Many Covid Semesters

Students share their stories throughout the Fall semester — their first full “COVID” semester — of triumphs and challenges


By Claire Healy, Assistant News Editor

Assistant News Editor Claire Healy documented the Fall semester of eight UMass students abroad, on campus, and across the country. For a few students, she heard their story all at once at the end of the semester, however the majority she checked in with two or three times: in September, October, and then again in December. The following are their stories.

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted students in unimaginable, and often, vastly different ways. Beginning in March 2020, colleges around the country began to close and move online, sending students into situations they could not have anticipated. What resulted was a wide variety of experiences, as students scrambled to adapt, settled into new places, and found joy in the crisis. 

The following stories have been condensed from interviews with eight students throughout the Fall 2020 semester, on the decisions they made, the challenges they faced, and the moments of joy and triumph from a semester — and year — unlike any other. 

Maddi: The responsibility of nursing students, the “simpler joys” and an island in Maine.

Michelle: ‘It’s really rewarding to help people, especially in a time like this.’