Category Archives: JustRachel

Together For Good

We aren’t always lucky enough to find a place that makes us feel at home, that makes us feel passionate about a mission, or that makes us talk about it long after we are meant to be gone – but Merrimack College is that place for so many people.

It came as no surprise to me when I found out that Merrimack’s 50 million dollar – Together For Good fundraiser, had reached its goal a whole year before it was meant to be done. And though it finished early, this doesn’t mean it should be taken lightly. This was no bake sale, no side street lemonade stand, no kids smiling at you while you drive through the neighborhood – it was a community that worked tirelessly to prove that it deserved everything it has earned thus far, and so much more.

In the four years, I was at Merrimack, the school forged me into the person I was today- and let me tell you – it was no walk in the park. It was nights out, breaking the rules, crying over doomed relationships, bawling over failed essays, and jobs that fell short. It was nights spent playing cards, and days sleeping through obligations because my body couldn’t handle the stress myself and others went through the night before on duty as a Resident Advisor. It was easy failures and hard triumphs – and it was experienced that my high school self would have never dared to do – but together, with my friends, my team, my professors, my unlikely friendships with the friars – it was through this community that I survived the most difficult period of my life.

Now I get it, you talk to anyone who went to Penn State and they will tell you “We Are!” with all the pride in the world – and sure they aren’t the only ones. I guess most colleges are meant to have that effect on people… but for some reason, I know that Merrimack is different.

it isnt because I am special, it isnt because the people there are, its because we dared to be different. we dared to be small – to be unnoticed, to build passion like a powder keg until it had no where to go but out. it isnt because of the school, its because the rest of the world underestimated what we could accomplish in such a short amount of time. – but we knew – and here we are.

At the end of the day, you could tell me that this place is like any other, but you would be wrong. The changes I have seen in four years. The triumphs, the losses, the friends we grieved for – that’s what we all take with us.

At the end of the Day, Merrimack is not just a place it is a home – and the progress we have made is only the beginning. Today we stand together, for good – but tomorrow well keep working toward a future that none of us can quite imagine yet.

My name is Rachel, just Rachel, and I for one couldn’t be more proud to be a part of Merrimack’s journey, because man, has it been a part of mine.


This post is in no way sponsored or represented by Merrimack College or its Affiliates - the perceptions in this piece are not meant to be related to the college or how it conducts itself.

Continue reading Together For Good

To the Boys I Shouldn’t Have Given My Number To

unknown: Hey beautiful.! What’s Up

me: “I’m sorry who is this?” “I am not trying to be rude”

unknown: “You are beautiful -”

me: “Thank you… who are you?”

unknown: “I’m paul, steve, joe…[insert generic name here]”

We all have those days when an ex or a non-entity texts you and you have no clue in the world who they are. For me, this has happened more than once but last night was the strangest occurrence at all.

Last night, while in class I received a text from an unknown number. A boy claiming we met at a party, but his story didn’t add up.

Now, it was not too hard to make a select number of guesses before realizing that 1. I had met this boy online and not in person. 2. nothing he was trying to sell me was true and 3. it is because of people like this that I realize that I probably shouldn’t have access to a phone two – three out of seven days a week.

See when it comes to giving out my number I tend to say why not – and regret the rest later [ I mean why else would someone invent a block button other than to annul mistakes made? right? ] wrong.

And here are 5 reasons why

  1. boy or girl – it doesn’t matter who is on the other end of the line, if you do not know who he or she is, they haven’t put the work in to be worth your time.
  2. if they start with “hey beautiful” it’s a line – don’t let this society continue to allow it.
  3. if they want a picture – wholesome or otherwise, they will ask for your social media… it’s verified – legitimate and the facts will add up.
  4. if they want you, they will ask for a date
  5. if they don’t want you-you will immediately be able to tell what they do want – then walk away.

Key Takeaways

Learn from my failures

Never give out your number while intoxicated because it truly never ends well.

