It’s early July and you’re sitting in your bedroom, eagerly awaiting your arrival to UBC. Your conditional offer is officially unconditional and there’s nothing holding you back from the onslaught of college-centric videos you’re about to binge for the rest of summer. Amongst the endless stream of dorm tours, hauls and move-in vlogs, you may come across some videos from students actually based in UBC.
What were the reasons that prompted these unofficial faces of UBC to start expressing themselves with a YouTube channel? A resounding answer was their desire to share their thoughts and opinions.
“I wanted to do something to get myself out there,” said a second-year arts student, Yvonne Ko.
Delving into the world of YouTube also brought forth a handful of opportunities that might not have otherwise knocked on their door.
“I actually got to do a SnapChat takeover for UBC,” said Ko.
Hafu Guo, a fourth-year marketing student, was able to use his platform and create global opportunities for himself. His exchange to China enabled him to collaborate with the school to make a web-documentary series for the international promotions department.
“The time of exposure on YouTube is exponentially more than the other platforms,” explained Guo. “On YouTube, you watch a video for five minutes, ten minutes … that length of exposure is exponentially more, which allows me to create a deeper connection with people.”
“I live my life and share what I’ve learned and I also let other people live vicariously through me,” he said.
Many YouTubers today have managed to make a living out of making videos, transforming a fun hobby into successful careers. Fourth-year psychology major Lina Lecompte explained that her aspirations to go into marketing would pair well with her YouTube channel.
“I guess if [YouTube] does for some wild reason turns out to really take off, then it would be really cool to try to make it a job and be doing things for sponsorships and promoting products.”
Guo, who much like Lecompte is preparing for his graduation, was often able to pull from his education and apply it to his YouTube career.
“In marketing, we learn a lot of theories and it’s very vague … it’s just [about] finding the right context to apply these theories. ... I found the connections through YouTube.”
“I would love to travel and make videos and see where that takes me but also to always have another job, too,” Ko said. “I definitely want to go into more relatable and genuine short films … I would use my YouTube as more entertainment vlog thing.”
A UBC YouTube Community?
While there isn’t an extensive network of UBC-based YouTubers, a small community does exist, most apparent in the comment sections of their videos.
“[The] UBC YouTuber community is very lacking,” Guo said, adding that there was a “creative community” on campus — a vast network of creative minds and talents spanning from artists to dancers and photographers. “... [T]hese are the people you can collaborate with.”
In a community with very few members, there definitely is room for growth — especially on a platform with millions of creators. Conversely, there’s also always room to fill this creative community here at UBC and create a vast network of collaboration and further stimulate creativity within the UBC campus.
In a time with millions of people making videos, it’s worth diving deeper into the stories of some of these individuals who feed our curiosity for the university experience, give us inspiration for what to put in our dorms, and share their tips on how to make the next four years of our lives the best yet.