Young people in the United States are living through interesting times, as the coronavirus pandemic uproots the country’s economy and changes what college will look like.

When schools sent students home in March, we asked four first-generation college students in Newark, N.J. to document this stage of their lives in images and text.

“Life really is one massive roller coaster, with spins and turns, and highs and lows. Right now, we may all be experiencing a low, but we are bound to go up sometime,” is how Jacob Amaro, a Rutgers University student, put it. Come along for the ride.

Home, which is for me the house I live in with my parents and seven siblings, has always been paradoxical in nature. At times the place I want most to be, it has also been the place I want most to run away from. Right now, I see the beauty in the feuds we have, the messes we make, the activities we do to keep ourselves busy — and having two parents who would do anything to keep us safe and happy. — Jacob Amaro.

My room currently looks like a storage room after moving out of my college dorm. I’m living in a confined apartment space with my family members with absolutely nothing to do but interact with each other. — Ashley Mendoza.

My mother cleans and polishes everything until it squeaks, and my father rehearses the same songs on his guitar. Mostly, they passively watch the news and share Facebook memes. — Yeimy Gamez Castillo.

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