Just A Midwest Girl Living in a City World

Claire Slater Hogan, future TV writer and producer, hails from Minneapolis, Minnesota, a foreign land where people are nice and say hi to each other on the street. She has been innovative since childhood, starting a school newspaper in third grade and creating a Harry Potter club in high school. She played basketball, tennis, soccer, and volleyball; she participated in youth group, theater, student government, and peer mentor group. Her busy spirit has stayed alive and well after moving to New York City, allowing her to learn to navigate the city and become self-sufficient as a resident of the Big Apple, while always staying true to her Midwestern roots.

Minneapolis—the Love of my life

I’m from Minneapolis, Minnesota, same house my whole life. People don’t realize how big Minneapolis is; it has about 400,000 people, and it’s bigger than the city limits of Boston. It’s like my favorite place in the world. I love it so much. I think that I’m a lot more aware of my Midwesternness out here in New York, and it’s such a big part of who I am. When I came here, I was like, “I am not smiling on the street. I am hardcore. I am going to wear black every day.”

At home, you say hi to everyone you see on the street, and so I think I overcompensated. It’s taken me a while to realize that it’s better to be kind than it is to be cool, and I’ve never been a cool person, so why would I start now? Minnesota nice is a very real thing, so I don’t know why I tried to get rid of that. I didn’t realize how much pride people had in Minneapolis until I moved, but it’s a very different culture there. It’s beautiful. I love it, the people and the place.

My Favorite People in the World

I’m really close with my family. They’re my favorite people in the whole world; I love them. I have mom and dad, Tom and Susie; a brother, Jack, 24; a sister, Riley, 23; and a sister, Callie, 21. We had a dog named Wrigley who died last year. We had him for 13 years, so he was a part of the family.

I’m the baby among my siblings, so I think I matured exponentially faster than other people my age; my siblings are mature people, so I wanted to be on their level. I never felt like the youngest, I always felt very equal to them. We all have a group text; they’re my best friends. My sisters both went to school in Wisconsin, and my brother went to school in Minnesota. My sister Riley just moved out to Boston, so I feel like we’re at similar parts in our lives. There were 2 years when I was the only one home. Super weird, but it made me closer to my parents.

Leaving the Love of my life for the great Unknown

My high school, Academy of Holy Angels, was a lot of white, upper class kids that didn’t have different ideas than their parents, so I think that that’s when I knew that I had to get out. There was always something a little off with me and those people, not in a bad way, just in a different way. The people I went to grade school with at Annunciation, 3rd to 8th grade, six years with the same 50 people, yeah, you’re a family. It was weirder leaving those people for college.

My family knew that I was going to head to the East Coast. I always wanted to be out here. I applied to some Boston schools, I did BC and BU. I like Boston, but I didn’t like those schools. I toured here and then when I got in, I was like, “Yeah, I’m going here for sure.” We were in Spain visiting my sister, who was studying abroad. I remember we landed and I opened my computer because I knew it was supposed to come soon, and it just said, “Congratulations.” I was so excited that I knew it was going to be the right fit.

My mom and my dad came to help me move in freshman year. When they moved me out here, I got so nervous so fast. I’m Irish-Catholic, so it’s like, “Suppress all your feelings all the time,” so that was super weird. I cried when I said bye. The first night I was like, “I don’t have anyone here and I’m in New York City, and I’m from Minnesota.”

Living in the Big Apple

First semester of freshman year, I had friends and we did things and it was good. It was just overwhelming. I couldn’t figure out how to make my own community. I had 3 roommates in a suite in 3rd North. One of my suitemates was super quiet and moved out in December without telling anyone. My other suitemate was an erotic artist who put up her art in our main room. She was interesting; she poured vodka in my fish tank and killed my fish. It was a whirlwind.

I tried to “do New York” when I came here. I slept overnight to get SNL tickets. I went to Central Park all the time. I went to a ton of shows. Sometimes on Sundays, I’d just be like, “I need to be by myself,” and I would go to the park and walk around, you know just pretend that you’re someone else for a little bit? I think I forced myself to learn the city a lot more than other friends because I felt like I needed to.

Second semester of freshman year, you get more hope and you start figuring stuff out, and now I love it. I’m obsessed with it. I feel like I’m wasting my time in New York City if I’m not doing something, whereas at home, it’s like, “Want to drive around the lakes again?” Here, I feel an obligation to explore.

The Future

I’m a double major in journalism and history; I’m going to be a cliché and say that I want to write and produce for TV and broadcast. I want to be able to be creative in a positive way, and to make money off that, hypothetically.

I don’t really see myself getting married and having kids, but I have thought about it. I’ve always been so obsessed with having a good career that it’s not something that I’ve aspired to that much.

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