By Mike Chaiken
For the past year, Logan West was the princess of the world.
The former Southington resident was crowned last year as Miss Teen USA 2012, a title which is part of the Miss Universe program.
But Aug. 10, she crowned her successor and Logan finds herself a private citizen once again.
The Pace University sophomore said she had “mixed feelings” about having passed on her crown. “It’s a very odd feeling to not be ‘it’ any more.”
But, she added, “Overall, it feels really, really good.”
“With the job, it’s really glamorous. It’s really glitzy,” said Logan. “But I always looked at it as a job. I knew it could only last one year. My time is done. And knowing… bigger and better things are waiting for me is the easiest part.”
One of the bigger and better things on Logan’s agenda is her charity, “Unite Against Bullies Today.” She is holding a fund raiser, The Connecticut USA Extravaganza Pageant 2013, to help in her effort to put a halt to bullying.
The year as Miss Teen USA had been a learning experience for Logan, teaching her about life beyond Southington and Connecticut.
“It’s an overwhelming world,” said Logan.
“I think when most people think of that lifestyle, I think you would call it the Hollywood lifestyle, I think getting a glimpse of that, I think it’s easier to say where I want to be.”
And as she saw the Hollywood lifestyle, Logan said it firmed up the importance of being true to one’s self.
Logan said she saw “a lot of people change to meet what other people want you to be or should be.”
With her year done as Miss Teen USA, Logan said she’s not biting at the bit to return. Her sister Sydney is now competing in pageants and finding success. And Logan is content to revel in her sibling’s efforts.
“When people ask me about pageants, I say I’m retired. I’m done,” Logan said.
However, Logan recognized that one should never say never.
“If I get the feeling I want to do it again, I will. But, right now, I think having had that experience, I’m waiting for my real life to begin.”
Part of that real life is being a sophomore at Pace University this year. As Miss Teen USA, she still managed to take on a full course load at Pace as a freshman. She also earned straight As.
“I think this year will be easier to manage (without the title),” said Logan.
“My parents have always held high expectations for me. So when these things came on (i.e. the Miss Teen USA title), they set the bar even higher.”
“My parents are paying for my schooling,” said Logan. “I had to make sure I never slacked on class if Miss Teen USA stuff got too heavy. My parents are investing in my future.” And Logan wanted to provide them with a return on that investment.
Logan also is finding that college life is expanding her mind. She has discovered a love for one subject she never expected to develop an aptitude for.
“This is weird,” said Logan, “I’m a dance major, but I took a philosophy class my spring semester and fell absolutely in love with it. The idea of thinking about thinking can be confusing. But I thoroughly enjoyed that… It takes a certain person to get it and I think I was getting it.”
Logan added, “I always said I wanted to dance and be a lawyer but I may have something else on my plate now.”
Logan West’s Connecticut USA Extravaganza Pageant 2013 is Saturday, Sept. 21. For more information, go to www.CTUSAExtravaganza Pageant.moonfruit.com. The event is co-sponsored by Connecticut Fashion Week International, CtFashionWeek.org.