HC’s Exclusive Interview with Miss Teen USA 2012, Logan West

Tomorrow at 8 p.m. EST, Miss Teen USA 2012 Logan West will pass on her crown to a new winner. Logan is a talented and compassionate collegiette who is about to start her sophomore year at Pace University, where she is majoring in dance. Her Campus sat down with Logan to talk about her anti-bullying program, her advice for freshmen collegiettes, and more!

Her Campus: Could you tell me a little bit about your experience as Miss Teen USA this past year?
Logan: It’s been a whirlwind experience… it’s everything I could have asked for and more! The main reason why I competed in pageants was to get my program, Unite Against Bullies Today, on a national level. I think the biggest thing about being Miss Teen USA is being a positive role model, so we get to do really fashionable, fun events, but we’re also doing them in a positive way. So I think that’s been the best part.

HC: Can you tell me a little more about the program you started that you just mentioned?
I was bullied in the seventh grade by a classmate who told me I did not act my skin color, so after that, [I thought that] there has to be a way I can make something out of it that would benefit not only me but people around me. And that’s when I came up with Unite Against Bullies Today. It’s a program that’s designed to teach students what exactly bullying is and give them all the tools they need to stop it. So it started off with just working with the students in my town… and then it was all through Connecticut, and I worked to make harsher anti-bullying laws in my state. Then, after I won the national pageant, I said it was my mission to take it everywhere.

HC: What does it feel like to be passing on the Miss Teen USA crown?
It’s weird; that’s the only word I can use to describe it. It’s crazy to think that it was almost a year ago that I was crowned. But, it’s bittersweet. I think in one breath I can say that I don’t really want to give it up yet, but in another breath I can say I’m kind of ready to close this chapter in my life, and a lot of things have been falling into place lately, so I’m ready to move on in life into bigger things ahead. So I’m excited!

HC: So I understand you just finished your first year at Pace University. What was it like adjusting to college life?
Logan: Different, way different than I could have expected. First, I way over-packed and I quickly learned that wasn’t the right thing to do! But it was just amazing. I think the friendships you make and just being at the school away from home is totally different. It teaches you a lot about yourself and self-motivation, cause my mom is not there to like, bark at me to tell me to get my homework done or make sure I’m home on time. So you find out a lot about yourself, but I’ve loved every minute of my college experience so far.

HC: You’ve had a much different experience than most college freshmen because you were balancing your duties as Miss Teen USA at the same time as adjusting to college. Can you tell me a little bit about that and what that was like?
In the beginning I really said that my plan was that I wasn’t going to tell anyone I was Miss Teen USA, and if they found out, they found out. But I really did want to have a really normal first year of college. But my first day of school—I’m a dance major and we were having auditions for our first showcase—my teacher goes, “Guys, we have a celebrity in the room now!... We have Miss Teen America with us,” and I was like, “Oh my goodness.” And they made me come out to the middle in front of my entire department and introduce myself. So, quickly, everyone found out, and it wasn’t my little secret anymore. But I think the most challenging part about it was having to just miss out on the fact that most freshmen get to do the parties and then the staying out late and stuff. But I have to say it was more rewarding being Miss Teen USA than going to those things. I’ve got three more years for that!

HC: So what’s been your favorite aspect of college so far?
I would probably say the dorm life… to have the open door policies on your floor, anybody comes into your room, and movie nights, and making friends, I think, has been the biggest part for me, just because I think high school friends are very different from college friends. And I’m very excited about having my college friends now!