And by this, I do not mean I have ever been in danger, but it is a general uncomfy feeling that could have been avoided in the first place had I had the ability to meet people the generic way rather than online.

Protect your personal info

and in general – avoid online dating because the longer you keep it online the less and less likely it is to become real – so if they don’t want a date within two weeks, they aren’t worth your time and walking away will be the best thing you can do.



As an Adult I Understand Nothing

At 22 I knew that clueless was an expectation I had for myself, but I didn’t know it would cost so darn much… and so today, in the hopes of connecting with other people that are clueless I give you… a List!

5 Things I should have been taught before 22 – but had to learn along the way

1. Insurance… it doesn’t cover the whole bill

Last night I opened some mail that I have been neglecting on my bedside table for… well, for too long. The pile consisted of random letters from my car and health insurance, my doctor, and my high school asking for money. Now here is where it gets sad. As someone who works at a company that looks at health care costs every single day, I had no idea that my copay at the doctor’s office would not cover my bill.

So for anyone else out there who didn’t know that – and growing up I doubt many of us do because no class taught me this IMPORTANT LIFE FACT so how was I to know three months later that I owe hundreds of dollars?

2. Balancing a Healthy Lifestyle

Growing up I was under the impression that 21-25 year-olds had tons of energy,

…we don’t. It was a lie. And I still haven’t figured this one out

3. Rent is Negotiable

The first week in my apartment they wanted to jack up the price. When the washer broke they were going to continue to charge us the same. When my package was broken into there was no way to monitor who did it. And when the cleanliness of the building (lack thereof) threatened bugs – nothing would have been done if we hadn’t spoken up for ourselves. And so speak up we did!

4. Know Your Worth

I had no idea what to ask for when it came to money or any form of compensation when I started working – but by doing research and talking to colleagues I figured out what worked for me and my lifestyle.

Like rent, pay is negotiable – but they can’t teach you what you are worth in a classroom so start figuring that out now.

5. How to Cook… well

don’t get me wrong I can cook – and I don’t just mean boil water – but it would have been nice to take a home economics class or something


the list goes on – the fact of the matter is that these days we aren’t learning to be independent, we aren’t learning to grow up or be adults, and all the money we put in college, yeah it gets us a job but it doesn’t teach us how to be well adjusted stable minded individuals.

Truth is that I have been in the “real world” for a while now, but that doesn’t mean anything if I can’t find the tools to truly understand it.

Today being an adult isn’t fun, even if it is worth it – but it is a learning experience. I guess I just knew what books would better prepare me for the real-life situations the Pythagorean theorem didn’t teach…

Dear Social Media Promoters

Over the years I have been friend requested by people I don’t know, people who compliment me, try to build my trust just to get me to buy into their product lines. And honestly, I am so over it.

The call usually goes “Hey Girl” as if they know me and then they proceed to tell me how I could lose 25 pounds or lengthen my hair or “be more beautiful.” Personally, this irritates me. Now don’t get me wrong I have also had friends reach out and if I had time and the parameters allowed I would certainly help them out, but if I don’t know you – I don’t want you to try to sell me something I have given no indication of needing or being interested in.

And then it gets worse!

Multiple times now – and I firmly believe this is meant to make the salesperson feel better is that they will end the chat by saying “lol okay” or “LMFAO” and this gets me kinda angry – correction it makes me highly angry because now I feel, not like they are shaking it off, but that I am being made a joke of.

Look I think I am right when I say no one wants to be laughed at – but more so this is not a professional practice. If you work in sales you are conditioned to get the sale, but this will not be done by making negative impressions.

In the last few months, I have been approached by five sales people on social media. One was a friend, whom if I wasn’t so swamped at work I would have signed on to her meeting, at least three were on Instagram and the last was on Linked In [this interaction was by far the worst] but what was horrible in four of five of these cases is that while I tried to not pay attention to their unwanted messages a few continued to reach out without my answering, and one whom I just finished talking to briefly ended the chat with “lol”.

