Fame at Vanderbilt: Elliot Choy

See Elliot Choy's most recent YouTube upload here

Alina Yu

Whether he’s skating across campus on his Boosted board or going about his day with his vlogging camera in hand, junior Elliot Choy is hard to miss. Besides having a notable presence at Vandy, Choy has become well-known as a YouTube and Instagram star and has grown his influence through daily vlogs. 

Choy first found inspiration to enter the YouTube world when he was admitted to Vanderbilt. As a senior in high school in Carmen, IN, he wanted to learn more about the Vandy experience from a student’s perspective but could not find any videos on YouTube. With “Stories From the Vandy Van” as his only resource, Choy saw a need to fill this void by creating YouTube content to help high school seniors like him learn more about students’ daily lives.

 “I saw that other ‘Day In The Life’ videos from universities had millions of views and I thought, ‘Why doesn’t Vandy have anything like this?’” Choy said. “I decided to try to try and make a video about student life here because I thought I could do a good job with it.”

After his first video, titled “A Day in My Life at Vanderbilt University,” knocked it out of the park with over 1.4 million views to date, he continued to expand his channel. Providing college advice, life hacks and vlogs of trips to major cities, Choy’s videos have garnered hundreds of thousands of views and subscribers over the 10 months he has had the channel. 

“Figuring out which videos to make was really important, so I tried to reuse my strategy from the first video, which was taking a look at other content on YouTube that was doing well and making similar videos in my own style,” Choy said.

Choy will usually spend an entire day filming using his Sony A7iii and Sony 16-35 mm 2.8 GM lens. He then edits his videos for 6 to 10 hours using Adobe Premiere Pro, so time management becomes key to balancing his channel and academics. As he tries to create weekly content along with keeping up his interests in power-lifting and skateboarding, he finds that his weekly schedule can become overwhelming.

“It comes down to waking up in the morning and knowing what you have to do that day, then making sure you’re using every single hour available to do what you need to do,” Choy said. “There’s weeks where the organizations I’m involved with don’t demand much from me, and there’s weeks where I get slammed. Sometimes I feel like I just can’t handle everything that I have on my plate.”

Despite the busy schedule, Choy does not plan to stop creating or making videos. He said his life has completely transformed, as he now views making videos as a potential career after college. Choy said he is grateful for the opportunities he has gotten since starting his channel, like meeting other YouTubers and social media influencers.

“I create because I love making videos, they are just so fun. It’s crazy how I can use my camera as a tool to create content that can impact people,” Choy said. “I don’t really see an end to it ever. There’s so much to learn and I’m only getting started, so I’m excited to see where I can go.”

By watching other YouTubers, such as his idols Casey Neistat and Sam Kolder, Choy has learned a lot about how to make content that demonstrates his love for creating. Choy said that his first priority is always his content, not growth. 

“Originally, I made a lot of videos about college and specifically Vanderbilt, creating a targeting audience of prospective Vandy students. But now that I’ve built a consistent following, I feel comfortable venturing out into different niches and expanding the diversity of my content,” Choy said.

Choy has grown his presence in the YouTube community to have over 235 thousand subscribers and over 46 thousand Instagram followers. He wouldn’t consider himself to be “famous” on campus, but he says that he definitely gets more recognition than before.

“At the end of the day, I’m just grateful that people come up to me and say hi and let me know how my videos have affected them. It really does help to know that it’s more than the views number I see everyday. It’s real people watching my videos and being impacted by them,” Choy said.

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