Tag Archives: school

Taking Up What We Left Behind

As i write this it is the Eve of Homecoming at Merrimack College and many are excited to come home to a college where they grew up and became who they are today, i like you to imagine what alumni must let run through their minds when they see all the changes that have occurred over the years. This goes from the oldest returning members to the class of 2018.

Everything has changed.

What bothers me as many alumni will probably attest to is the feeling of uncertainty when they return. Do people miss me? Is my legacy in tact? Was i a good person in my times here? We wonder what we have left behind after graduation and we hope they have survived in a time capsule like state for us to relish once more. We want what was ours back but we know its someone else’s now.

The clubs you may have created, the ideas that were spoken for change, the actions you may have done, they are no longer yours anymore. Someone else has taken up the mantle and seized an opportunity that you have created. It wasn’t like this was going to be a surprise, some even picked who would take over. What the issue is; you have become obsolete in a way. Your ways have made way for new methods and ideologies and it seems you have nothing left to give.

But here is where it gets good

You were the trailblazer for what is now there for others. Your excitement, your passion, your ideas; it created what they have today. You were the risk taker when you asked to improve your fundraiser methods, you were the one that started the breaking of mental health stigmas, you were the one that got a entire school on their feet for a national title. You did so much for this place and it may feel like your memory has faded.

That’s not true.

Everything they do, your efforts are recognized again and again. So i guess Homecoming is basically one big encore/ second bow. So take that bow and enjoy a weekend where you’re a young student once again.

“Once again young, but only for a day”

Saving the Best for Last

You think your best friends are the ones from your freshmen floor, first year seminar class, or even your dinning hall crew. In the course of four years, your first friends fade away from your college social circle and you see them walking through the halls or the random parties you attend during the years. In those times you feel like nothing changes but yet the actions are in motion and you lose the friends you thought you would have post grad.

I can speak from experience that i very rarely see people from my first year floor. Its not the fact that we argued or did anything wrong, we just drifted apart. It was not like i stopped talking with them, they always gave me the time of day. Its was the fact that some left, some ignore us and and others just changed; its a fact of life that change was due. I made different friends over my three years but i think one of the most memorable one i made was in senior year

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Chris here is your shout out!

I met Chris in May of 2016 during our time volunteering for graduation at Merrimack College. I knew of him based on stories told to me and the brief time i knew him in the Love Your Mellon crew before he went abroad for the spring semester of junior year. When i met him in that May i knew a lot about him while he had no idea who i was. Funny, because when i saw him in June for orientation i had no idea what his name was and he remembered everything.

Great start right?

What developed over time was a genuine friendship that transformed into a brother type relationship. We  would spend countless hours sending texts with really stupid photos to each other or we call late at night to ask what the fuck is going on in our lives after not speaking for like two weeks at a time. Yeah one of those types, the ones no one teaches you. The ones they say are mythical at times. We have been there for everything, the highs and lows and all the crazy shit that happened in senior year, stuff we would only tell in person (Hint; one involves a shoe). You cant find this anywhere else.

I like to think senior year friends/ relationships are some of the best you can have because you don’t have anything to prove anymore. The first two years of college you are reinventing yourself to fit a new mold that is being made by your experiences. By junior year the mold is solidifying and who you are and your reputation is basically set in stone. So when Senior year rolls around you know who you mesh with and who you don’t. In my case and a lot of other cases, we found someone that gets how we roll with things in life. Its the kind of bond you wanted all those years ago when you were basically a nobody looking to fit in. The bond you find as most authentic ones are indescribable to just anyone but you find a way to explain it in the end. The best things are the ones that take the longest to find in my opinion. Maybe it is the collapse of your time within the hallowed walls of college, but i feel as if you are not concerned of the little stuff as well.

You don’t worry about the schedules or activities, if anything you share in their passions and become a part of what they love.

Basically to those in senior year, the best is truly yet to come. What transpires your senior year really sets the pace for your post graduate experience. If you find someone that you never talked with until senior year and you really mesh well and creates a great aurora between you two, hold tight to that. Explore that a little further and take all the time you can to really get to know them. They will be the ones you seek out in the  what can only be described as the best of times and even the worst of times.

Even after all this time and all this searching, they were there all along

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

How to WIN at College

First off – the Movies had it All Wrong

When starting college don’t try to be the top dog – be Becca from the Bellas, be fat Amy or Patrisha or you?

Dare to be the person you are and the one you’ve probably been running like hell from since you learned that being cool meant wearing $50 jeans or better off start being the person that runs from anyone who buys $50 jeans because the ones at target are half that and they are the comfiest ish in the world!

