FC: in loving memory of Rachel
1: Dear Swetts, We hope with this, we can share some of our wonderful memories of Rachel at Columbia with you. We'll always cherish the times we had with her. Love, Rachel's friends at Columbia
2: E4D38D | We love you
4: Saying that College would have never been the same without you is such an understatement. Rachel, you helped me to not be afraid of who I am by always loving yourself and showing me how to enjoy life to the fullest always. I love you always, Galaxy
5: Rachel, I've started this note so many times, only to keep erasing and starting over! Where and what are the words? How do you officially, definitively say goodbye? I'm sure in moments like this, a few, heartfelt words is probably best. Let me say this: you were an INVALUABLE part of my first-year experience at Columbia. Carman 5 was absolutely the best, and a lot of it was due to your doing, your efforts. You were extremely funny, creative, smart, spontaneous, kind...I know your parents and your family are so proud of the lady you were. I seriously miss you. I seriously love you. There's no way I'm ever forgetting you. Love, et
6: My fondest memory of Rachel took place around November in Carmen 5 and I remember I had said something about not liking Christmas. I remember her thinking that I was insane for not liking the best holidays of the year. And that December, she hosted the most organized and cheerful secret santa I've ever participated in. As I said, I'm not really a big fan of Christmas, but the Rachel's Secret Santa really did restore some of my faith in the holiday. Rachel was a great person and is deeply missed. I'm glad I had the chance to get to know her. - Julia
7: I only had the fortune of meeting Rachel a handful of times but those were enough for me to understand her genuine personality. I remember saying to Sejal how refreshing it was to be around someone who is so down to earth and just wants to enjoy and make the absolute most out of every moment. I'll always remember those times. - Jason
9: Freshman year in college is one of those times in life that are destined to leave a mark in one's life. And that's what happened for all of us residing in Carman 5. One of the reasons why freshman year was so special for all of us was Rachel - she positively impacted the lives of all of us in so many different ways! Being obsessed with Christmas, and a true believer in Santa Claus, Rachel organized a legendary Christmas party. Her room and Galaxy's were emptied out of all the furniture, including their beds, to leave room for a Christmas Tree and various decorations. The party was ended by a Columbia guard before the it even really started, but it was nonetheless a fond memory we carry with us. Rachel contribution to the community of the floor was priceless - another example is of when she organized a Secret Santa for the finals' week. As a Resident Advisor, I understand the importance of creating a community atmosphere among first years - and I can honestly say that Rachel was one of the people who really made a difference for the entire community of Carman 5. I remember that I even talked about her in my interview to become an RA, saying how the things she organized for the floor influenced my decision of applying to be an RA. Although it's hard to choose among all the good memories I have of Rachel, the most valuable one for me is represented by the countless times I found refuge in her room. Often, when tired or challenged by college life, I would pop in Rachel's room for support. So many times Rachel made me laugh and forget about my troubles! After freshman year, I found myself thinking back to the good times in Rachel's room. I missed our times together, the jokes, the support. Sometimes, I would find myself laughing out loud remembering things she had told me. There are few people who really made an impact in my time at Columbia, and Rachel was one of them. - Francesca
10: Rachel Swett April 29, 2008 at 1:03pm I love you. --- I love you too. Always.
11: Dear Rachel, "Rachipoo," I wish that calling you Rachipoo one more time would result in the typical reaction you used to have -- an angry look, usually countered with your smiling eyes, and of course some sort of "Sejayjayaya" comeback.Lately, Rachel, I've been wishing for a lot of those things that I took for granted everyday. Just the simple things - letting me move in freshman year, knowing you'd drop by multiple times a day just because you were bored and you knew I'd be procrastinating, Thursday night marathons of Grey's and Private Practice and Chipotle, with lots of guacamole and false promises to go to the gym the next day, girl talk and future plans, borrowing clothes, going out, riding the bull, six flags, being beautiful candy ;), the german boot, the special CA card, not remembering much and untagging each one of your hundreds of facebook pictures, taking care of each other, running into each other at 3am pee sessions and ending up at JJ's, trying to raise our fishes and hide from McBain's mice, even talking about interesting psychology cases and occasionally doing work, especially those "I see you" texts in Butler, playing in the snow, shopping and lots of unhealthy, expensive food and inside jokes and warm hugs and endless skype sessions.(you get the idea) I took each one of those moments for granted and now they replay in my mind, sometimes I can even relive them in my dreams. I know none of these memories do our friendship any justice, but each one of them reminds me how special our friendship truly is. I know I'm so lucky to have met you and to have you as one of my best friends. I love you so much Rachel and I miss you every single day. It breaks my heart to know that the room next to mine will be empty all of next year, but I promise you that I will never forget you. You've taught me so much about the important things in life - living in the present, enjoying every single day, and letting our inner kids out every once in awhile. No amount of lectures and tests could've taught me that (good thing we didn't always go!) and I owe you so much for shaping who I am today. You were a beautiful, loving, intelligent person and will always be very special to me. So Rachipoo, send me a smoke signal every now and then, keep visiting my dreams and send my love to our fishes Geraldine and especially Howie. I love you SO very much. Love Always, Sejal
