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Eli Rallo
Eli Rallo
Eli Rallo
Career

TikTok Star and Her Campus Alum Eli Rallo Is Everyone’s Big Sister

If you’ve scrolled on TikTok recently, you probably know Eli Rallo, AKA @thejarr. The TikToker who first went viral for her gluten free snack mix jars has evolved into a lifestyle content creator. Best known for sharing her advice lists, she’s that girl who you wish was your big sister.

Before TikTok, Eli actually got her start in her school’s Her Campus chapter at the University of Michigan. She initially joined as a writer her freshman year and was soon promoted to editor-in-chief after being hand selected by a graduating senior in the role. She says that her favorite part of Her Campus was getting the opportunity to write and learn alongside a passionate group of women.

“We’ll work on it together, it doesn’t have to be some New York Times bestselling journalistic piece, it just has to be you trying your best and sharing a story that you want to share,” Eli shares. Her school’s chapter did not cut anyone, unlike her school newspaper, which she compared to her high school theater experience.

“I remember my drama club in high school didn’t cut anybody and that would be really frowned upon by other high schools that were better than us at theater, but the idea was like anybody should be able to participate in this, because at the crux of it, theater is about a desire to belong and belonging,” Eli states. “And I felt the same way about Her Campus that it allowed anyone to participate in writing. Even if you’re not a good writer, you don’t have to be good to be able to do it and I always loved that so much.”

After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in theater and political science, Eli went on to study journalism at Columbia University. While she admits that she felt a bit lost, she knew that her passion was always about creativity and storytelling.

Eli tells me “I look at a lot of the stuff I’ve done and I think a lot of people would be like ‘she’s all over the place.’ I was studying poli-sci and then I was studying theater, and then I went to journalism school, and then I started in content creation, but all of that is about sharing a story with an audience in the hopes that it would incite discussion.”

If good journalism is all about storytelling, Eli certainly has all of the skills to be successful as a content creator. She deems TikTok the modern version of broadcast journalism. Similar to how a writer goes about crafting their story, a content creator goes through the same creative process of coming up with a topic and working through the rough drafts to get to the final version.

A creative at heart, Eli knows that her various experiences throughout her life have led her to where she is today. Just last week, she signed with a literary agent and is planning on writing a book — something she shares has been a longtime dream of hers.

“My current dreams are reality, but they’re still a dream,” Eli shares. “The dream thing is something that I might not even know exists. It could very well be just writing my books and teaching creative nonfiction at a college and having a family. I really want to have kids and I really just want to be happy.”

Eli’s TikToks feel as if you’re talking to a friend. With over 400k followers and counting, it’s clear that she knows her audience. From her “Types of Hot Girls” series to her “Rules”, she’s that girl that everyone wants to go to for advice. She has this calming presence that gives the impression she could solve all of your life’s problems over a round of margaritas. However, this calm and cool demeanor is one she has crafted after years of her own struggles.

During our discussion Eli shares “I’m not a very religious person but I’m very spiritual. I used to be so anxious and I still have a lot of anxiety but whenever I just decided and realized that if I’m working hard, being kind to myself and others, and doing my absolute best I can do and I’m doing those three things every day, the universe has my back.”

“I used to get really upset about rejection and then in my senior year of college I realized that when I get rejected it’s just the universe being like ‘I have to redirect you here or else you’re going down the wrong path’. I always say the universe has our rough draft and it’s our job while we’re here to make the final draft.”

Eli’s own redirection has led her to TikTok fame in the lifestyle sector, as well as her podcast, Miss Congeniality.

“When your content is your life it’s hard to set aside time to actually have your life and not have your life be content,” she shares candidly.

Many content creators share this struggle that it can be difficult to separate personal life from work. Because there is not a set schedule, it can be difficult to balance the two. Social media fame can also come with a lot of outside noise that can be hard to block out. However, she doesn’t let the TikTok fame cause her to lose sight of herself.

“If you’re getting messages about how much people love you all day it’s sometimes hard to realize that you’re still a work in progress, and I know I definitely am.”

She credits her family and boyfriend as her solid support system that are “always on Team Eli.” While she looks up to her favorite creators as career mentors, she considers those who she holds most intimately in her life to be her role models that have helped her to get to the place where she is today.

Every rejection or redirection in Eli’s life has led her to exactly where she’s supposed to be. Even if it isn’t clear at the time, the universe has a bigger and better plan for how your life is going to turn out.

“I always say to people, the bricks that you lay down, you’re going to be like ‘this is going to build the ugliest house’. No, it’s going to build a house that you didn’t have the taste yet for or you didn’t know what it was going to look like, but the house will be built.”

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Eli’s next chapter — literally.

Carli is a senior at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City studying Fashion Business Management and is the style section editor for Her Campus. After being a national style writer for Her Campus, she launched Her Campus FIT and acts as a Campus Correspondent. A born and raised Jersey Girl, she is a huge Bruce Springsteen fan. In her spare time she loves running, jamming to Taylor Swift, and tracking down the best burgers. Find her on Instagram @carliannescloset.
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