Rachel was strong-willed and wasn’t easily influenced by what others said or did. While other girls partied at school, Rachel studied. She also landed a job with the college paper The Arrow, which published her works. Two of these essays, “Master of the Ship’s Light” and “Cape Arrowhead” show how attracted to the ocean she was – even though she still hadn’t seen it!
Her second year in college was a major turning point. She had to meet the science requirement by taking Biology. She felt surely she would not like Biology, but was quite surprised – she LOVED it! Biology gave new meaning and understanding of the nature that she had always loved. Biology answered many questions she had about nature, but above all, she saw beyond the difficult words to see scientists’ awe and wonder at life itself.
problems were solved
senior year when her Dad signed over
several lots of the original farm to Rachel.
She used the land as collateral for the $1,600 she needed for her
education. It was also during
her junior and senior years that she began to enjoy college life –
joining team sports and science club and continuing to work for the
She graduated magna cum laude (which means “with great honor”) in June, 1929. From there she accepted a scholarship to do graduate work at Johns Hopkins University. She worked that summer at the famous Marine Biological Laboratory in Massachusetts. This was her first view of the ocean. She later described this time as “the happiest days of my life.” She did field work, combed beaches, waded in the surf, explored, and collected specimens.