandemic forced the closure of campus and elected to be a remote student for her sophomore year. O’Donnell returned to campus for the 2021-2022 school year.
During the interview, O’Donnell describes experiencing the closure of campus during her freshman year and discusses her decision to go remote as a sophomore. She talks about her daily routine during lockdown, and how it was different than prior to the pandemic. O’Donnell also describes the impact of COVID-19 on both her social life and experience with school.
Alexa Connell: How do you feel like you’ve changed since you’ve experienced a pandemic?
Megan O’Donnell: I feel like I had to spend a bunch of time with myself, that I kind of like learned a lot about myself and – being alone isn’t scary I guess.
AC: Mhm. Do you have any advice to future generations that might be experiencing or go through a pandemic that you’d want to share and you wish that you might have learned – or somebody would have told you before?
MO: Something that I would tell other people I guess is if you just follow the rules, that it’ll be a lot easier. And then something that I wish that someone told me was that it [COVID] wasn’t going to go away when things started opening up I guess because I kind of started going out a lot and then I remembered getting sick for the first time, I was like, oh my God is this COVID? But it was strep.
MO: And I was like, so scared.
AC: Was it difficult being away from classmates, or being not able to, like you said, have that one on one interaction with the teacher in person?
MO: Yeah, I definitely think it’s easier to just ask a teacher, I don’t know, like questions in person because over Zoom it gets kind of hard to talk over each other-
AC: Yup and like raise your hand and stuff?
MO: Yes. [laughter]
This interview was conducted in North Andover, Massachusetts, on November 30th, 2021 by Alexa Connell.
This interview is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License