Meet The Martin Hall Freshmen Who Went Viral On TikTok

Scrolling through the bottomless pit of the TikTok “For You Page” is a popular pastime for many students. The addictive format of a personalized thread of content allows users to see the latest trends and the hottest new creators. For a group of first-year students in Martin Hall, TikTok has allowed them to reach a larger audience than any of them ever expected. 

The @psumartin5 TikTok account has gone viral over the past two weeks, leaving the public invested and craving more content from the residents of fifth floor Martin. 

Miranda Smith is the creator of the TikTok account but said the idea to make videos was a mutual floor decision.

“The fifth floor is just so close, so we thought that making a TikTok would be perfect and that other people would find it really funny,” Smith said.

The account consists of Smith interviewing the fifth-floor residents on topics from “who is the hottest on the floor?” to “who on the floor should hook up next?”. Other videos include them lip-syncing to famous TikTok sounds or posting photo dumps of the floor. The style of videos allows viewers to meet a multitude of fifth-floor tenets, each with their own personalities and quirks. 

It’s clear the group had no intentions of going viral with their account, as it was originally made as a joke to make the floor laugh.

“All of the likes and comments we got at first were just from us,” said Brooke Cooper, who is a fifth-floor resident that is frequently featured on the account. “Our TikTok is really just us being ourselves and showing off our personalities.”

Despite these humble origins, the account now has over 19,000 followers and over 700,000 likes. The account’s most viral video, which consists of the group voting on the hottest fifth-floor resident, now has three million views and over 500,000 likes.

Due to its rapid rise to fame, the squad has garnered quite a bit of buzz around campus. From being recognized in Tinder DMs to the East Findlay commons, these students have been getting more and more recognition.

“The other day, a girl ran up to me in Findlay Commons and gave me a hug. It is so funny getting recognized by people,” Smith said. 

Their videos are not just reaching the Penn State community, as users from all over the world are loving the Martin Hall content. Katherine Kilby, a Martin resident and participant in the account, shared they have been getting comments from non-Penn State users, saying they are weirdly invested in Martin Hall life. From high schoolers to 30-year-olds, the TikTok FYP has brought in a strange combination of users to the account. 

“A graduate from UConn commented that she loved our TikTok and that it reminded her of her friend group in college. It was so crazy,” Kilby said.

Aside from comments expressing the public fascination with the account, many users are dying to know who the mysterious and mystical “Blaze” is. In a few videos, a resident named Blaze is mentioned but is never around in the videos. The account’s comments have been flooded with users begging for a “Blaze reveal,” desperate to put a face to the name.

One anxious, middle-aged user commented, “Why am I in Mississippi and so invested in Blaze? Blaze is stressing me out.”

Camerawoman Gracie Bowman shared that Blaze “is always really busy or is sleeping” when the camera is on.

“But, he told me he will be in a video before his time at Martin Hall is over, whenever that will be,” Bowman said.

When asked if making this account has created any new friendships on the floor, Smith explained that the friendships already existed.

“Honestly, the floor has always been extremely close,” Smith said. “That’s why we wanted to start the TikTok in the first place.”

From spending nights running around campus playing Pokemon Go to late-night talks in the lounge, the fifth floor of Martin Hall is truly an inseparable group of students.

“Even after we all go out for the night, we always meet up before going to bed and stay up talking, sometimes till 5 a.m.,” said Smith.

Just from sitting with the tight-knit bunch of students in the fifth-floor lounge, the connection they share is something you can see in their interactions with one another.  

The leader of this family and one of the students frequently featured on the account is the floor’s RA, Mikey Riggs. He called the group’s bond unique and special.

“Being their RA has been such a fun time and something that I am truly grateful for. Every time I hear a knock at my dorm, I’m both horrified and intrigued by what I will find on the other side,” he said. “However, I will be extremely sad when this semester is over. I am really going to miss this group.”

The good relationship the residents of Martin Hall have built with their RA carries weight. It has made their first year on campus even better and has obviously impacted all of them in a positive way.

“I would say to incoming first-years to not be afraid of you RA. Most freshmen I know are scared to even talk to their RA. Reach out to them and try to become friends. It makes resolving issues easier and it’s nice to have someone you can go to,” Bowman said. 

As the account has been growing at an exponential rate, many incoming freshmen have been commenting on posts and seeking advice and tips for their first year in State College.

“What I would say to first-year students is to become close with your floor quickly. It helps make the transition to college so smooth and makes you feel much more comfortable being here. Half of the time, I don’t even want to leave to go back home,” said Cooper. 

Looking ahead, the group still plans to continue making content and posting videos as a floor. These residents truly emulate what it means to find your family at Penn State and how important friendship is to one’s college experience.

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About the Author

McKenna Murphy

McKenna is a second-year agricultural science major from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She is a Disney enthusiast, a proud ginger, and an iced coffee addict. You can follow her on Instagram @mckenna.murph or email her at [email protected].

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