12: Rachel was my first friend at Columbia. We met when we moved in for a pre-orientation canoeing trip, and were relieved when we realized we were in the same group. Rachel is the kind of person one can get to know in a matter of hours. She is unafraid to be herself, something that instantly impressed me. Rachel showed her true spirit immediately, convincing me to embrace an over-the-top outdoorsy look for our trip. Even though she made it clear she was not looking forward to the actual canoeing, she was looking forward to playing the part. That is how we showed up to the first meeting wearing shorts over long underwear, with our wool socks hiked up our calves, and sporting bandanas, only to find everyone else in jeans and t-shirts. Over the next week we became united in our dislike of the trip, which served more as a point of humor than anger. I, an avid kayaker, could not believe it when we tipped our canoe after going less than 50 meters of our journey. Rachel took it all in stride and soon had me laughing about it. And of course, upon returning she made sure we recreated the event using mattresses so she could get at least something on camera. When everyones clothes got wet during a thunderstorm, we just laughed since ours had been wet the whole trip. I was so happy that before orientation had even begun I had made the perfect friend. Rachel is the kind of person who has the ability to shape an experience for you, without you even realizing it. She was pivotal to the experience many of our floor mates on Carman 5 had freshman year. She is such a dominant figure, but does not try to grab attention for herself. She is one of the most reliable friends I have ever had. Nothing little fell through the cracks for her. I love to dance and I love to watch dance performances. Thinking back, out of all my friends Rachel probably hated dance the most, but she went to more of my dance performances than anyone else, sometimes even videotaping them for me. She even came to a number of shows I was not in just to keep me company. There is no limit to the number of fond memories of Rachel I could share. What I will remember most is how Rachel approached life. While most people around her were obsessed with formulating elaborate road maps for their future based on goals that were aiming to impress, Rachel had more simple and genuine ideas. She wanted to have fun, to enjoy life, to explore the world and herself, and to love and be loved. And she lived her life according to those goals, especially over her last year. Rachel has taught me so many things that can only be learned from knowing someone like her. Her memory enriches my life, and will continue to do so forever. Rachel I love you with all the love you have given to me, Olivia
14: Having grown up in Southern California, I had never seen snow before moving to New York City for school. My first winter was a big adjustment - I barely had the confidence to walk on the sidewalks, let alone go sledding on trays from the dining hall in Morningside Park. Rachel convinced me, though, promising fun and sledding lessons. She kept her word, and despite returning home with a huge bruise on my back, I was so glad I had trusted her. Of course, Rachel took responsibility for my clumsiness and checked on my mini injury daily until it healed. Her enthusiasm and thoughtfulness made my first year in a new city so much brighter, and I'll always be grateful for having her in my life. - Camille
15: Freshman year was quite challenging: moving away from home for the first time, meeting new people coming from every place in the world, just being some place foreign to me, but really, being forced to find identity in college. For the first part, it was hard to adjust: I would sit on the couch in the lounge like it was my living room, wondering what to do with all the free time I had, all the work I had. It was Carman 5 that helped me through the year, helped me find friends I would have for life, and made me comfortable in my own skin. I was one of the zanier people on the floor, I think, but Rachel could not be beat. She had all kinds of plans for Carman 5: creating a 70's party, decorating our lounge with Christmas trees, gifts, the whole shebang, getting Carman 5-ers to contribute to a special birthday calendar for Christine, and for "Property of Galaxy Cho" bracelets, for her ideas about what my Secret Santa gift should be, and just bringing that community together through things like improvised Swiffer Parties (one I will not forget). It was something I'll always remember about Rachel: just her kind spirit, her heart, her desire to challenge herself and to make sure she lived life. And oh, did she live life to the fullest. You truly never realize the little impacts people have on your life. And for that, Rachel, and to the others on Carman 5 that pivotal freshman year, I truly thank you. I do know what love is, and I've learned to live life to the fullest, to take every chance I can get to enrich myself and the world, including going abroad like Rachel did, and just loving each and every moment we're allowed. We're such lucky beings to be alive right now, and luckier still for having Rachel in our lives. And it is through writing this post that I realize how much Rachel meant to me, and to all of us. Love, love, love (I understand it now), Annie.
