• Katie Heyes

My July Journey: Day 4 - My Most Influential YouTubers

Updated: Jul 6, 2019

It’s no secret that Uni is a stressful time for everyone. Exams, revision, socials or even just something important you’re planning - stress can pop up anywhere and knowing how to unwind and take a break from the busy lifestyle is so important. Although I’ve definitely struggled finding the right balance between work and leisure and often lose interest in one thing or another, there’s always been one constant source of entertainment for me – the wonderful world of YouTube.

Yeah despite all the drama, controversy and cringe that seems to pop up on the daily, there’s nothing I like more than coming back to college after a day jam-packed with lectures and seminars, to be entertained by some of my favourite YouTubers.

But YouTube has always been more to me than just an escapism from the hectic environment – it’s also been one of the biggest sources of motivation for me.

It’s easy in Uni to get and lose motivation when being bombarded by assignment deadlines. So whenever I’m struggling to find that urge in the morning to get past procrastination station and find the desire within myself to push on when the workload gets tough, there are certain YouTubers that never disappoint in providing that inspirational boost. So seeing as YouTube is the main source of entertainment for people nowadays and if you’re needing that little push to start your productive day, why not make the give these videos a go!

I’ve realised some of these choices may be quite niche but nonetheless I thought it would give you a good insight into my personal interests as quirky as some may be.

- Lindsay Ellis – In recent years, the amount of video essays currently on YouTube have skyrocketed. The lengthy, analytical style of media criticism has currently taken the internet by storm and one of the producers that I’ve been following for the longest is Lindsay Ellis. Formerly of Nostalgia Chick fame, she currently specialises in producing video essays surrounding film theory and academia. I’ve realised I’m going to sound like a proud mum in this section but I’ve been following her videos for almost 10 years now and throughout that period I’ve loved seeing how the style and format of her videos has developed. Her engaging style and in-depth research into all the different contextual factors of what goes into film creation has always been one my main sources for inspiration for my current degree. Sometimes I even have one of her essays on in the background whilst doing Uni work to help me with my academic writing style and to avoid shallow criticism in my literature modules. Of course as well she mainly focuses on Disney as well which is always a plus for me.

- Todd in the Shadows – Also coming under the analytical style of videos, Todd focuses on music criticism, where he produces reviews of pop songs, compiling top 10 lists of the best and worst hit songs of the year as well as running a series called One Hit Wonderland where he takes a look at some artists whose careers only peaked with one song and the effect that success has had on their careers. His style of videos has always been so entertaining for me, always managing to make me laugh in every video without fail besides his unintentional name abbreviation. His reviewing style like Lindsay’s is also really engaging and you can just tell how passionate he is about the music industry and that’s always something I really admire.

- Joy Womack – I’ve not really talked about this on my blog yet but one of my favourite childhood hobbies is Ballet. Sure every girl has that dream of becoming a ballerina at some point in their life but few actually end up pursuing it career wise. Yet Joy did just that. In 2015 she started Project Prima, a series of videos documenting her life within the ballet community and some of the success but also struggles that come with the job. Another interesting factor to take into account is her moving from America to Russia. As you can imagine, not an easy transition. So a lot of her videos are about her adapting to a different culture discussing some of the difficulties she has with the language, people but also missing home life and struggling to find stability. What I admire most about her is her ability to show the high points and low points of her life on camera to shine light on the severity of some of the problems she’s facing. Whilst at times it’s difficult to watch, there is this pressure to maintain appearances on social media of this perfect happy lifestyle and whilst it’s an idyllic scenario it’s just not reality. Whereas in her videos, you can tell it’s just pure emotion and perseverance through all the bad times that get her to the better places in her life. Her dedication to her job just shines through every second she’s on camera and it’s so moving to watch.

So those are some of my most influential YouTubers who never fail in getting me out of that slump of idleness. Whilst I realise some of these video topics might not might not be everyone’s cup of tea, we are now living in what people have started calling the “Golden Age” of YouTube. With so many inspirational YouTubers who use their platform to benefit others whether it be through laughter, advice or even academia, motivation is only a click away!

- Katie x

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