Many ASU students already feel the pressure of balancing their time between classes, work and their social lives. For students also running their own YouTube channel, there's an added pressure and audience to worry about.
Ellena Whitfield, a sophomore majoring in journalism, is one of ASU's many student YouTubers. The videos on her channel ellenawhat vary from reactions to some of her favorite artists, such as 5 Seconds of Summer or Twenty One Pilots, to styling tips and other college-related videos.
“I just started posting videos every now and then in the summer going into my junior year of high school, and then it just kinda took off,” Whitfield said.
Now, she finds her inspiration at ASU. She says some of her favorite kinds of videos to watch and make are college-related videos like move-in vlogs and day-in-the-life videos, and she’s happy they connect her to other students.
“People talk to me and ask me questions like, ‘hey, I've seen your videos and I want to start a channel too. How do I do that?’” Whitfield said. “And it's cool because there are a lot of people in Cronkite who are interested or who post already.”
Sydney Jozwiak, aka Sydney Joz on YouTube, is a senior majoring in communication. Like Whitfield she also posts college centered lifestyle content. For her, managing YouTube and school has required her to become better at time management.
“It gets really rough. I'm a full time student, I have two jobs and an internship, and I make YouTube videos,” Jozwiak said. “I have so much going on, and it really impacts my channel if I don't upload one week.”
She said although she wishes she could devote more time to YouTube, she knows there are other important priorities to maintain alongside it.
“I see my analytics go down, and I still care about my channel so much," Jozwiak said. "And it hurts to say, but I have other more pressing things that should come before it.”
Caitlyn Elazegui, a sophomore majoring in mathematics, also works hard to maintain the balance between YouTube and school. Her channel TheCaitlynRose focuses on college and travel vlogs.
“The biggest challenge is definitely being able to balance school, all of my activities and the YouTube channel,” Elazegui said. “I haven’t been able to post for a second week now, just because I’ve been so busy with other things that I’m trying to pursue. It’s one of the smaller priorities even though I want it to be bigger.”
Despite the difficulty of maintaining a balance, all three YouTubers expressed encouragement to students who are considering starting their own channels. Elazegui said vlogging has helped her grow as a person.
“When I first started vlogging in public, I was super shy,” Elazegui said. “I don’t know if I’d call myself shy anymore, because YouTube had me step out of my comfort zone. I was vlogging at Disney and getting stares, but I didn’t really care. It’s a good way to grow as a person if you start a YouTube channel and pursue it.”
Jozwiak suggests that a good first step for students interested in starting a YouTube channel is deciding on a specific kind of content to post. For example, she said that girls shouldn't feel obligated to post beauty or makeup videos just because they're trending.
“Find your niche, find exactly what you want your channel to be about and stick to that because YouTube is so saturated nowadays,” Joazwiak said.”There are so many creators out there, even just at ASU.”
Whitfield encourages students to be consistent, even if they don’t gain a following right away.
“If you don't start, you're never going to get to 100 subscribers, or 1,000 subscribers,” Whitfield said. “Everyone started off with zero — people that have millions and millions of subscribers had zero at one point. You never really know what can happen unless you just do it.”