As universities across the country and getting back into swing of #CollegeLife, we've seen some amazing creators sharing their experiences and advice on TikTok. From #OOTDs, to #bamarush, to scholarship tips, to dorm aesthetics, students are using TikTok to show how they're getting ready for the new school year.
For our Creator Spotlight Series, we chatted with @espdaniella and @MandaPandie about all things college, including their tips for other student creators. Read more below to hear more about their time on TikTok and their advice to students and other creators alike!
How did you get started on TikTok?
@espdaniella: I got started earlier this year in January after I finally took the advice of my followers on other platforms. And I must say that it was the best decision I could have possibly made! From being a part of the TikTok for Black Creatives Program, the exposure for what I do to help students win scholarships, and being nominated for Adcolor’s TikTok Creator Award — I simply am beyond grateful for this platform.
What video are you most proud of creating?
@espdaniella: There are two videos that come to mind. The first one being when I live-streamed my college graduation on TikTok. I wanted my following to be a part of that moment because many who follow me are or will be first-generation college students. I always try to find ways to not only educate others, but also inspire because you need motivation before you are willing to do something. Another video is this one where I gave scholarship advice to a single mother looking to go to and fund nursing school. In a time of where there is a shortage of medical professionals needed to fight against COVID-19 and for other medical treatment, I hope that I was able to do my part to encourage more people to take on the medical field and not have finances prevent them from pursuing an education in doing so. Also as a result of that video my book, The Scholarship Algorithm, sold many copies overnight, and months later I have heard so many winner success stories from those who read it!
What do you love most about TikTok?
@espdaniella: I love the algorithm on this app. It does a much better job of promoting my content in comparison to other platforms that I had been on for years thanks to the FYP feature. I finally feel appreciated here and I am able to reach more students, educators, and families thanks to it.
@MandaPandie: I love that the community is confident enough to interact with each other as humans even though we are on digital platform. This makes it easier for influencers and the community to build a bond stronger than basic marketing or even intentional marketing. TikTok is, and will hopefully remain, a safe place for creators to connect with the community without the usual limitations.
What are some content creation tips you would offer to other creators who are in college?
@espdaniella: Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself. It will be worth it in the end. Also, express yourself more and experiment with different video types— whether that be dueting, stitching, making skits — whatever it may be. And once you find something that really resonates with your audience, stick to it and seek ways to make that theme/aesthetic even better!
@MandaPandie: Make and post original content. Connect personally by showing your authentic self. For example, if you love to cook, be sure to tell your audience what type of cuisine it is or if it's your first time making it. Share your College experience! Remember that your audience includes students from your school and you are representing that community as well. Stay positive! Do not over work yourself because it can become overwhelming at any point in time.
With #dorm and #dormessentials trending on platform, at 299M views and 47M views respectively, what is the one item you think everyone needs in their dorm room and why?
@espdaniella: College students need an air purifier. I was a resident assistant (RA) at my university for two years and let me tell you — the things that I would smell in the hallway were ... questionable, to say the least. So if you want to lessen the odors of must, smoke, burnt food, etc — you need this! Also, earplugs or noise cancellation earphones because your neighbors may be loud (mine were horror gamers and always screaming) and you could have thin walls.
@MandaPandie: You need a comfortable and quiet space to study efficiently. I like to listen to music with my headphones on and chill on fluffy pillows. I also like dim lighting because I use my iPad often. Make sure your lighting is comfortable so your eyes and vision can be healthy. I turn off my larger light and turn on my reading light often.
What is the best money saving advice you can give to college students?
@espdaniella: Right now is the best time to apply for scholarships. Most of the bigger awards that give more money/full-rides have deadlines anywhere between now and early January. Think of applying for scholarships as a job or investment that will pay you sooner or later. Just imagine — you spend three hours on three applications, win one of them, and that one just so happens to be worth $9,000. You literally just got paid $3,000 per hour of work. I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a single job that will get you an hourly payment like that. So get to it guys!
@MandaPandie: The best money saving advice I can give to college students is to eat out only on the weekends if you can. Utilize the meal plan or the kitchenette. Food can get expensive especially if you are in an urban setting. Be grateful and allow abundance to flow into your life!
What advice would you give to an incoming college student?
@espdaniella: Trick yourself about deadlines for assignments, scholarships, internships, etc when writing out due dates on your calendar. If you are a procrastinator like me, you may jeopardize your grades or certain opportunities simply because you did not turn in your stuff on time. Also, preferably use a digital calendar rather than physical because then you get sound-alerts reminding you to get it done!
@MandaPandie: Relax and focus on your studies. College is a big step! Parties and other temptations will be there constantly, but your assignment is due today so prioritize and you will succeed! Use a planner, your phone calendar, and/or a notebook to create daily to-do list to stay on task.