Vlogging isn’t always as easy as it seems. Think of your favorite YouTuber: they occasionally mention super secret projects and joke about the hustle, but you only ever see their play hard lifestyle. Every day, you watch them pulling pranks and traveling to incredible places for work. They make it look so simple — like anyone could do it. It feels like your success as a vlogger is just a matter of getting lucky and getting noticed.
The truth is, a lot more goes into making videos than you realize — than you can even think about, fathom, or understand. There is planning, filming, editing — it all takes a lot of time. Vlogging while in college is just impractical, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.
While in college, you are already dragged in a hundred different directions: love interests, course work, passions, internships. It’s hard to be a college student as is, let alone as a vlogger. It’s not always clear what is most important to you, and what needs to be most important. But, to discover your priorities, you need to try things — and if vlogging is something you’re interested in, you need to try it.
Chances are, college is important to you, and you want to do well, and be well, while there. This unfortunately means video ideas usually get put at the bottom of your priority list. Projects, papers, and exams will probably come first. Balancing college with internetting is a struggle, and sometimes you need to prioritize what’s most important to you. But, you need to discover that balance.
When you’re trying to grow a YouTube channel, it’s hard to be a busy college student. It’s certainly not ideal to be as busy as the average college student, on top of being a full-time vlogger. But, if you love making videos and focus on your priorities, then you can succeed at both. It’s not easy to make your best vlogs while also tip-toeing around exams, assignments, and failure — but you can. I’ve successfully not failed out of school (yet)!
Succeeding at both will require you to set yourself up for success. This will mean something different for everyone. It could mean building a support system. It could mean building a Neistat-inspired vlog-machine office. It could mean editing in lecture halls. It could even mean taking the slow trek, and lowering your college responsibilities. You really need to think about what it will take for you to succeed, and design your college life around that. Balance is possible!
I saved the best piece of advice for last. It’s vital to being successful while juggling school and vlogging.
Picture this: it’s past midnight and you just got home from the library. Your eyes feel like sandpaper from staring at your computer screen for the past four hours. You finally finished writing a paper you should have started a week ago. All you want to do is climb in bed, curl into a ball, and sleep. Then, you remember that you still have a vlog to upload, and footage to edit.
This could go one of two ways. You could hate yourself, cry a little bit, and give up on the whole YouTube thing — like an estranged family member told you to months ago. Or maybe you’ll let out a sigh, get your computer out of your backpack, and start editing. To you, editing that video is the exact release you need, because you love it.
With a passion for the craft/art/weird-thing-where-you-talk-to-a-camera, your metric of success is different. Your passion for vlogging can walk into your life when it pleases you, and leave when it doesn’t. Vlogging can turn into whatever you need it to be. It can be a way to record the exciting times in your life, or a way to expel creative energy. It can even be a way to build a community of people you can’t find anywhere else, who share your weird, quirky, internetty interests. All that matters is that vlogging works for you.