Reeling it in

Welcome, so you want to win at college – good, now ditch that expectation because trying to win will only warp the purpose of why you are here.

Look a couple weeks ago I gave my baby bro this lecture because he was bummed that strep would keep him from “parties, girls, drinking…  oh and class” [like bro why are you paying $60k a year for class to come last, if mom heard that your butt would be shipped back home and you’d be scrubbing the house top to bottom until the chemicals got your head right.] But don’t worry that isn’t the motive today.

Today I am going to help you win at College [are you ready?]

  1. Try less hard to be someone you aren’t [I realize there are a lot of negatives there… just go with it] – I used to think that the key to being popular was being the exact opposite of who I was in high school…

But what I realized [ oh about seven minutes ] after I stepped on to my college campus was that the person I was, would be, and was meant to be all along is kinda awesome. So if you wanna know what it takes to “win at college” well sit down [or stand up] and square up – because this will be the fight of your life. [KIDDING]

2. be open to failing – I have said this before but messing up is sometimes the best way to walk face first into a closed door that could lead you to all kinds of new experiences. Think about it – you leave 5 min early to get to class and you meet 10 new people. You stay in instead of going out – you learn something new about the people in your hall. Messing up is the best way to get lost on the right streets.

3. Follow your gut [enough said]

It seems to easy to be true but being a winner isn’t about the state championship or a ring or a varsity jacket – it’s about figuring out your next step – and the one after that and the one after that. I mean look at me – I never thought I’d be working, #adulting, etc the way I am but I took chances and worked toward the door I was walking into. I won at college because I was Fat Amy, I was Becca Mitchell and most of all I was myself. I was sassy, silly, fiercely misguided, weird and an all around awesome nerd. I learned how to be myself in college – and if you learn to be yourself – well then you can win at college too.

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What it Means to Be in a Cohort

So, You’re in a cohort?

Honestly i never knew what this word meant until i enrolled in my Masters of Education degree at the beginning of 2017. Truth be told i didn’t know what to expect from this idea of a mass group of people undergoing the same requirements to obtain the same degree, it seemed very interesting to me. At the same time in my life i felt like i wasn’t doing much with my life. Yes i understand the fact i was getting my Masters but because it was at the same school i attended Undergrad it felt like nothing to me so i made a stupid rule for myself; I m not here to make friends i am here to get my degree. My goal was not to interact with the new folks and really just put my nose to the grind until graduation in May.

That plan kinda failed right out of the gate seeing as i had some friends already in the program and didn’t want to break those connections off, thus open the flood gates to new people i met along the way. The people i met along the way were so different and unique in their experiences and personal lives that it was hard not to connect, especially when it was in an awkward diversity class (Shout out to that class you know who you are).

As the weeks and months went along i realized that this cohort wasn’t what i was gonna imagine it to be. Many of the same folks had the same goal i had about not making new friends and seeing that goal become unreachable after late night shenanigans and early morning coffee runs. The definitive moment when i realized i had to be with people was one class, where out of the entire cohort only three of us had to be in and realizing that for the rest of the year this was a good core i was gonna stick with because of one random text in our message group saying a famous line from the play Les Miserables ” Do you hear the People Sing?”  (Shout out to Pat and Amanda)DYHTPS

This Cohort was one of the best things i had going for me in grad school, especially since we had all these things changing in our world it was good to have people knowing what those changes felt like. I knew when i was having a bad day, i could walk down to the office next to mine and shoot the breeze for a couple of moments of peace even if i was bothering them during their work, but i hope they appreciated me as i appreciated them.

To those in a cohort now looking to get their masters, enjoy the company of those who surround you for a couple of reasons;

One you’ll be working with them in your field so best to get to know them young

Two They are good people that really want to change the world the best way they know how, might as well help them out with that

Three You legit will never know who you will meet, i met some great friends that i will rely on for a lot things in post grad so you might as well meet them.

In the end, this is a Thank You to the people in the Merrimack College Higher Education Class of 2018 Cohort! Ya’ll Killing the game!

 

 

On “Being Prepared” for Grad School

I signed up for Grad-Advantage thinking it would prepare me for the “one year program” I had remaining in my grad school education – and to be fair, it did in some ways prepare me for what I was to set forth to do – what it didn’t prepare me for however, was the fact that I would have absolutely no life if I lived a “successful” post grad life.

Biting of More than I Could Chew

I thought I could do it all – but where I am now, relative to where I was then is an entirely different mindset. You see for me, I have to work to pay for school, and I need to go to school to do what I love (ie. Track, friends, relationships) but what they didn’t tell me is that I couldn’t be an adult – and I couldn’t be successful and also have it all.

