Senior gender and women’s studies major Megan Rea decided to attend Plattsburgh State four years ago.
“Plattsburgh is far away from where I grew up, and I wanted to get away from my family,” Rea said.
When she first visited PSUC, she was impressed by the campus. She also said PSUC was the only college she visited.
“As I visited, I knew that I will go here,” she said. “What I like about our school the most is definitely the mountains because I like hiking a lot.”
Beside that, one of the main reasons Rea is here is because of her love for her major. During her freshman year, she took a weekend class called “Sexuality, Power and Relationship”. That was the time she knew what she wanted to major in.
“The class talked about different issues like sexual assault and consent,” Rea said. “When I first took it, I realized that a lot of things happened to me in high school before, and then immediately, I knew that this is the work I want to do— teaching people about consent and sexual assault.”
Rea is currently the president of the Center for Womyn’s Concerns.
“We talked about a lot of social issues that are going on now,” she said. “Recently, we talk about the sexual assault delegation going on in Hollywood.”
In spring, Rea said the Center for Womyn’s Concerns often hold the “Take Back The Night” event, in which survivors of sexual assault will come and share their stories and the club often does a march in downtown after the event.
What Rea likes about her major the most is how it challenges her to think more and asks her to step outside of her comfort zone.
“I also like it because my major is not just focus on one thing, but it also goes outside the scope of a regular major,” she said. “It goes to different issues in the area of science.”
Rea is going to graduate this May. After graduation, she plans on moving to Syracuse because she wants to get her master’s degree for social work there.
“I want to work as a peer advocate in a mental health organization,” Rea said. “My purpose in life is to help other people.”
Her favorite pastime activity is knitting because it “helps me calm down a lot and focus.”
Senior English literature major Erika Winters met Megan when they both participated in the Vagina Monologues together this past spring. Winters described Megan as a “devoted, passionate and courageous” person.
“Once she gets an idea to do something, she puts all of her energy into it,” she said. “She always wants to inspire others to care about for one another and goes against all the odds stacked up against her in order to make changes happen in her community around her.”
What Winters respect about Rea the most is how Rea deals with issues. Rea is always open to talk to anybody in order to solve the problems, “which is why she’s a great leader.”
“She supports me and actively listens to me when I have a concern or grievance, and I will always appreciate her support system as a friend,” Winters said.
Senior English writing arts and literature major Ariana Spatola met Rea during their witness and trauma class during her sophomore year.
“We had the same thoughts on many things,” Spatola said. “After a while, we sat down and went to lunch finally, and we became pals and then, just over a year later, a couple.”
Spatola describes Rea as a “fluffy, empathetic and full of love” person.
“She cares deeply for her loved ones and will do just about anything to help them,” she said. “She has been through some tough stuff and wants to ensure no one feels alone.”
Spatola said Rea is also “one of the strongest individuals” despite her “abundant kindness and softness.”
“She is able to put up boundaries and cut ties with others when her well-being is at stake,” Spatola said.
Rea said the biggest thing she learns through her whole college experience is not to care about what others think about her as much. Compared to her freshman year, Rea is more outspoken now and never afraid of speaking up for herself.
“For freshmen, my advice is getting involved as much as you can,” she said. “Put yourself out there.”
Email Hilly Nguyen at firstname.lastname@example.org