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Positive Vibes with Megan O’Connor: RENEW Member Passionate About Traveling, Social Work

Name: Megan O’Connor

Year: Junior

Hometown: Sunrise, FL

Major: Social Work

Relationship Status: Complicated

Her Campus (HC): So Megan, why did you choose to come to FSU?

Megan O’Connor (MC): Well, I’m from South Florida and I really wanted to go away for college because I had such an intense desire to travel and explore a city beyond my hometown. I have two older brothers and one of them went to FSU. After my first time visiting him during my junior year of high school, my heart was absolutely set on this school. In fact, FSU was the only college I applied to—I’m lucky it all worked out. The school spirit here is unlike any other college I’ve visited and the campus is overwhelmingly beautiful.

HC: Are you involved in any activities or clubs on campus?

MC: I’m a member of an organization on campus called RENEW, which stands for Realizing Everyone’s Need for Emotional Wellness. We’re a peer-educator organization overseen by the University Counseling Center that conducts individual instructional sessions, campus-wide presentations, and tabling events on certain topics with an aim to increase the emotional well-being of FSU students. Topics include stress management, time management, study skills & test anxiety, healthy relationships, and conflict resolution. As an organization, we also enjoy participating in community service events in Tallahassee such as The Big Event, Relay For Life, and various 5k runs.

HC: Why did you choose to get involved with these clubs?

MC: As a Social Work major, this was a really great opportunity for me to get hands-on experience in a mental health organization and since we’re overseen by the University Counseling Center, this has helped me meet grad students who were just in my shoes—licensed Social Workers and other mental health professionals who are always excited to help or give advice.

HC: How can people on campus that are not involved join this club?

MC: We have a recruitment process at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. In fact, we’re recruiting members right now for Spring 2015 membership if anyone reading this is interested! The process includes an application and then a brief interview if your application has been selected. If you are selected, we have weekly meetings Mondays at 6:30pm. If you go to the website and scroll all the way to the bottom, you will find the link to the application. If you don’t wish to be a member but still want to be involved with our events on campus, search and like RENEW FSU on Facebook to stay updated on what we’re doing!

HC: I heard you’re a very positive person. How do you constantly have this mindset?

MC: Well, it’s definitely something I worked hard to achieve. I wasn’t a very positive person before college and I think I’ve come a long way since. Being positive is a constant, conscious effort. It requires a lot of energy and a lot more patience, but I will tell you—in the end it’s way easier than being a negative person. Being negative requires just as much energy, yet it will never get you anywhere. Being negative will never allow for personal growth, growth with your significant others and family members, or even professional growth in your careers.

HC: What advice would you give to others to try and maintain such a positive outlook?

MC: You have a choice every single day of what kind of mindset you’re going to have—if you send out positive energy to the universe, the universe will send it right back. It’s as simple or as complicated as you make it to be. If you feel as though you are already a positive person but always feel negative energy around you, reevaluate the company you surround yourself with. Remove toxic people from your life and you’ll notice how much happier you can be.

HC: What do you like to do in your spare time?

MC: Unfortunately spare time doesn’t come frequently, but when it does I love going to outdoor places in Tallahassee or surrounding areas. The Tallahassee Museum and The Maclay Gardens are two of my favorite spots. During the warmer months I love driving to St. George Island to hit up the beach. I enjoy doing yoga at all of these places and hot yoga at a studio whenever I have the time. I consider myself an introvert so I like staying home and painting, reading, watching Netflix of course, and whatnot, but I’m also always down for an adventure with friends or just going out for great food.

HC: What’s your favorite restaurant?

MC: Well, I’m a vegetarian and I have to say that I’m obsessed with Sweet Pea Café. It’s a vegan restaurant off of Tharpe that has the best food (and cookies) I’ve ever had. I actually just got back from there!

HC: Have you traveled outside of the United States?

MC: Yes I love traveling—I’ve been to Canada, France, Spain, and Peru.

HC: Tell us about it! What was your favorite place that you’ve visited?

MC: It’s really hard to choose because they were each unique and beautiful in their own ways, but I have to say Peru was my favorite. One of my best friends moved to Lima when we were 17 and I got to visit her last summer after not seeing her for two years. One day, we explored as much of the city of Lima as we could and walked down the coast of the beach. It was the most peaceful and eye-opening day of my life. We met some really friendly people, ate a lot of amazing food, and saw some of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen. I definitely left a piece of my heart in Lima.

HC: If you can go back in time and meet any person, who would it be?

MC: Don’t judge me, but Tupac Shakur. I’ve always loved his music but I love him just as a human being. He was so much more than a rapper—he was a poet, an actor, an activist in his community, and someone who provided ideas that changed how people saw the world. He was a very smart and influential man despite what people may think.

HC: Who’s your favorite singer?

MC: This is a hard one… but I’m going to have to pick Lauryn Hill. “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” changed my life in many aspects. She sings and raps about real life problems, real life successes, and real life love and friendships. Her words make you reflect on the kind of person you are and the kind of world we live in, but they also empower you to be more, do more, and love more.

HC: What is your ideal date?

MC: As long as I’m with the person I like every date is ideal, but a beach day with a picnic and some piña coladas sounds great too.

HC: What do you plan to do after you graduate from FSU?

MC: I’m not 100% sure, but I’m leaning towards going to grad school and getting my Masters in Social Work here at FSU. I graduate this fall and I just don’t think I’m ready to say goodbye to FSU yet. 

Anjelica MacGregor attends Florida State University as a Junior studying English: Editing, Writing & Media. She is a notable writer who loves writing about everyday life. When she is not writing about the latest trends, she can be found soaking in the sun or breaking a sweat at the local gym. 
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