On campus and on camera, you may see Penn State students with YouTube channels like Emma Doyle and Kayla Michaud. These students have found a way to balance school and their social media platforms with their favorite type of content.
Emma Doyle is a third-year student from California majoring in corporate innovation and entrepreneurship. She began making travel vlogs on YouTube with her sister in high school, then she continued the channel when her sister traveled back to college.
When she chose to attend Penn State, Doyle started to post videos helping other students who were thinking of coming to Penn State, particularly those whose hometowns are far from State College like hers. Doyle’s advice videos and perspective as a college student became especially helpful to high school seniors when the pandemic first began because many prospective students were not able to visit campus.
Creating content for YouTube while balancing the schedule of a college student is not easy, but Doyle tries to post a video once every two weeks during the semester.
She noted that her favorite type of videos to create are her random vlogs. Her most recent upload, “WE ARE back PENN STATE,” features Doyle and her friends meal-prepping in their kitchen, going to a sorority chapter meeting, walking around campus, studying in their apartment and hanging out in downtown State College. Videos like these are not only Doyle’s favorite to create but they also demonstrate the daily ins and outs of the life of a real college student. Doyle’s vlogs also include funny sounds, memes and music to create a cohesive, entertaining video.
To those who are thinking of starting their own YouTube channel: “There’s no perfect time to start,” Doyle said. “I say just do it!”
Kayla Michaud is a fourth-year student from Boston majoring in human development and family studies. Michaud began making college-related content when she attended Quinnipiac University after high school, and she started creating even more content for her channel, titled Kayla Marie, when she transferred to Penn State.
“I try to be really genuine in my vlogs and show what is actually happening,” Michaud said. “I feel like when I was in high school, I wanted to see those raw videos of what it is like to be a college student.”
Michaud also varies her content beyond weekly vlogs by posting fashion-inspired videos, vlogs during special events like game day and sit-down advising videos for students about organization and planning.
As TikTok advances in popularity, videos posted on social media tend to be shorter in length than many viral videos used to be on platforms like YouTube. Michaud explained that she enjoys the uncut view into someone’s life through their YouTube channel, which is something that she demonstrates on her channel.
“I always love when TikToker’s transition to YouTube because you can see more of their lives and it feels more natural,” Michaud said.