By Esther Morales
As a result of campuses shutting down and tours being canceled for prospective students, many incoming freshmen have been flocking to YouTube to get a sense of what the College has to offer. Daytwan Coates-Hall and Kenu Ogbevire are two students from the College who are making an effort to encourage, inform and educate incoming and prospective students looking to learn about what life at the College is really like.
“I make videos to express my true feelings and honest opinions about TCNJ,” said Coates-Hall, a senior political science major. “This is important because there are few videos that contain raw and subjective views about TCNJ.”
Starting his YouTube channel in late 2018, his channel centers around new music and films while also featuring different lifestyle-oriented videos about minimalism and his college experience.
Coates-Hall has made several videos on his channel aimed at giving advice to incoming and prospective students. His goal is to give a candid perspective of the College in an effort to prepare incoming students to acclimate to the campus culture. Some of his videos include “Things to Know About TCNJ,” “7 College Essentials Every College Freshman Needs” and “Why You Should Pick TCNJ Over Other NJ Colleges and Universities.”
“I wanted to put realistic expectations and experiences toward undecided high school seniors and incoming freshmen to ensure that they are ready for what they’re about to experience,” he said.
Being an upperclassman, he hopes to put a different perspective on the institution, and makes sure his videos differ from generic informational videos about the College. Kenu Ogbevire, a rising senior biology major, hopes to do the same.
“Vlogging is a way that I escape the stress, and it motivates me in everyday life,” said Ogbevire, a rising senior biology major. “Something I truly value from my YouTube Channel is receiving messages from viewers and future TCNJ students who watched my videos.”
Many of Ogbevire’s videos on her channel focus on her experiences at the College including uploads like “College Dorm Tour,” “A Day in My Life at The College of New Jersey,” and “Why I Chose The College of New Jersey: College Decision Advice.”
Ogbevire started her channel to capture her life experiences also strives to help viewers by giving advice through her videos. Along the way, many of her viewers have told her that her videos helped them commit to the College, Ogbevire said.
Recently, Ogbevire has also been using her platform to speak out about the recent events concerning the Black Lives Matter movement. In the recent video, “Education on Black Lives Matter Movement in 2020: How You Can Help From Home,” she takes the time to speak about mass media, bringing awareness to injustice and the different ways people can help to make a change. She provides viewers with petitions available to sign and organizations taking donations.
Continually being shared throughout the campus community, the video has become the second most viewed video on her channel, with over 2,800 views. On Sunday, June 21, she released another video in an effort to continue educating people on the movement.
“I plan on growing my channel in the next couple of years, and then create an additional channel that focuses on giving advice on more business-oriented subjects,” Ogbevire said.
As new people continue to discover Coates-Hall’s channel as well, he hopes that in his videos, he comes across to viewers as honest, positive, and entertaining. He continues to receive positive feedback in his videos’ comments sections and aims to continue spreading kindness to others.
“My number one piece of advice for incoming freshmen is to take your time,” Coates-Hall said. “Be yourself and do things because you want to, not because you want to satisfy someone else.”