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Abdelmoneim, Omar

Interview date: December 6, 2020
Interviewee: Omar Abdelmoneim
Interviewer: Vincent Sauchelli
Transcriber/Summarizer: Vincent Sauchelli, Monmouth University Student

00:03 Lead 

  • Interviewer introduces the project 

00:55 Narrator introduces himself 

  • Narrator provides a brief, basic background of himself  

01:40 What year are you in at Monmouth, what is your degree? 

  • Health studies major, technically a senior, this is sixth year in college 

02:40 What was the most shocking or surprising aspect about pursuing your degree? 

  • Always wanted to work in medical field so was not really shocked  
  • Learned how to believe in himself pursuing this degree as well as his capabilities 

03:00 So you’ve learned a bit about yourself here at Monmouth along with health studies? 

  • He learned about his capabilities and not to doubt himself and to challenge himself to want more out of himself 

03:40 What do you like most about pursuing your degree? 

  • Money and benefits is an aspect, but being able to help people is what matters the most 

04:30 What do you like least about pursuing your degree? 

  • The tediousness of the degree and the amount of work required  

05:00 If you were in charge of the program would you change anything? 

  • Would require less of a focus on the seminar and more on internship and hands-on experience 

06:10 Have you been a student at Monmouth since you were a freshman? 

Transferred to Monmouth from Brookdale Community College 

06:40 What was it like being a student at Brookdale compared to now at Monmouth? 

  • You do not get the “college experience” at a school like Brookdale 
  • Living on campus, getting to know roommates, Greek life and clubs 
  • Brookdale was depressing, like an extension of high school in regard to the atmosphere 

08:15 When you came to Monmouth did you get involved in Greek life, clubs, extracurriculars? 

  • Started extracurriculars, wish he got here sooner but he chose to stay behind for other people 
  • Greek life was suspended so he could not experience Greek life as much as he wanted to 
  • Not much time to join clubs with the amount of work but got to participate in some extracurriculars  

09:55 How did Brookdale prepare you to be successful at Monmouth? 

  • Did not care much about studying at Brookdale, like in high school, did not do much work and was failing classes at first 
  • Brookdale did not set him up for anything but allowed him to learn how to take school more seriously,  
  • He found desire to keep pushing within himself 

11:45 What made you want to move on from Brookdale to Monmouth? 

  • There was a mix of motivation 
  • Mostly his family, they are all educated with degrees, as well as gaining more knowledge 

13:50 Do you have any younger siblings that have been inspired by you going to college? 

  • Little brothers look up to him but are on their own paths 
  • His little sister sees how seriously he takes school, she is motivated by his work ethic to become a doctor too 
  • This is incentive for him to keep pushing 

15:38 What do you think it will mean to your family to see you graduate college? 

  • Two of his cousins are doctors, other family members work in finance 
  • It is not an easy accomplishment becoming a doctor and this will make his family proud of him, especially his mother, which will make him proud as well 

17:30 How many credits did you have when you came to Monmouth or what academic year were you in? 

  • Had sixty credits, technically going into junior year 
  • Was unsure of what he wanted to do at Brookdale, psychology, business, computer science, decided on biology but could not handle it 
  • Ended up becoming health studies major and it worked out for him 

18:45 How did you find your way to health studies? What led you there and convinced you that it was for you? 

  • Always wanted to do something health related 
  • Keeping the goal of helping people in mind 
  • Health studies was an easier option on his stress levels and mental health 

20:10 It might be safe to say it spoke to you more? 

  • Became accustomed to the health studies major quickly 

20:37 What made you choose to come to Monmouth as opposed to another institution? 

  • It was mainly friends that attracted him to Monmouth 
  • Saw his friends loving the university 
  • Close to home, nice balance close to home and meeting new people from different places 

21:50 So you seem like you have had a pretty good experience at Monmouth? 

  • So far, it has been awesome 

21:57 Has Monmouth lived up to expectations, not lived up to expectations, or been something different from what you expected? 

  • Expectations for Monmouth were high 
  • Wanted to have the college experience but unfortunately came a little too late 
  • Could not dorm, people already had groups, it was hard to meet people and go out, this was a bit of a letdown that could have made his experience better 

23:11 What would you tell students as to why they should come to Monmouth? 

  • People should follow their heart 
  • College is a once in a lifetime experience, hopes that people understand this and they make the most of it 
  • Emphasized that with the experience, school work is just as important 

25:00 That is definitely a good message to give to people. 

  • We have one life, one college experience, people have to do it the right way, you make lifelong friends while at college 
  • Experience is the most important aspect that progresses people in life 

26:10 Have you ever lived on campus, close by, or commuted from home? 

  • Lived off campus, nearby in Deal 
  • Did not have someone behind him telling him what to do, had to learn how to be more responsible but it was necessary 

27:15 You lived by Monmouth your whole time as a student here? 

  • Lived by Monmouth for one year 
  • Felt like he could not afford living near campus, could not find people to live with 

27:55 What has it been like commuting from home? How is that different from living nearby? 

