“I realized that what my freshman year lacked wasn’t a lack of charisma or ability that made me inherently ill-suited to the freedom offered by Brown,” said Singh, who focused on relationships. international. “What I dreamed of was a community where I felt supported, valued and loved. My BOLT family gave me a space to share myself with others. They showed me what I was looking for in the other communities that I would find and build at Brown.
Both lecturers acknowledged the grief shared by members of their class based on a long and growing set of challenges during their college years and those immediately after: political upheaval and unrest, anxiety and loss during the pandemic, violence and fear, a college experience ending in isolation, to name a few.
“We left campus, we left each other,” Lo said. “We ventured into a changed and wounded world. And now, as we celebrate, we also hurt.
Still, both urged their classmates to stay open to connection and community, and to use the relationships they build to make a positive impact.
“Class of 2020, none of the magic happens without the people,” said Singh, who is now a speechwriter for Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison. “That’s the most important thing I learned at Brown. Insist on finding your people wherever you are. Insist on showing up for those who count you among their people. Show up for those you may not know. -be not even Push yourself to push the boundaries of who counts as your people and what you define as your community.
And as Lo noted, the class now has two communities to work with for change and, in the short term, celebrate over the weekend: their fellow 2020 graduates as well as the larger community of Brown alumni. “Now we can all celebrate twice as loud!”
A weekend to meet
Throughout the weekend, a number of events welcomed undergraduate alumni of the Class of 2020, while members of the class also joined 2022 graduates and alumni from other generations for campus events.
On Friday evening, the 2020 graduates ventured across campus to Sharpe’s dining hall for a final meal at Ratty, traditionally a senior week’s highlight event in Brown’s larger dining hall, and many then visited at the campus dance celebration. On Saturday afternoon, they gathered on Pembroke Field for a Blueno-themed picnic – a nod to the iconic and beloved blue bear sculpture that called campus home during their years. to Brown. On Saturday night, members were invited to reunite with classmates at a Gigs on the Grass event featuring bands and musicians from the class of 2020.
Finding classmates they had missed for two years was a recurring theme.
“Because we left so abruptly, it was hard to lose this community that you had for four years and all of a sudden start doing this really difficult pandemic on your own,” said Catherine Ohrt, a public health hub who now lives in Washington. , DC “Just being able to see everyone this weekend was totally worth it.”