If you’ve ever been eager for a glimpse of student life at UBC, chances are you’ve come across one of Yvonne Ko’s videos. Better known by her YouTube handle, “itsyvn”, her channel focuses on lifestyle content ranging from dorm and residence tours, to day-in-the-life videos on campus.
Starting off as a way to document her journey at UBC, her videos have turned into an opportunity for her to provide guidance for current and prospective students. She has amassed over 10,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel as of this writing.
“I hope I can look back at this one day,” said Ko.
“I really love creating UBC content… I appreciate it so much that people watch my stuff, and I am so happy that I can help them see what [UBC] is like.”
As a fourth year film studies and creative writing student, Ko has had her fair share of hardships— most of which have contributed to her growth and realization of a new perspective. Her unsuccessful application to the Film Production program, for example, allowed her to view similar negative experiences as opportunities to divert more of her creativity and energy elsewhere.
In hindsight, Ko views her past rejections in a positive light, as she is now able to create what she wants more freely, and share her experiences in hopes of resonating with others. They have collectively allowed her to share with her viewers that things happen for a reason, and that individuals are the creators of their own paths.
“There are things that you just absolutely can't change,” said Ko.
“I've gotten rejected [by] a bunch of programs... [but it] also gave me that push to do something else, and to make something for myself… Not getting into [them] just pushed me, even more, to channel this creativity into somewhere else.”
This new perspective has proven to be especially fruitful, as her channel has since opened up the door for several new opportunities. Of these, Ko has been able to work with many brands such as Princess Polly, Zaful, Ana Luisa, and Merit. She also had the chance to speak alongside Santa J. Ono, President and Vice-Chancellor of UBC, for the grand opening of Exchange Residence, as a result of her YouTube Channel and experience with video-making.
Moving from Toronto, Ko’s decision to attend UBC was not one made lightly. Never having visited the campus before, and only experiencing it through videos prior to her arrival, she was drawn to the opportunities that the city had to offer. With Vancouver's large film industry in mind, she was also drawn to the opportunities for growth that it could generate.
“I just had this urge that I needed to go,” said Ko.
“You've got to push yourself out there. My parents have always taught me that the best way to grow is when you put yourself in difficult situations. That's really where you learn.”
After university, alongside her work life, Ko plans to continue to create videos on YouTube. Having developed a love for the platform and creating videos, she hopes to maintain a steady balance between work and content creation in the future.
As for where she will be headed next, she intends to remain in Vancouver for the time being.
“I feel like I’ve kind of found my place here,” said Ko.
She highly encourages anyone interested in creating content on YouTube to do so, and closes with the following remark:
“You should just try, because you never know what opportunities are going to come with it… If you're thinking about it, just do it. And if you need more encouragement, reach out to me. I will be there to hype you up if you need that.”