The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Rachel Keatley


Hello! I am Rachel Keatley, a senior double majoring in communications and journalism at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. When I’m in my hometown Woburn, Mass., I love traveling into Boston and exploring the city. I spend my free time listening to podcasts, doing DIY projects, and watching all things Bravo network related! I can’t wait to see what my senior year holds in store for me.


Words to live by: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou.


My Content

Thrift Shopping 101

Turtleneck sweaters with text: Thrift Shopping 101

Feeling bored and uninspired looking through your winter wardrobe? Spruce up your closet just in time for spring by taking a trip to your local thrift store. Retail therapy is sooo real, and I believe it’s always better to save while you spend. Whatever store you choose to thrift, you’re guaranteed to feel overwhelmed by the piles of clothes you’ll run into. Don’t let this intimidate you. Exploring the wide variety of styles and finding a piece that suits you best is actually all part of the fun.

Group Projects 101

Group Projects 101

With less than two weeks left in the semester, it’s the perfect time to start focusing your energy on preparing for the end of the semester. This year I lucked out and don’t have any tests to take during finals week. However, I do have papers and group projects that will count for a major part of my grade. Sometimes tests are nice because you take them and then you're done and never have to think about them ever again. I think projects require a bit more time and care. One of my projects is a group paper that’s due on the last day of class. 

Dealing with Homesickness

How to deal with homesickness

As the holiday season approaches, it’s natural to start feeling homesick. The colder the weather gets, the more I wish I was waking up in my bed at home. Plus, when you’re at school all the holidays begin to blur into one. I can’t even believe it’s the end of October. I haven’t even watched “Hocus Pocus” yet! Below are some of the things I do to combat my homesickness: 

Apartment vs. House

Home Sweet Home graphic

Apartment vs. House

For the past two years I have lived off campus. During my junior year, I rented an apartment in North Amherst and now in my senior year I live in a house near Amherst Center. I loved my apartment last year, but I already like my home away from home more! 

Where to Go Apple Picking

Apple picking in Amherst

Since enrolling at UMass I have always wanted to go apple picking, but never knew where to go. My friend was visiting for the long Columbus Day weekend and I was determined to find us an orchard. As I was mindlessly scrolling on my phone, I found my answer. Funnily enough, it was in the form of an Instagram post from our page @umassadmissions. In the post, I was introduced to the UMass Cold Spring Orchard Research and Education Center in Belchertown, Mass. When I saw it was less than a 25-minute drive from campus I knew I had discovered my new apple picking spot. 

8 Tips for a Busy College Student

Dily journal and takeout coffee cup, with sunflowers, seen from above

This semester, I am taking six courses versus my usual five. I’m in a combination of upper-level journalism and communications classes. My Tuesdays and Thursdays are jam-packed with four classes in a row, going from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Each subject gives a good amount of homework, too. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming when Monday rolls around every week, but these are my tips for keeping on top my work while staying relatively stress free. 

Dealing with Writer’s Block

Laptop and writer's block

Being a journalism and communication double-major, it is no surprise that most of my assignments revolve around writing. I love how writing lets me be creative and always gives me a piece to reflect on. My papers and articles supply me with the ability to read them and track what areas need improvement. When it comes to writing, the hardest part for me is always facing writer's block before I start an assignment.

DIY Bookshelf

DIY bookshelf

My favorite part about living off campus is decorating my temporary home. I recently just refurbished an old broken cabinet into a cute crackled bookshelf. It’s perfect for neatly holding my text and notebooks that were previously scattered everywhere. For this project paint was my best friend! Continue reading to see how I accomplished this and the before picture!

My Day at The Big E Fair

At the Big E state fair

Are you looking for something to do this weekend? If so, I highly suggest you travel to The Big E Fair in West Springfield, Mass. This Sunday, Sept. 30, is the last day to attend before it closes up until next year! It's about a 40-minute drive south of UMass, and is the perfect place to spend a day making memories.