Look long story short – how you present yourself on social media matters, how you slide into someones DM’s matters – and most of the time it should not be done – but in all cases it should be respectful and personally I think that is something that is severely lacking in the Instagram beauty industry as well as the beauty industry as a whole.

At the end of the day I may not be perfect – but what I put into my body is my choice and if I wanted to try a 90 day trial of anything – I’d reach out, but for now, I am perfectly and happily content with just being me.

“She was Asking For It”

Don’t call me gluten-free – call me a glutton for punishment

Sometimes I catch myself wondering if I was asking for it. If me passing out tired and drunk in his bed on Halloween, or me blackout drunk and naked in my own was something I wanted.

At least that is what I tell myself. After all, I did go back for more…, right?

Confession: I am guilty of being skeptical when some others come forward – I know the signs of rape, I know how women or men feel after it happens. And while we cannot make blanket statements or stereotypes I know every case is not the same – that does not make me any less skeptical of situations that don’t add up.

People tend to think sexual assault is a cut and dry case – it isn’t. And I only learned that because, while sitting in a social justice class I learned the definition of sexual assault. It reads :

but sexual assault could also pertain to the Wikipedia definition :

Sexual assault is an act in which a person sexually touches another person without that person’s consent, or coerces or physically forces a person to engage in a sexual act against their will.[1] It is a form of sexual violence which includes rape (forced vaginal, anal or oral penetration or drug facilitated sexual assault), gropingchild sexual abuse or the torture of the person in a sexual manner

In my life, there have been two or more occasions where I have fit one or both of the definitions above. Shocking, however, was the thought that I had no idea that what I had been through and how I felt when I woke up was normal of someone who had been taken advantage of.

I was 19 when it happened – and waking up the next morning shuffling out of that room walking back to my own at six o’clock in the morning wearing all black from the night before. I remember I had everything with me but my mask – and yet there was nothing I wanted to do more than hiding my face as the maintenance workers drove by – because it wasn’t what it looked like – it wasn’t a true walk of shame… but it also felt a lot worse than it was.

Flash forward two years to the first time I was truly intimate after that occasion and I was blackout drunk and found myself saying yes. But that doesn’t mean I wanted it – because even today I don’t remember getting home, getting in bed, in fact, I don’t remember anything other than that one. little. word. yes. and then the sounds that followed.

And to be honest I still grapple with that choice because no matter how high I felt when I woke up – there are days now where I feel empty and wonder if making the choice I did while I was drunk – was one I would have stuck with sober.

So why this – why now?

Well, I could ask the same. Why Kavanaugh, why Cosby, why do we keep making exceptions – why do we have to ask why Dr. Ford didn’t come forward sooner? Why are we suddenly sensitive? and why does it take so many women crying over the same name to make something happen?

Why is Alcohol or Misplaced Masculinity an Excuse and “She Was Asking For It” A Just Answer???  And Why is His Word Worth More Than Hers in a Court of Law When the Constitution Specifically Reads “WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED…”????

Look… at the end of the day I can’t blame anyone but myself for putting myself in the situations I was in. I refuse to be a victim and so I hold myself accountable… but I wasn’t asking for it. I was just trying to give someone else what they wanted because I thought it would make them like me…

I did what I did for my own personal reasons and no matter how bad it looks on paper – no matter how it fits the definition or how I define it – or what I see and hear in my nightmares… all that matters is that I am ok.

But some women aren’t – some live with what happened to them for the rest of their lives – afraid to speak up because even if the constitution says WE THE PEOPLE it doesn’t account for their life liberty and pursuit of happiness.

These days we need to stop claiming that she was asking for it… we need to stop letting “boys be boys” and we need to start holding ourselves accountable for our sins and digressions (right Judge Kavanaugh?) because if we don’t – the only thing SHE WILL BE ASKING FOR – IS JUSTICE 


If her Voice was a Song

If her voice was a song

Would your feet stand still?

or would your ears retreat in such a way that your legs could follow?


If her voice was a song

Would your vocal chords halt

and your mouth stay shut

to hear what she has to say?


