Capturing Quarantine Oral Histories
Interview with Nick Borelli



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Nicholas Borelli was born in Boston, Massachusetts and grew up in Belmont with his parents and two older brothers, John and Vincent. After graduating from Belmont High School, where Nick participated in theatre, he moved to Chicago to study film directing at Columbia College Chicago. In his senior year, before starting college, Nick directed a feature film.

As a freshman at Columbia, Nick took introductory film classes and later delved deeper into the screenwriting and directing programs and establishing the student screenwriting organization Table Write, where he serves as the Vice President. Nick has directed music videos outside of the classroom and written multiple screenplays.

In 2020, when the coronavirus caused Columbia to go on lockdown and transfer to remote learning,moved home to Massachusetts where he continued his education digitally.

Publication Date



Columbia College Chicago




Columbia College Chicago, coronavirus, relocation, isolation, remote learning, COVID-19, pandemic, film program, Chicago, Illinois, United States, Massachusetts

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Arts and Humanities | Education | History | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


Nick Borelli describes his time in the Columbia film program—settling in, on set, establishing the group Columbia Table Write org, and his campus connections. Like many students, he had conflicted feelings when he heard of the coronavirus. Nick describes his experience of moving out of his dormitory, complications he faced on the way, and his time back at home with his parents.

Nick talks about how his relationships have changed with friends and loved ones. He has reconnected with people he thought he’d never talk to again, as well as spent time trying to keep in touch with his closest friends from high school and college. He describes how he has managed his depression and a lack of motivation, and he walks us through his experience of remote learning.

An extroverted person, Nick has learned from quarantine just how much his friends mean to him. He says how, at school, “[nights alone] are more about mental check in,” concluding about quarantine, “I really do thrive off of and appreciate communication with the people I know, because I really miss everybody. Like, talking over the phone or texting—it's not the same.”

Conducted in spring 2020 by an Oral History: The Art of the Interview student, this interview with a fellow student in the class reflects on the pandemic and how it impacted their life. The interview is conducted based on the life history approach to oral history.

Interview with Nick Borelli