Welcome to my channel: Northwestern students share college tips and campus life on YouTube

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Photos courtesy of Jay Towns, Kate Tadesse, Yanni Economos, Ramzy Issa

Through their vlogs, these four student YouTubers show college life through day in the life videos, dorm tours and advice videos.

Kaila Nichols, Reporter

As a senior in high school, Kate Tadesse became obsessed with watching college decision reaction videos. Soon, the Weinberg sophomore decided to record her own. 

Tadesse published her first video, a compilation of her opening college decisions, on Youtube, and it has since received over 165,000 views. Tadesse then continued to post videos on her “Kate Tad” channel, vlogging her college visit experiences and offering advice on the application process.

Tadesse is among several new Northwestern vloggers using YouTube to give insight on college life, explaining how everything from dorms to scholarships work. 

“The goal of the channel is mostly to share information that I wasn’t provided,” she said. “So they can make a better college choice and learn more about their options.”

Weinberg freshman Yanni Economos also started posting college-themed videos last December in hopes of helping fellow students. Economos said he thought of students like him coming from smaller schools who may find a large school like NU intimidating. 

Economos also realized students in the classes behind him would have an even greater challenge with asking for recommendations, having classes online and ultimately choosing a college all throughout the pandemic. 

“I created this channel to reassure (students), especially during this time, that they’re not alone,” he said. “I think it really does help people who are just trying to see what school is like, what the next chapter after high school is like in a time like this that we just really don’t know what the future has to hold.”

Economos also watched — and was inspired by — Communication junior Jay Towns, whose A Day In the Life videos and campus dorm tours might be recognizable to NU students.

Towns said he didn’t set out to “fill the gap” of NU content on YouTube when he began his channel several years ago. But eventually, that was the role his channel took on. 

“When I got here and started making the videos, I was just making them for myself and for the people back home,” Towns said. “(But) lots of people that started watching my videos when I was a freshman are now here and told me about how I was integral to their ending up going to Northwestern.” 

For Weinberg sophomore Ramzy Issa, the pandemic gave him extra time last spring to start working on his channel, which is focused on his life as a premedical student.

Issa interacts directly with prospective students in the comments of his videos. In his Pros and Cons of Northwestern University video, which earned over 13,000 views, several prospective students asked about majors and social life and recommended topics for future videos.

“I know that if I was a student in their position I would want to have that connection,” Issa said.

Student vloggers have also shifted their content to address remote learning and reflect their individual interests at the University. Issa created content about ways to stay motivated with online school, Tadesse posted a reflection on her first year and a dorm review and Towns turned to promoting music as well. 

What hasn’t changed, though, is the impact each of these channels have on potential and current students. 

Tadesse said students who watch her videos have approached her on campus.

“One of the most common things I hear is that they watched my video the day they got into Northwestern, and that’s just such a cool thing to hear — that my video just made an impression on them on such an important day of their life,” she said. 

 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @kailanichols07

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