I am currently in my second week of grad school – in fact, as I type I am currently in class receiving the same lecture I heard five times [yes five] during my undergrad career – the only difference ? now I am paying my own money to sit and ‘learn’ at half the pace I do while I am out in the field working.

that being said…

The Classroom is no Match for the Real Thing

Any working American can affirm this but the classroom is no match for real work experience. I have learned more in the past three months than I did in an entire curriculum of college or grad school and to be honest – it is a little frustrating.

Now I get it – I am on my third fourteen hour day this week – I am tired, I am crazy, and I really want my bed – but at the same time I have clear expectations and a sense of worth when it comes to my education, and I can’t be the only one that gets frustrated when the thing that is holding me back from moving up in the ranks is also the very thing that forces me to cling to the ledge of my sanity.

So did I bite off more than I can chew? Definitely – But I will adapt as I always have because I know that this education no matter how tedious it currently feels will pay off in the long run.

In the Long Run

In the long run I want it all. I want to work, to play, to fall in love and earn a salary that can help me afford the number of children I want – but in the short term I feel kind of stuck. I feel stuck because I can’t do what I love without going to work or school, but I also don’t have time after working and schooling to put my heart into what I love.

In the future – ie. next week, I hope to change my tune, but right now I just feel stuck, tired and unprepared – and while I have always known that this is where I am meant to be at this stage in my life – I really do wish I could have it all somehow… and I know I am not the only one.

I’m Engaged!

IM ENGAGED! AND OFFICIALLY OFF THE MARKET

Today I have fully committed to the love of my life –  and ladies, let me say I could not be happier  because he put three rings on it! And by ” He ” I mean the machine that put my three ring binder together….

ok lets get real for a minute – I am 22 damn years old. I don’t have time to take a 40minute bath [ don’t worry I shower religiously ] let alone work on a relationship … outside of the one I have with Netflix

yes I am dating Netflix, yes I know he is in thousands of bedrooms in America and around the world – I’ve been cheated on time and time again, I am working on it ok?!

I DIGRESS

look – we say it all the time, dating these days is hard. Yet every other damn day I see someone on my Facebook feed with a ring shinier than the sun and a smile plastered across their face. and if I had a dollar for every time an adult tells me that

it’s ok, you’ll find someone … don’t rush just focus on yourself

I’d be rich enough to buy my own ring.

Truth be told – I think its crazy that people are able to find love at this age – and don’t get me wrong I am happy for you all – but I’m also wondering how you found the time to grow up with someone so fast…

I’m not jealous, I’m confused.

Of all the possible people to date out there it often feels like the pretty ones are often [not always] assholes, the reliable ones are taken, and the others – well they aren’t into me.

I know what you’re thinking…

but Rachel you’re a catch!

and to that I would say “Thank you ! I agree!” but it isn’t about being caught – it’s about finding someone that matches your kind of crazy. And for me that means finding someone who – like my father – stuck it out and worked through it all, for better or worse, in sickness and in health – till death did us part.

But finding someone like that isn’t easy….

And yet people are getting married???? How?

I may not understand but I am not against it

These days people are starting families younger, and while this may not be a stable way to build a family [depending on your job and support system] this is a trend I see emerging.

For a while I was told that people are putting their career first and love life second, and I get it – If you Know – You Know, but for me Marriage is a pretty adult thing to be doing and with the rate of divorce these days – I feel like entering into it too quickly could be dangerous

Call me cautious, call me jealous

Maybe I am cautious but I always tell my family I am more equipped to handle an infant than I am to handle a man in my life – my reason ? THE BABY HAS AN EXCUSE FOR ITS BS BUT A FULL GROWN MAN DOES NOT.

And while it is true that dating culture – and my rocky relationship with Netflix has seemed to make me a bit more jaded than the rest I still think that I would just rather keep looking for someone that matches my crazy and keeps up with my career goals. and since I don’t know if that man exists yet… I’m calling in a place holder – and a favor from something I have loved for many years of my life –

Notice: I am Getting Engaged… In my Education

ATTENTION ALL I AM ENGAGED TO MYSELF – MY PASSIONS – AND MY STUDIES!

I know I have kept my relationship a secret for four years, but my lover is modest. But I can not keep it a secret any more – I am in love with my learning potential and I want to shout it from the rooftops! So I will

I am in love with my career, my education and myself – and I don’t need anything else

for all interested parties there will be a small ceremony in May for all who want to attend – please RSVP by following us on WordPress and on Facebook where we will continue to share announcements on the event. Thank you and good Luck in love my friends

 

Becca’s Declassified School Survival Guide

College, the place I heard about my whole life from my mom. The best 4 years of her life; filled with friends, parties, late night adventures, listening to bands in the courtyard with 200 other students, and of course LOVE!

