Instagram inspiration from student-run accounts

Libby Darrell, Special Features Editor

Although COVID-19 restrictions have made this semester feel isolating, students at the University should not lose touch of all their amazing accomplishments. While we must remain prudent in terms of gatherings and interacting on-campus, several students have taken to online platforms to pursue their passions and maintain communication with a larger audience. In the past few months, some students at the University have started Instagram accounts to showcase their passions and engage with other University students. 

Here are a few Instagram accounts that have been not only on our radar at The Bucknellian, but also are popular among students at the University. What better way to stay in touch with our peers than to follow their activities online?



Bucknell Dorm Eats

The Instagram account @BucknellDormEats is a student-run page that features healthy recipes and meal ideas for students, who either love to cook, do not prefer Bostwick Marketplace, or even just want to be aware of what, exactly, is going into their bodies. Run by Callie Sullivan ’23 and Haines Corrigan ’23, @bucknell_dorm_eats features everything from snack hacks to healthy hacks, meal preparation and a plentiful supply of yummy recipes. Below is what Sullivan and Corrigan have to say about their wonderful account.


Can you describe Bucknell Dorm Eats a little bit? What is its purpose/mission?

Bucknell Dorm Eats is a healthy food account that highlights our daily home (or dorm)-cooked meals and our favorite easy recipes. Our mission is to change the way people view food at Bucknell, and show students simple and nutritious ways to feed themselves when the Bison won’t cut it or when DoorDash becomes too much. 


How did your account begin? What motivated you to begin the account?

The account began at the beginning of the fall 2020 semester when we realized that even with spending $1400 on 7 meals per week, we were still hungry. We needed to figure out how to buy groceries on a budget for our other meals. We decided to start our account when we began cooking healthy meals every night, and we wanted to show everyone else on campus that it’s possible to cook simple and healthy meals during college, even if you live in a dorm room with a tight budget.


What social media tips do you have for students who want to create their own popular social media accounts?

When we first started Bucknell Dorm Eats, we definitely did not expect it to blow up like it did. Our biggest tip for students who want to create their own social media accounts is to keep the content original and provide variety in their posts. We try to make a different dinner every night to keep our followers engaged and hopefully inspire others to make meals in their dorm rooms. Another tip we have is to create content before advertising the account, because once we began to increase our following, people were more interested in the account due to the wide variety of content already posted.


Do you have a favorite recipe?

Although our favorite recipe tends to change by the week, some of our favorites include coconut chicken, the kale harvest salad, avocado toast and cauliflower pizza! 

To try some of these fun recipes and learn more about Sullivan and Corrigan, be sure to follow the Bucknell Dorm Eats Instagram.



Many other students have also used Instagram to demonstrate their artistic abilities. Erin Holmes ’21 used her knowledge in marketing and communications to sell her homemade pottery on the account @burnt_wave_pottery. Each month Holmes posts images of her work and the first to comment “mine” is sold the piece. All of the proceeds are donated to charity.


Why did you start your account? What inspired you to do so?

When I started doing pottery 2.5 years ago at Portland Pottery in Maine, I was learning from amazing artists and makers who each had a unique style to their work. My sister and I became engulfed in finding new ceramic artists and eventually, my Instagram feed was filled with more artists than personal accounts. This is my third year doing pottery and I have finally discovered my unique style. I couldn’t wait to start sharing my work with others and join the inspiring online pottery community. So once I created that goal, I did all the work needed to create Burnt Wave Pottery and launched it a few months ago. After all, art should be shared with the world.


Can you describe your account a little bit? What is its purpose and mission?

Burnt Wave Pottery is my creative business where I sell functional pottery that I make in small batches. I share images of my work, my  process, ideas, goals for the future, promote other artists, etc. As of right now, I have sales directly in my Instagram feed. For the duration of my time at college, I am donating 100 percent of profits to different causes each month. I have had two sell-out sales so far that have together raised over $200. The money has been donated to California wildfire relief efforts and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. During times like these, we all need hope and inspiration in our daily lives and I hope that Burnt Wave Pottery can be an outlet for my followers. I know it has been for me.

