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Profile: Rowan O’Brien

One of our writers and editors, Rowan has watched Her Campus YorkU blossom into its current thriving community. With her quirky and informative articles, she’s able to write something for just about anyone. Read on to find out how she’s grown as a writer and her scariest creature to bump into in the night.

Name: Rowan O’Brien

Age: 19

Major and Year: Film Production, Year 2

Star Sign: Cancer

What motivates you to write?

I am motivated to write because I love it! Writing is something I’ve always been very passionate about and I actually even went to an arts high school in Ottawa for the Literary Arts program. I enjoy writing, particularly plays and films, because I get to see them brought to life before my eyes, which is pretty cool.

Which universities did you apply to, and why did you choose York?

I applied to A LOT of universities, because I wanted to keep my options open. I applied to 4 or 5 in the U.S., but I didn’t end up going because it is very expensive for international students, especially when you convert the USD into CAD. In Canada, I applied to Queen’s, Ryerson, University of Toronto, and York. I chose York mostly because of the program, as it’s one of, if the not the best film production program in the country. I also liked how York’s program focuses on the importance of storytelling in film.

How have you grown as a writer since working with Her Campus?

I had only written a few non-fiction pieces before writing for Her Campus, so it has really helped me learn how to write about the real world in an interesting way. It has also taught me to be more aware of my surroundings, as I am now constantly looking for something to write an article about.

If you could tell something to 12-year-old you, what would you tell her?

I would probably tell her not to worry as much. A lot of my tweenage and teenage years were spent worrying about getting high marks so I could get into American schools. So I would tell myself not to put so much of my self-esteem on how well I was doing in school, and instead take some time to have fun with my friends.


How would you describe your writing style?

I tend to shy away from seriousness and sincerity, so my writing is often more on the satirical, and oftentimes cynical, side. I try to keep my articles engaging to read by using my own voice, but also throw a lot of critical analysis in there.

What is your favourite type of article to write?

There are three kinds of article that I love to write: ones that explore important social issues (mostly queer and intersectional feminism issues), coverage of award shows and listicles about movies and TV shows. Each of these are fun to write in their own way; it usually just depends on how I’m feeling and how much time I have that week.

What’s your dream vacation?

My dream vacation is not very original, as it would be a trip around Europe. I went to England and Ireland when I was seven, and this little Irish town called Doolin is still one of my favourite places in the world. I love London too, and we actually went back this summer, and it was even better than I remembered. So I’d definitely want to hit up London and a couple of towns in Ireland, but I’ve also always wanted to go to Amsterdam and Berlin.

What’s your favorite thing about working with Her Campus?

I like writing for Her Campus because it gives me an outlet to talk about the things I am passionate about. As you may have noticed, most of my articles are about film and television, or queer issues. Instead of just ranting to my friends about something, I spill it all into a Her Campus article AND rant to them about it.

What is scarier: spiders or house centipedes?

House centipedes, for sure! I think if I ever encountered one, I’d have to leave my apartment immediately and cut my losses.

Rowan’s openness and critical attitude brings a unique twist and new ways to look at so many of her favourite topics. She’s an amazing part of the team and we are so lucky to have her and her limitless talent!

If you or someone you know would like to join the Her Campus team, apply online to learn more about how you can get involved.

All photos courtesy of Rowan O’Brien


Kaitlin is a bilingual (French and English) writer originating from friendly Thunder Bay. They are in their seventh year at York University, where they study professional writing with an emphasis on journalism. They live with their partner of nine years and their cat, Tessa. They started writing with a passion and a poem that eventually won third in a contest 12 years ago, and started editing not too long after. When not at the keyboard, Kaitlin can be found reading, cooking, playing video games, or holding Tessa. Their favorite movies are scary and their favorite television genre is reality. Kaitlin's passions include copyediting, anything scary or spooky and adding to her collection of dolls, magnets and cups. Their favorite part of writing/editing is giving others a chance to share their story or achieve their dreams and offering insight on "the little things." Some of Kaitlin's favorite topics reflect on their personal life, including health/disabilities, fringe topics and social issues.
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