COVID-19 Blog

FGLI COVID-19 Stories

COVID-19 has greatly impacted many people around the world, especially first-generation and/or low-income (FGLI) students. With this special edition COVID-19 blog initiative, Rise First hopes to achieve three key objectives:

  1. raise awareness of the challenges FGLI students are experiencing during this unprecedented crisis,
  2. provide a platform for FGLI students to share their stories,
  3. offer support to the best of our ability (through financial assistance and a curated COVID-19 resources list)

Rise First is honored to be able to provide a platform for student authors to opt-in to sharing their heartfelt and inspiring experiences with others so that no one will feel alone during these trying times. The inspiring stories published here are unedited to fully reflect each author’s voice. They are weaved together by common threads of determination, hope, and a sense of community - we truly are all in this together.

The students named in the blog entries below have opted-in to display their bios and have provided headshots for publishing.

Posts from students at Brown University


COVID-19 Author Image

Student - Brown University

Last-minute cramming for my chemistry midterm, I and the rest of the Brown student body received the email we’ve been anxiously anticipating as universities around us have one by one been announcing their COVID-19 response: students are to vacate dorms by March 22nd for public health concerns. For students studying far away from home like me, this mandate meant ten days to pack up all our belongings, find storage, and book a one-way ticket home. For FLi students like me, this mandate also meant the next ten days would be spent trying to sort out the uncertain future of our financial, food, housing, and healthcare security — all while saying our abrupt emotional goodbyes to our support system of friends and university staff and faculty that we’ve developed along the way, not knowing when we would see them again in person. (And, yes, I was still expected to take my exam later that day, despite an inability to focus that had disrupted my studying for the past week already; worries about what I would do if Brown actually closed demanding my attention instead.)

The distraught that all students experienced upon hearing this announcement was valid. After all, such a sudden change in schedule is shocking, even when most of us had already accepted that Brown too would follow suit with other educational institutions. The given ten days to vacate graciously exceeded the limited move-out time frame other schools were granting students, but the first confirmed case within our community in the following days of the initial email expedited student move-out, leaving us only five days to actually pack and go.

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