Staff Spotlight: Zeljana Opacak

Ready to get to know one of our ah-may-zing Her Campus JCU executive board members? If you haven’t met her yet, you’ll be sure to love her after reading this interview! Do you want to know what her ideal college outfit is and about the best spots on campus to relax and study? She even made you a playlist of ten of her favorite songs. Um, yes please! 

Name: Zeljana Opacak

Year: Freshman

Major: International Business with a minor in Spanish

Position in Her Campus: Financial Advisor


You have such a beautiful name! What is the meaning behind it?

I’m Croatian, and the firstborn in my family. When my mom was pregnant, it was her wish to have a daughter as her first, and when I was born, she named me Zeljana, which translates to “wish” in Croatian.


What is your favorite part about your major?

I chose to become an International Business major because I’m really passionate about languages and cultures and people around the world. I love to travel and talk to people who share experiences and ways of life different from mine. My favorite part about my major would probably be how many opportunities I get to learn more about the world and people around me, and hopefully see a lot of the world myself throughout my life and career.


What has been your favorite college class thus far?

I really loved my Religion 101 class with Dr. Carney last semester. I’ve gone to a public school my whole life, and to be able to have a conversation about faith around the world and within John Carroll was a really refreshing and thought-provoking experience. I also loved the service component of Dr. Carney’s class. It was through Religion 101 that I started to serve with Carroll Reads, where JCU students go to elementary schools in the Cleveland area and help students there improve their reading and writing skills. I loved my experience so much that I continued into this semester and plan to keep participating throughout my time at Carroll. Getting to know all the sweet students at the school I serve at and watching them grow in their reading and personal confidence is the highlight of my week, every week.


How would you describe your transition from high school to college?

I live about a half hour away from campus, and in the beginning of the school year I was incredibly homesick and would go home every weekend. I, like many new freshman, felt that I wasn’t making enough friends or making friends fast enough. It got to the point where I even considered transferring. I’m so happy I stuck it out those first couple months, because now I feel like John Carroll is truly my home away from home. I attribute this positive change to the fact that I’ve gotten as involved in campus activities as I possibly can, and met some incredible people through the various clubs and activities I’ve participated in. I can’t see myself anywhere other than John Carroll.


What is your favorite spot on campus?

I’ve got a couple favorite spots on campus! I like little nooks that I can just chill and study in, and I seek them out. I’m sure as I go through my four years here, I’ll continue to find cool spots around campus, but for now, I’ve got my go-to’s that each make me happy for a different reason.

  1. In the caf, I love sitting at one of the tables on the salad side under that dome area in the back right corner. Especially when it’s almost sunset time and it’s got this cool, blue tinted light. It’s magical. Also, I’m a complete freeze baby and get cranky when I’m cold, and those tables along the wall line up with heaters, which help keep me happy and warm :)
  2. All of O’Malley. I LOVE O’Malley, it was the building that caught my eye and won me over when I was touring John Carroll for the first time. I love that it looks like a building that would be in Harry Potter, with those exposed brick walls and the huge skylight. It also helps that my Spanish and Italian classes are in that building, and I’m obsessed with anything language related.
  3. Somewhere in the library, there is a study corral where on the wall next to it, written in very light pencil, it says “the krusty krab pizza is the pizza for you and me” I challenge anyone reading this to find that specific study corral. The first time I noticed it I was particularly stressed while I was studying and I looked up and noticed this random little Spongebob reference and it made me laugh out loud and feel 100 times better.
  4. Murphy Chapel. When I have time, I try to go to Murphy mass on Wednesdays, and it’s a very special place to me. The love and good vibes that exude out of that little room always put me in a better mood and help carry me if I’m having a particularly rough week.


What made you want to join Her Campus?

Like I said earlier, the beginning of the school year was a bit rough for me, and joining clubs was my solution. I heard of HerCampus through one of the involvement fairs, and decided to start going to the meetings. I also love the little articles that are posted on snapchat from Cosmo and Buzzfeed, they are my daily guilty pleasure. Joining HerCampus was my opportunity to not only read these articles, but write them as well. I’ve made some really sweet friends through it and am so excited to grow and bond even more with the rest of the group in my time at Carroll.


What is your favorite article on the HCJCU website?

There’s too many to pick! Every week I like to browse and see what’s new, especially the articles written by my peers.


What is your current favorite song to jam out to?

I’m very indecisive, and I really really love music, so instead of giving just one song, I’m going to make an impromptu mini playlist and give a list of 10 of my favorite songs I’ve been loving lately-basically anything that puts me in a good mood or makes me wanna dance is an automatic winner :)

  1. Stubborn Love by The Lumineers
  2. C’est La Vie by Sterophonics
  3. From Eden by Hozier
  4. Shape of You by Ed Sheeran
  5. Castaway by The Zac Brown Band
  6. Three Little Birds by Bob Marley
  7. Perm by Bruno Mars
  8. Cigarette Daydreams by Cage the Elephant
  9. Naive by The Kooks
  10. Location by Khalid


If you had to choose anywhere in the world to visit, where would it be?

Oh my goodness, this is by far the hardest question in this interview. I want to go EVERYWHERE. I’m hoping to study abroad in Spain my junior year, so I guess that’s the next place I’d love to visit.


What is your favorite caf meal?

Carbs are my weakness. Pasta is usually my go-to craving, but I can also never, ever say no to tater tots or steak fries.


What is your campus style a.k.a favorite outfit to wear to class?

The perfect outfit for me is something that looks really put together but actually takes minimal effort. Right now, my favorite look is light wash high waisted skinny jeans with a really cozy sweater and a scarf on top to add a little extra something.