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The Claire Murashima Effect: Reflections on Who I Could’ve Been

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SLU chapter.

To my best friend’s annoyance, I deleted TikTok a couple of months ago. Not only did I find myself mindlessly scrolling much too often, but I was also running out of storage on my phone, so I took the plunge. I freed myself of the For You Page and a few gigabytes of data.

Despite this decision, the one account I stay caught up with is Claire Murashima’s. Murashima works as a production assistant for two daily National Public Radio (NPR) shows, “Up First” and “Morning Edition.” Her feed is full of early-morning work vlogs, candy salad recipes and biking tours of the nation’s capital. 

As self-described in her TikTok bio, she is a “mostly [gluten-free], semi-nocturnal journalist biking around [Washington, D.C.].” So why do I—a gluten-loving, diurnal STEM major walking around St. Louis—want to be just like her? 

Maybe it’s because Claire and I do have a few things in common. I like keeping up with national news, so I listen to a few different NPR shows throughout the day. I also share her enthusiasm for thick sweaters, colorful stickers and tortoiseshell glasses. And she has inspired me to take up daily journaling, something I’ve only done sporadically.

But we definitely don’t have enough shared interests to explain how much I love her content. I study neuroscience and live hundreds of miles from the East Coast. My ideal bedtime is far later than the one required to work for morning radio shows. I don’t watch Claire’s videos because I need new gluten-free recipes or want to know the best bike path around D.C. Instead, what I see in her videos is a juxtaposition of possibility and probability. Because, in some ways, I see another version of myself.

I’m passionate about science now, but I wasn’t the kind of kid you’d find digging in the dirt looking for bugs or mixing milk with food coloring as an experiment. I was the one inside reading, soaking in stories and then making up my own. I was desperate for information, but not about plants, space or electricity. I wanted to know about other people, what their lives were like and what emotions they felt. I liked fiction with young characters I could relate to. I wanted to remember everything that happened to me; I handmade scrapbooks to compile photobooth strips and wrote scrappy diary entries about school drama. I didn’t know a way to make sense of the world without understanding human stories first.

So it makes sense that I am drawn to writing, to journalism, to Claire’s TikTok page. In another life, I could’ve been a writer or journalist myself. I also could’ve been a teacher, an editor or a professional scrapbooker. Who knows, maybe one day I will be one of those things. But for now, I am a student, and Claire’s videos are a reminder that I am multifaceted. They show me that I can have many different passions and that I am not defined by what I study or do for work. I would not lose the core of who I am if I had chosen a different path. I get to be who I want to be, and I like who I am, but it’s comforting to think I could’ve been someone else too.

Studies neuroscience and Spanish, loves a hot cup of green tea and spends too much time listening to Simon & Garfunkel.