16: SISTERS | FAMILY
17: We Love you Rachel! | Highty Tighty, God Almighty! Who the Hell am I?? Shim Sham, Hot Damn I'm an Alpha Chi!!! | FRIENDS
18: "Swee | Rachel, For the short time I knew you, I was your BIGGEST fan. We met the first day sophomore year as lead organizers of the McBain 6 "Get-To-Know-Each-Other" Party and, if I do say so myself, it was awesome. The rest of the year was gravy and I had a blast spending time with you in the hall,in the bathroom, in the lounge... anywhere that was public enough to be social but private enough I didn't have to put pants on :) From the very start I knew we were destined o be buddies. We had so many wonderful experiences together... like accidentally exterminating a mouse while trying to save it, or trying to fix my dress only to have the guests walk in while I was half naked. Most importantly, we can't forget our fun experiments with the yellow helmet and F.L. Roberts. You were always the first to show up to our soirees and we could always count on ending the night with you, catching up in the hallway. Sophomore year was the happiest time in my life and I attribute that in large part to you, who was such an unexpected and wonderful companion in the crazy adventures we shared. There is so much I had left to learn about you and there are so many undiscovered paths our friendship could have taken. For instance, I never knew you were passionate about photography. We could have gone on many fun adventures throughout the city because I love taking | "sweet RAWs" as well. After learning about this talent of yours that seemed so hidden to me, I facebook-stalked your albums for hours... I have to admit, you would have taught me a thing or two. I feel as if we shared many experiences together while we were studying abroad even though we were in completely different places. And after looking through your albums, I can trace many of your photos to similar ones I took. This gives me a lot of comfort, as if we had developed a deep connection despite our relatively new friendship. Most importantly, I truly miss your company, your understanding eyes and your witty sense of humor. I was greatly anticipating our reunion in the fall semester and I am devastated to know it will never be. However, your sophomore year floormates will retain the bond we created in September 2008 and continue to enjoy life, in your honor, McBain-6 style. Besos, Lizzie
20: Dear Rachel, Although we only really spent a few months together, I can truly call you a great friend. That semester abroad in Paris was the best time of my life, and that is due in large part to you. From that first day that we ventured out to find some dinner, I knew that I was glad we would be living in the same building, and I knew that I had made my first friend in Paris. That day marked the beginning of all the fun times we shared, which have now become such fond memories. Fun times like picnicking with wine and cheese on park benches or windowsills. Fun times like going to Hippo at 3AM. Fun times like blowjobshots. Fun times like watching Who’s the Boss and Friends while making pasta and baked potatoes. Fun times like escaping the techno parade. (sarcasm). Fun times like watching sketchy television in Porto. Fun times like pretending to be Tarzan at Aquaboulevard. Of course our semester abroad wasn’t all fun and games, we did a lot of learning together as well. We learned that taking Ryanair is the most annoying process in the world, but for 60 Euros, it’s so worth it. We learned to never again mapquest creepy alleyway clubs in Porto. We learned how to cross the street in a city (OK that’s something I learned and you taught). We learned to search for actors in He’s Just Not That Into You and The Holiday when we got stuck in the “celebrity game”. We learned that classrooms at Reid Hall were iceboxes in the winter. We learned which crepe stands were the most delicious.
21: Finally, I've learned that your friendship has meant a lot to me, and that the amazing memories I have of Paris would not exist if it weren't for you and your joie de vivire. Je t'aime et tu me manque beacoup Natasha
22: Dear Rachel, I cannot express enough how much I miss you and how much I wish were going to be spending senior year together. Thanks for being the most amazing friend. I am so lucky to have had you in my life. I love you. Zoe
23: I lived down the hall from Rachel freshman year and I remember the first time I noticed a picture on her desk of her and what looked to be a much younger brother. "Oh is that your little brother?" I myself was an older sibling to a much younger sister, so I was interested to ask about him, curious to see if that atypical age gap between siblings had created a similar relationship for her. Before I could ask any more specific questions, she started going on and on about him--the silly things that he did, the cute things he would say, and something about what she was going to do with him the next time they were together--never really bothering to describe directly who he was, but all the meanwhile showing me how she thought of him. You could always talk to her about anything, but she only really lit up, really engaged you when she began thinking about the little things in life that she loved - her little fish, her infinitely comfy bowl-shaped chair. And I saw that same switch of joy turn on when she thought fondly of him too. Nathan
24: Rachel, Where do I begin? Which memories would I say best capture my friendship with you? Perhaps our Carman 5 movie nights, watching (and quoting) Music and Lyrics in the floor lounge, and singing along to "Pop! Goes my heart." Perhaps weekly lunches at Ferris Booth post-Frontiers of Science (or perhaps late nights spent deciphering those god-awful problem sets). Actually, maybe my favorites are of Christmas '07. Your love of the holidays was infectious - you told us how your family would drive upstate to chop down the perfect tree for your home. You shared that tradition with us, your makeshift, eclectic "family" by bringing in a tree for the floor to decorate and keep. I remember our floor Secret Santa, and the tremendous excitement that generated. The elegant Christmas party in your suite, that was broken up faster than any of the much rowdier nights in Carman. Perhaps Halloween '08 is the memory I choose - traipsing down to the Village in our ridiculous costumes, eating Thai food at midnight when we were tired of the parade. So many memories to choose from, Rachel, where do I begin? I cannot choose, and will cherish them all. Know that I miss you, that our group of Carman 5 alumni is incomplete without you, and that you were very precious to us. Columbia is a few smiles short without you. Love and hugs, Monica