I couldn’t wait to go to college, I had this perfect vision of what it would be like. I had it all laid out; I would make a huge group of friends, we would all stay up till 3am laughing, drinking, doing our homework together. That on the holidays we would all go to each others houses or have things like a “friends-giving”. And that we would all be like one big family.

I went in confident with high hopes that these next four years would be the ones I would never forget, and for the first semester it was! It was filled with all the things I hoped for, all the late night adventures and being one big family (I had so many new contacts in my phone my storage was getting full). It was great! I went to sleep with a big smile on my face every night because I made it happen, ME! And I only highlight that because in high school I was quiet and did not really care for all the students around me, and I low-key kind of regret. But for college I couldn’t wait to leave, start fresh, and really discover new things about me!

As the years went on, I switched friend groups, people transferred, people changed, I changed…. College started to become this place that I suddenly could not wait to leave and somewhat forget. By the end it looked nothing like the vision I came into school with, but yet I still didn’t mind how it turned out. That just because it wasn’t great like what I had always imagined, it was still great but in its own way.

“I realized that living with so many expectations does more harm than good. Its nice to have ideas and maybe an outline for life and certain things, but lives best moments happen unexpectedly. So just live!”

But if there were a few things I could warn freshmen year me about they would be……

  1. SAVE MONEY
    • SAVE SAVE SAVE!!! College is expensive!!! From text books, to alcohol, and especially food!!! I really wish I worked more before and during college, It would have defiantly been worth the hard work and sucky hours, but beats being a poor college student!
  2. Go out
    • Even if you don’t feel like going out GO OUT! Especially when you go to school in New England and half the year its too cold to go outside in winter coats let alone in skimpy party clothes. I do regret not going out more the first 2 years of school (when it was actually fun to go out at Merrimack!(true OG merrimack people will know what I mean). I was anxious most nights about so many things that I always told myself I’d just go out next weekend but then it would be the same thing the next. So go out, have fun, meet people, just let loose!
  3. SAY NO TO THE LATE NIGHT SNACKS!!!! 
    • O.M.G. DO NOT EAT THE LATE NIGHT MUNCHIES!!!!! I repeat do not eat the late night MUNCHIES!!! You will regret them in 3 years!!!!!
  4. Don’t be afraid to truly be yourself because in an environment of over 4,000 people you are bound to find someone just as odd as yourself.
    • I went through my fair share of friends in college, but hey thats the beauty of college right? So many people, there is always a chance to meet someone new. But at a school with only 4,000 students (I know that sounds like a lot but its really not!!!) by the time you are a senior you pretty much know everyone. But within those 4,000 students you are always bound to find other people who like and do the same things you do. So don’t stress so much about trying to make friends. It will happen over time I promise!
  5. GO FAR AWAY!!!!
    • If there is one thing I would do differently in college, this would be it. GO FAR AWAY!!! When it came to picking colleges I was 100% sure I didn’t want to go too far away from home. I don’t know if it was because I had separation anxiety or what; but I ended up going to school 30 minutes away from home.(so tell me why I paid for housing!!! Just kidding, living with roommates is what made me grow the most!!) I should have gone further away and seen the world, maybe Italy or Hawaii, but should not have stayed so close to home, it was definitely a crutch
  6. Don’t live with regrets when it comes to your feelings
    • When I went away to school I imagined I’d find love. Like I said I grew up hearing all about the boyfriends and loves my mom had in college. All the memories of the group ski trips they’d all go one, the memories of her special someone meeting her parents, and wearing their jerseys at football games. I was so ready for me to create my own memories like those, but there was a small problem…….. ALL THE GUYS IN MY GENERATION ARE F*** BOYS (sorry not sorry). But there were a few guys that got away through out the 4 years there.
    • I learned shortly after falling head over heels for a guy, to never live with regrets and if you have feelings for someone tell them before it’s too late (and they transfer). After that, telling guys how I felt became easier. Because nothing was more painful than living with the feeling of “what if.”

I soon grew up from freshmen year me and really started to accept the fact that all things happen for a reason. No matter how shitty they feel, no matter how much you don’t want change to come, change is good. But these 6 tips are ones to live by for myself, college is where I did most of my growing, it was painful sometimes, but so worth it!

So even though college was NOTHING like I expected,it pointed me in the right direction for my future, and taught some of the most meaningful lessons that I will never forget.