Hey! I’m Kimberly Davila, a first-year from East Los Angeles, California. I’m a new writer here for The Extras (and so excited for it). I am here to inform you about all the wonderful extracurriculars available to you on campus! With more than 500 student organizations, you will find a space on campus that suits your interests. Here’s to finding that space and making it your own!
The first week at Brown can be especially overwhelming. With move-in day, meeting your roommate, meeting about 50 people per day during orientation (probably more to be honest), and all the other aspects that come with a new environment: transitioning can be difficult! For first-generation students, or students who identify as the first in their families to attend college, this can be a challenge.
As a first-generation low-income student at Brown, I definitely went through feelings of not belonging during my first weeks at Brown. I recall calling my mom and lying to her over the phone about how much I loved Brown. However, it doesn’t have to be that way! If you identify as first-generation/low-income, a great way to find support on campus is through First-Gens@Brown. First-Gens@Brown is not just a student group on campus, but a community. First-Gens@Brown is responsible for many of the projects carried out on campus relating to support, outreach, and resources for first-generation/low-income students. Some of these projects include the “How to Brown” guidebook and the FLIP Lending Library.
The “How to Brown” guidebook is a great resource on how to navigate Brown. The guidebook breaks down the Brown experience from academics to the best dining options on campus. Not only is the guidebook super helpful, but provides you with a perspective on all that Brown has to offer. Plus, it’s accessible online and you can always go back to it! The guidebook has definitely helped me throughout my first-year and has helped me relate to other first-gens who have undergone a similar experience.
The FLIP Lending Library, another project developed by the first-gen community, is located in the Finn Reading Room on the main floor of the Rockefeller Library (aka the Rock). The FLIP lending library basically offers donated books for free and is always open. College textbooks can be (scary) expensive and the FLIP Lending Library helps alleviate some of those expenses.
Furthermore, the efforts of First-Gens@Brown and other affiliated student organizations has led to the opening of the First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center, also known as the FLi Center or FLiC. With it’s modern orange aesthetic, the FLi Center (located on the 5th floor of the Sci-Li) accommodates the First-Gens@Brown meetings (and also serves as a great study space). Not to mention, the Brown FLi Center is the first of its kind in the country!
While transitioning and getting adjusted to college life is difficult, First-Gens@Brown is an engaged student group that illuminates student experiences and voices in efforts to make Brown a place for everyone. As First-Gens@brown have put it “you may be first, but you’re not alone.”
When I call my mom now, I am not lying when I say I love Brown. I have come to call Brown home and it has been due to the support available through organizations like First-Gens@Brown. First-Gens@Brown provides for a community that supports first-generation and low-income students at Brown, while allowing you to become involved in student-led advocacy efforts.
To learn more about First-Gens@Brown or the first-gen community, visit the FLi Center website.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions, comments, concerns, suggestions, etc. Feel free to email these to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply leave them below! I would love to share my Brown experience with you all! Have a BEARable day!