Graduating Senior Rachel Stepien

Posted: February 25, 2015 at 2:35 pm, Last Updated: March 2, 2015 at 4:48 pm


Labeled a natural athlete by her youth / school coaches and teammates, Rachel Stepien says she’s been in sports her whole life. In her hometown of Robbinsville, NJ, she grew up hearing she was very coachable and a good athlete. She enjoyed playing sports and making friends in her small hometown and it became part of her every-day life.

Rachel’s parents considered her to be an energetic child. They first enrolled her in pee wee soccer and she progressively moved into other sports. In high school she played basketball, lacrosse, softball, and track. In fact, Rachel made Varsity Basketball as a freshman. She says school sports are where she made most of her friends.

After arriving at Mason, Rachel began working out at the Mason Recreation fitness centers. Spring of 2012, she applied to be an official for intramural sports and soon after began working on a regular basis. Rachel says, “I’ve always been independent, so when I came to Mason from out of state, I wanted to make sure I was financially set. I was at the gym working out and playing ball anyway, so I thought working there would be the perfect fit!” She says while being involved in sports her whole life, being an official is completely different. “It makes you look at play from a different perspective. You can’t have any biases.” Since then, she’s worked for Mason Recreation as an official for intramural sports and is currently also working as a program assistant and supervisor.

Rachel says, “Mason Recreation made my transition from a small town to such a large school easier. Working out at the Recreation facilities, and then also working for them, helped me find a positive niche. It’s a place to go to and find friends to connect with.” She recommends both working out and working for Mason Rec. “You just have to take the initial step to get involved. Everyone here is doing the same thing so it’s easy to make friends. I feel like In college everyone is in the same place – finding themselves, so being able to experience that with people who have similar interests gives you a group to rely on.”

She believes she’s learned a lot from working at Mason Recreation explaining. “I’ve learned time-management as well as other transferable skills such as conflict resolution and prioritizing. Plus I’ve learned you can’t make everyone happy. You need to prioritize what’s really important to you. Too many people try to make everyone else happy and put others first. I learned that I need to think about what’s important to me and to not try to impress others.”

Rachel is graduating in May with a degree in Psychology and a minor in business.

by Jennifer Lehman, MS RYT