Tell me about your background and your YouTube channel:
I’m from Wolverhampton and come from a pretty average background but I recognise that I was very lucky to get into the selective state grammar school in my area which gave me lots of good opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to enjoy. My YouTube mainly started out of boredom and because I used to ADORE watching online influencers like Zoella and Tanya Burr when I was going through a hard time at home and at school. My channel began to grow and grow and when I started to upload videos based on school and studying, it really took off and I’ve never really looked back since! I started a new channel dedicated to student life and revision which now has over 200,000 subscribers, which is still mind-blowing to me even after 5 years on the platform.
What inspired you to connect your revision and YouTube?
I used to upload beauty and lifestyle videos but I felt like I didn’t really know what I was doing and was a bit lost. A viewer actually commented on one of my makeup videos and asked how I was revising for my GCSEs, so without really giving it much thought I uploaded a short video going over what I thought were pretty basic tips. It turns out that that video was actually really helpful and overnight I had hundreds of comments asking for more school-based content! As I uploaded more and more of those videos I realised that academics was not only where my passion lies, but also what I knew the most about, and the rest, as they say, is history!
How do you find dealing with negative comments from people who don’t know you in real life?
I personally don’t find comments from online trolls particularly difficult to deal with when they are so obviously hateful (for example comments like “you’re ugly” or “you’re fat”) because I know that they are just keyboard warriors hiding behind fake usernames. However, I do find comments from ‘real’ accounts that target my habits or lifestyle or family a bit more hurtful. I think I just have to remember that they only really see a few minutes of my life every week and so they have no right to comment on how I live my life – for me all that matters is that the people who know me in real life know I am a good person!
I think I just have to remember that they only really see a few minutes of my life every week and so they have no right to comment on how I live my life
How has your channel developed since you first started it to now?
Well, for one the subject matter of my channel has completely changed! I’ve gone from makeup tutorials to study with me’s! That, I think, came with age though – as I grew up and matured, so did my content. I also think I’m a lot more honest and open on my channel now as my viewers have grown up with me, and so I am less worried about projecting a ‘perfect’ image and I make more of an effort to show the darker side of my life too.
How have you found juggling Oxford life and continuing your online presence?
Near enough impossible if I’m honest! Balancing Youtube is hard enough outside of term time, but during the 8 weeks that I am in Oxford it becomes a real challenge. I tried to weekly vlog but that had such a bad impact on my mental health and impacted the way I was acting so much that I had to stop doing that. Now I just try to get one video out a week, but my viewers know that with the intensity of the workload that isn’t always going to happen!
Do you feel that talking about life in Oxford online helps to promote access?
Yes, and I am so glad more and more people are doing it. I recently went to an access event hosted by another YouTuber, Vee, at LMH and so many young people came up to me and said that if it weren’t for Youtubers giving insight into Oxford life, they would have never even dreamed of applying! I think Youtube is the perfect platform to help demystify Oxford as an institution and show that the students here aren’t superhuman.
so many young people came up to me and said that if it weren’t for Youtubers giving insight into Oxford life, they would have never even dreamed of applying!
How would you like to see your YouTube channel change by the end of your degree?
I honestly have no idea where my Youtube channel is going to go in the next few years. First year was a HUGE learning curve for me in terms of my content, it changed so much because I changed so much! I just want to continue documenting this crazy journey and take my viewers along with me as I grow even more as a person and face even more challenges – especially on my year abroad!
Any advice for freshers starting at the uni?
My number one piece of advice, and something I wish I had done in first year, would be to understand that even though you’ve worked for so long to get there, it’s OK to have down days and to not be happy 100% of the time. I used to beat myself up SO much for being upset or stressed because I thought that I was wasting a golden opportunity, but in my opinion the hard times are just as valuable as the good times and help you to get your money’s worth!
Photo Credits: Eve Bennett