If her voice was a song

would you forget the notes she wears on her skin

or would you pause for a moment and

appreciate the lines and layers of a woman

who knows how far she has been


If you met a woman

who’s voice was a song

who could breathe notes from thin or thick air

would you stop and linger there with her for a moment


if you met a woman whose voice was a song

would you listen

or would you be a coward

and run



How my English Major Lead me to a Financial Health and Wellness Company

Have you ever had a Dream 

One that felt so real – so illogically real – and yet suddenly you were living it.

It isn’t as simple as Deja Vu nor as complicated as being able to predict the future. It just simply is – and isn’t – everything your mind came up with while you were sleeping. 

I’m not saying I believe in magic – It isn’t that simple, but I do believe that we have a far greater capacity to understand trends and data than our waking minds can never comprehend. And like I said I don’t believe in magic – and miracles are only grim fairytales for those who have prayed and lost – but there is something beautiful about an impossible dream that makes me want to know more of what my future holds.

A year ago I was writing a novel

I could see the building burning, the cubicles up in flame. I could see the frantic look in his eye [the main character] when he realized the irony of an insurance company burning to the ground. I can remember the smell of Chinese food on this man’s desk and the legacy his father had built for him – and then a year later I found myself working for a company that looks at health, wellness, and finance – that talks about insurance every day – and suddenly everything was just like I had imagined it, only there was far less smoke.

Continue reading How my English Major Lead me to a Financial Health and Wellness Company

Slutty or Single – the Lack of a Middle Ground pt1

The 22 Year Single Streak

I grew up in a cul-de-sac. By the time I was 14 I was watching romantic movies and teen dramas to get a gage for what my love life could be like [in theory.] And lacking any other point of reference than High School Musical and Desperate Housewives, I set my expectations high – fell for some people I barely knew, and wished that dating culture now was more like a romance noel rather than a Jersey Shore re-run.

at 22, I have never been in love, only in like – but even then, I worry about finding someone. but the worst part, is that people keep telling you you’ll get there, but they don’t know the side steps and shortcuts you’ve taken to feel something rather than nothing.

What I have found: Dating in 2018 is hard – but it is no one persons fault, it’s the system. In 2018 apps like tinder, bumble and coffee meets bagel make it easier for young people to expand their dating options, but are your options actually expanded if everyone is just playing a game? The epic gamification of swipe style dating culture has become a vastly hit or miss system that for me, has warped my idea of meeting that dream guy at a bar by chance.

The Process

Looking at my own love life [and maybe this applies to you too] I have used all of the apps above. I have tried to find dates on bumble but am often too confident to find a suitor. So what I have found is that often times the other party either is not interested in a date or doesn’t provide enough substance for me to know I can make it through that date [this is fine, it happens.] But then – Time passes, I get bored, I delete my account – then the cycle starts again.

For me, I have essentially been stuck in a talking phase for most of my adult life – and as for the men I meet at school or in my professional life, well those never really went how I wanted them to either. In short, at any point in my life, I can view myself as one of two things – Slutty, or Single, but what I constantly ask myself is… where is the middle ground?

The Rewind

Everyone has their own level of comfort when it comes to promiscuous behavior, mine has always been on the side of the lesser -o n the few occasions I have woken up in someone else’s bed, I walked home feeling like my skin was crawling away from my bones and like I couldn’t trust myself anymore – but the point I make, albeit archaic is that, for me, I never wanted the hook up culture, but occasionally made choices that I regretted.

So have I ever followed the traditional definition of a Slut? no, but the dirty feeling doesn’t seem to go away – and that is what scares me most.

The Present Tense

Status – single, and ready to mingle

At my current age and point in life, I would like to find someone, but like many people trust is an issue. For me it is about being comfortable with myself. Waking up with a smile, or a groan before work is all I need.

I guess what I am trying to say is that right now I am looking for balance, and if someone wants to meet me half way, well then he is more than welcome to meet me in the middle.