COVID@College: Guohui, Michelle, and Shirley

By Yujia Liao and Selin Tukel, Posted March 29th, 2021

Video by Yujia Liao

What is your name, university, and year?

Guohui: Hi guys. My name is Guohui. I am from Mount Holyoke College and I am currently a junior major in economics and psychology.

Michelle: My name is Huanying and you can also call me Michelle. I’m also from Mount Holyoke College and major in Economics.

Shirley: My name is Ruilin and you can also can me Shirley and I am also from Mount Holyoke with a math major.”

What course of action has your university chosen to take regarding COVID-19? How do you feel about this?

Guohui: I remember like back in March (last year), like when the situation was getting really bad, the school actually changed classes to remotely.

Michelle: Yeah, we have to, like we can come back to our homeland to take the course.

Guohui: According to my friend who still lived on campus when we were back in China, she told me that the school, or it was recommended to take the Covid testing twice a week to make sure that everybody is not positive on test results. And also, the dining service is for taking out only.”

Do you personally agree with this stance?

Guohui: Well, I don’t know about the school policies because I don’t live on campus, but I feel like even though it is not free for most people, it is safe, so I actually agree with the school and what the school does.

Michelle: And we have choice, we don’t have to stay.

Guohui: It doesn’t really matter for us because we are currently at home, but for them (on campus), it probably will be somewhat troublesome.

“We have choice, we don’t have to stay.”

What is your living situation at your university? On-campus, off-campus, staying at home? What are the safety precautions being implemented?

Guohui: I personally feel like the coronavirus is gone in China because right now I feel like there is nothing making any difference. Even though the government asks to wear masks, many people don’t really do that.

Michelle: We have to wear masks in the crowded public and public transportations, like malls and cinemas.

Guohui: Yeah, every restaurant is open, every mall is open, everything is open, so like people are not concerning about the pandemic right now, comparing to last March.

Michelle: Everyone now in China has health code in our WeChat and Alipay in order to make sure that we are healthy now.

Guohui: So every time when you are entering some buildings, you just need to show your health code and if it is green, you are fine off to go. But if it is red, you are in trouble, I guess.

How has this transition impacted your educational career? (Online, limited in-person classrooms, etc.) Will this impact your track to graduation and how has using online learning changed your educational experience? How do you feel about this?

Guohui: I have to talk about this. I was planning to study abroad in Japan so that is partially the reason why I came to Mount Holyoke since it has really great exchange programs. But now because of the pandemic, I am not able to go to Japan anymore. I applied twice for the study abroad program, but they were all canceled out.

I am not really used to studying remotely because I feel like it is not efficient. If we are back to campus, we can do real labs, like computer program, art studio. But in my home, I don’t have any program, like software. And the workload is less when I study from home.”

“I personally feel like the coronavirus is gone in China.”

What has been the most difficult aspect of your school’s transition?

Shirley: I think class time is the most difficult aspect for me. I have classes from 1am to 4am, which is a really bad time for me, because I need to stay up for almost the whole night. It is really hard.

Michelle: I think I cannot fully concentrate in the remote class. Maybe it is asynchronous, and it will change to record, so I will complete assignments, reports, and recordings at the final moment.

Guohui: As for me, I think is the VPN. Since I have to access google through VPN and also I have to log on zoom when I have class. Especially when some professors like to use google docs to share some documents with us. When I use VPN and open zoom at the same time, zoom just keeps kicking me out all the time. Sometimes I was logged out 5 times during a session of one hour and 15 minutes, like that is insane.

How has COVID-19 impacted your friendships/social life at school? Extracurriculars?

Michelle: We seldom meet our school mates in our college, but we have more chances to meet friends in our city.

Guohui: Even though Silvia and I are from the same city, we seldom go out, like hanging out with each other.

Do you see the situation at your university changing in the near future?

“Guohui: I asked my advisor and she said she was optimistic about the future so she felt like we would have in-person meetings next semester, but I am not sure. Hopefully, we can go back to campus because that would be my senior year. We miss campus.

“We miss campus.”

What would you recommend for students who are struggling to adjust to this new educational experience? Do you have any other personal stories you would like to share?

“Shirley: Keep safe.

Guohui: Suck it up.
Michelle: Take the vaccine.”

If you are interested in sharing your story, please contact Selin Tukel ( for more details.