April 9, 2021


Photo Courtesy: Hannah Begley
Name: Hannah Begley
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers 
Department: Business Administration; Accounting
Role at UNH: Student
Year Started at UNH: 2018

How does getting this vaccine make you feel?

Getting my vaccine was such a surreal experience. I now feel much more comfortable going home and being around my family knowing that I can’t get them sick. It feels really special that I am now part of that percent of the population who has done their part to make improvements to the spread of Covid-19.  

What does getting this vaccine mean to you?  

It means a lot to me - I am very lucky to have gotten it while I’m still on campus this semester because it gives me some reassurance that I will be more protected while I am around my peers and in my classes. Looking at the big picture too, by having this vaccine I’m not only protecting those who I know, but everyone around me. By being vaccinated, I am one less person in public who could accidentally or unknowingly transmit the virus.  

What would you say to someone who feels hesitant about getting the vaccine? 

If someone told me that they were hesitant about getting the vaccine it would be understandable! It’s very new and came to be at a rapid pace, so having some hesitation is expected. There is so much proven science and research behind these vaccines though, and that makes me really comforted knowing that what I’m having injected into my body is really going to protect me in the long run! Do some research using credible sources to get the information you need about the vaccine, and do your best to trust the medical community! Think about it - the more people we vaccinate, the sooner we will be able to come out of this pandemic and avoid the horrible casualties that came alongside it.  

What have been some of your favorite ways to stay physically active during the pandemic?  

One of my favorite things that I have done during this pandemic to stay active is taking barre classes! When we first went into lockdown, the studio offered pre-recorded workouts alongside live-streamed classes so we could all still do what we love! It’s a great way to get your mind off of things and clear your head - and all of the endorphins make you feel better afterwards, too!  

How have you been taking care of your emotional wellbeing during the pandemic?  

This pandemic has affected everyone’s lives and it took a really big toll on so many people’s emotional wellbeing. Something that really has helped me get through is having a few people in my life who I feel comfortable opening up to that will listen and offer me support. It’s very comforting knowing that there are people who love you and want what is best for you. Another key part of maintaining my emotional wellbeing was reaching out to mental health professionals when needed. If you find yourself in a spot where you feel like you may need a little more guidance than a friend could give, seeing a medical professional is a great option that can help to get your emotional wellbeing back on track.  

How do you stay connected with others?  

Lots and lots of FaceTime and Zoom calls! My entire family will sometimes all get on a Zoom and eat dinner at our respective homes, but we all keep a seat at our tables for the computer so we can chat as if it was an in-person dinner. Another thing I absolutely love is sending mail! I sent all of my friends mail over the course of quarantine and we would act as if we were pen-pals! It’s such a fun thing that brings out creativity, but also provides a sense of personal connection.  

Now that you have received the first dose of the vaccine, what is the next thing that you will be holding onto for hope?  

Getting my vaccine really gave me a sense of hope that soon we will start to decrease the severity of this pandemic, and bring life back to some sense of normalcy. The world will certainly never be “normal” like it was before, but a new normal where we don’t have to be constantly worrying if our friends and family might become severely ill after not even having prior medical conditions. It also makes me so hopeful for a future where I don’t have to worry about getting someone sick from a hug - I miss that physical connection, and I can’t wait to hug my loved ones soon! 

Do you have any positive words of encouragement for members of our audience who are feeling completely drained and burnt out from this pandemic?  

Burnout is real - it’s certainly something I have been experiencing a lot of recently. Between the stressors of school, work, and life, it’s very easy to become burnt out from the excessive amounts of stress you are carrying. I can be really hard on myself and think I am not doing enough and I end up overworking myself quite easily. I learned that taking some breaks are so crucial. I’ve learned to prioritize my time, and try to schedule one day a week where I don’t need to touch any of my school work and just focus on recharging myself. As hard as things may be, do your best to put one foot in front of the other to get through each day. Some days your best may just mean that you made it downstairs and had a cup of coffee; other days it may mean that you went on a 5 mile run and aced an exam and gave a star-studded presentation. With that said, keep doing your best, whatever that best may be. 

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