Next semester, I am planning an Independent Study to focus on developing Burnt Wave Pottery further. I will be developing my own website and running sales there while focusing on refining my process so I can craft more pieces for my followers and make a larger impact on the world. After college, I plan to continue Burnt Wave Pottery as a side business, as I intend to pursue career in creative marketing and branding. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for my little biz.


What social media tips do you have for students who want to also start Instagram businesses? 

There are so many pieces of advice I could give you all about starting an Instagram business, most of which I have learned along the way. I spent a lot of time before creating Burnt Wave Pottery following other artists in my niche and asking them: “Where should I start?” The best answer I got (and one that I got often) was “just start!” Make an Instagram. Start posting. Start interacting with other artists. You will learn the most about how to run an Instagram business by just taking the leap!

My second biggest tip is: Be 100 percent authentic, let your personality show through your account. For a solo-preneur, people want to know YOU not just your product or service. People will be more likely to want your product or service when they feel they know you on a personal level (even if they’ve never met you). Obviously, share all your success stories and how great your product is, but also ask for advice. Post about mistakes you have made along the way and what you have learned. Your audience will learn from your mistakes and find more value in your content. My favorite part about starting this business is how many other artists and makers I have been able to connect with. People are so inspiring and uplifting, and they have given me a lot of confidence to pursue this.


What is your favorite piece that you’ve made?

The process behind making a piece is so intricate that it is so difficult to pick a favorite! There are pieces that are my favorite because I was making them for a special person, pieces that may not have come out the best but the process was a lot of fun, so it’s tough to choose! In terms of highest quality, I would have to say that I am most proud of a specific two pieces from my first sale – the Morning in Paradise Espresso Mug and the Iconic Snake Mug. They were my first pieces I ever carved those two designs in and quickly fell in love with them. Now those two designs are my signature! 




Fitness By Five

Brandon Sanders ’22 is beginning a fitness empire with his account @FitnessByFive. His account offers a variety of at-home workout plans and workout motivation. He has even begun teaching individual and small group HIIT classes for students on campus. 


Can you describe Fitness By Five a little bit? What is its purpose/mission?

Fitness By Five is a place where I share my knowledge and experiences as a college athlete, and my passion for bettering myself both physically and mentally in any way possible. I give an in-depth look at my life as a Division I football player, highlighting what I believe it takes to be successful at this level and beyond. 

This page is a place where I am honest. I intend to show both the good and the bad of the quest to transform my body and hopefully help in the transformation of others. I intend on playing in the NFL after college, but if that does not work out, I plan on being a fitness trainer. This is the first step, I believe, towards getting my foot in the door. I am new to this, so I am learning on the fly. Fitness by Five is completely free — I look for nothing in return, I am just interested in sharing my knowledge, almost as a form of community service to those who might benefit from it!


How did your account begin? What motivated you to begin the account?

My account began during quarantine. I am on the football team and was looking for inspiration and different workouts to do while gyms were closed. I began to do a lot of research on different exercises that could be done with limited equipment and figured I would share it with those who might have also been struggling. 

It began as an account where I would just post my own individual workouts over quarantine. I would video myself performing each exercise along with a brief description that included the number of sets and number of reps for each. As it began to gain traction, people would ask me if I could put together different workout plans for them and asked for lifestyle tips even outside of the gym. From there it began to bloom into a page, on which I provide daily quotes, motivation, workout tips and things of that nature. Here at [the University] I began to run individual/small group sessions which are 45 minutes long. My HIIT-style workouts that have begun to become pretty popular here on campus due to the nature of this semester. 


What social media tips do you have for students who want to create their own successful Instagram business?

I would say being transparent is the most important thing in terms of the success of my page. Being honest about your experience, and doing a lot of research to make sure that you have the best possible content is very important. I am not the most creative or tech-savvy person in the world, but I think that the way that I advertise my page in terms of it being able to be accessible to all people is also something that works well for me. Finally, being able to identify followers that could potentially benefit from what you are putting out there and catering most of your services to their needs and desires is the biggest tip I would have for other students who want to create social media pages for a purpose other than their personal use.

With the Kenneth Langone Athletic and Recreation Center (KLARC) at a limited capacity this semester, what better way to get outdoors than to sign up for a group or individual HIIT class with Sanders? Those interested in his offerings should reach out, and make sure to follow these successful student-run Instagrams.


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