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 University of Virginia


COVID-19 Author Image

Student - University of Virginia

Although people say “to expect the unexpected,” I don’t think anybody saw COVID-19 coming, nor the subsequent effects it would have on modern society: it’s nuts. Honestly, I didn’t give it much thought for the first few weeks when the infection started and assumed it would blow over in the next few days, but one night that changed. There is something so unnerving about seeing a grocery store empty; furthermore, there have definitely been times when I have passed on buying toilet paper due to the lack of a sale, but I have never been denied it based on the fact that they didn’t have it. Normally, toilet paper is so common that I question why it’s sold at my tiny local gas station for an overpriced amount. The moment when I left Walmart without toilet paper was not the first time I had questioned humanity, but it certainly was one of the more memorable times. From headlines that I had seen, the coronavirus was closer to a nasty case of bronchitis or the common flu; however, I had never seen it being passed off as a stomach bug or a vile case of food poisoning. The mysterious cases of the disappearance of toilet paper and Lysol wipes from stores were the beginning of a very long few weeks.

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