Sarah Wish and Marissa Levey
Sarah Wish (left) and Marissa Levey (right). (Screenshot)

Two Jewish U-M students start Instagram account dedicated to supporting students during the COVID-19 crisis.

By Sarah Wish & Marissa Levey, jewish@edu writers

As University of Michigan students, we have experienced many stressors driven by the pandemic including the adjustment to online school, cancellations of milestones and loss of various experiences.

We are Sarah Wish — a University of Michigan senior from New Jersey who was abruptly sent home from her study abroad program in Denmark — and Marissa Levey — a recent University of Michigan graduate who lost her last two months of senior year including her graduation.

Through our own research and conversations with students, we realized that students everywhere were struggling. With no centralized resource to specifically support students, students did not have a way to navigate the constant influx of news and spread of misinformation during this time. We decided to create an Instagram account — sponsored by New York City-based Mount Sinai Health System — dedicated to supporting students during the pandemic.

The Instagram account, @covid19studentsupport, is a platform committed to supporting students, by students, during the pandemic. Even though we are U-M students from New Jersey, our content is geared to support all students of all backgrounds from all campuses during these hard times. We aim to share scientific evidence-based COVID-19 information, to support student mental and physical well-being, and to address common student questions and concerns about the virus. We hope this account gives students a way to navigate this trying and unprecedented time, by acknowledging the challenges our peers are facing and promoting ways to cope with these difficulties.

We aim to specifically address the unique stressors this demographic faces with content geared toward all students and young adults. Our account provides mental and physical health support, with posts about telemedicine services, destigmatizing mental illness, and free resources for improved sleep and physical activity, just to name a few. We also share unique ways to connect with loved ones who are physically distanced, such as virtual games to play and virtual date ideas.

Additionally, we promote ways to shape our individual perspectives on the circumstances impacting our age demographic, including the cancellation of summer internships or the uncertainty about the pandemic. We also post funny and relatable tweets and memes each week — because we all need comedic relief.

We are so grateful for the success of our account thus far. With more than 2,000 followers, our content has generated support from numerous colleges, health professionals and Hillels across the country.

If you’re a student or young adult interested in learning how to support their mental and physical wellbeing in quarantine, give us a follow @covid19studentsupport on Instagram! Everyone is struggling in their own ways, but know you are not alone in facing these challenges.

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