  • It was easier living by school, student center and library were close by and more accessible, commuting from home made these resources farther away 
  • Was always in the student center, studying and getting work done 

29:19 Would you say you have a preference between living nearby or at home and why is your preference what you prefer? 

  • Would prefer to live near campus 
  • Always had a place to stay near school, but did not want to feel like a burden to people 
  • It was easier living on his own and having access to school resources 

30:21 How did the schedule change affect you from Brookdale to Monmouth? Easy or difficult? And was there anything you had to drastically change once coming to Monmouth? 

  • Felt like teachers at Brookdale were not challenging him, they did not take things seriously 
  • Brookdale was super easy but needed more of a challenge 
  • Monmouth was more of a challenge but also a bit complicated, it was a big adjustment to get used to  

32:00 How do professors at Monmouth compare to those you describe from Brookdale? 

  • Professors at Monmouth took their jobs more seriously 
  • Enjoyed being with professors who are passionate about what their teaching 
  • Recalls how a chemistry professor at Monmouth would always be happy to help, this pushed him further to take things seriously as he did not want to let professors down 

34:00 How many classes are you taking this semester? 

  • Due to less classes required, taking four classes now and four next semester 
  • Five classes can be a little rough, balancing work and maintaining grades 

34:52 How does your schedule right now compare to other schedules you’ve had at Monmouth? 

  • Usually took five classes in a semester, one time took six and it was too much 
  • Students should be full time, but take only what they could handle 

36:00 Have you taken summer or winter courses? How do those compare to a typical semester? 

  • Has taken summer classes, at most three 
  • Main difference is six weeks as opposed to fourteen, there is more work to do in less time 

37:00 Have you also had to balance working with school? If so, how and what kind of jobs? 

  • At first had a summer job as an ice cream man, made money to last throughout the school year 
  • Now had to balance boxing hobby, diet, and working in an old people’s home 
  • Boxing was a good distraction from stress, and working old people’s home is for experience in health studies 

39:30 How does the work you’re doing now fit your major and prepare you for your future? 

  • Job is to help people, these are not ordinary people, they have dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s 
  • This job is difficult but prepares him for the variety of people he will work with in a hospital 
  • This job teaches him to have patience by dealing with elderly people who have health conditions 

41:30 Do you plan on going on to further your education after Monmouth? 

  • Looking into medical programs outside the country 
  • Looking into physician’s assistant schools and nursing schools 
  • Going to med school requires big sacrifices and he willing to make them  

43:00 Where is Saint Kitts? How did you find interest in this place? 

  • Saint Kitts is in the Caribbean 
  • Cousins went to school there, they loved it, this relates to his ideology about the experience of school 

43:45 How has COVID affected your education at Monmouth University? 

  • At first he thought he would love taking class at home 
  • Being at home makes him lazy and distracted easily 
  • Needs to be present in class to learn best 

45:00 How has hands-on been affected by COVID? 

  • Hand-on learning such as labs are more difficult now 
  • You really need to be present in lab to learn best 
  • Sees his friends struggling with their labs 

45:50 What is most difficult about school during COVID? 

  • Distractions, there is so much going on 
  • Wants to spend time with family and does not want to miss out 

Page Break 

46:20 How do you cope with distractions? 

  • It is hard with the lack of resources such as the student center 
  • Will study with friend who live close by to campus but not so much to avoid getting sick 

47:15 Talking about pre-COVID times, what were some challenges then, and how did you cope with them? 

  • When he did not understand things he would freak out 
  • Sitting down with professor during office hours was helpful but cannot do that now 
  • Needs to be present and near the professor to learn better 

48:15 So you’re kind of at a disadvantage now? 

  • Yes, a big disadvantage, could get work done in the student center but distractions at home can be too much 

48:40 What would you say about the COVID protocol that has been implemented on campus? 

  • Likes how the President of Monmouth is taking the pandemic seriously 
  • Thinks he is doing a great job, as well as teachers who are teaching remotely 

49:40 Would you change anything about the protocol? 

  • No, reiterate how the President is doing a great job 
  • Closing down when necessary and keeping students in the loop 

50:00 Is there anything you would like to add that you forgot who felt was not addressed? 

50:30 Narrator adds his final remarks 

  • First, do not stay behind in life for other people, go to college for you 
  • Staying behind for ex-girlfriend and not getting college experience was not worth it in his opinion 

50:54 – 50:57 (Video Lag) 

  • When you are going to college, do it for you, other people will stay in your life if they are meant to 
  • Follow your heart and follow your dreams, let nothing or nobody hold you back, even if people mean the world to you 
  • Second, take every second to appreciate the university and its resources 
  • Professors, student centers, small college where it is easy to make friends who might last a lifetime 
  • Lastly, take college seriously, get work done then have fun 

52:30 Thank you to the Narrator 

  • Interviewer thanks narrator, on behalf of self, Oral History Independent Study and Monmouth Memories Oral History Program for time and effort today 
  • Narrator thanks interviewer for allowing him to participate 
  • Interviewer praises the great participant that the Narrator has been throughout the interview process

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