Something of rising prominence throughout the past two years on YouTube has been StudyTubers; people who dedicate their channels to vlogs regarding how they study, exam advice, and so forth.
Whilst in many ways these channels have their benefits, and played a large role in my first year of A Levels, I now see them as something that, if done incorrectly, can be damaging for the audience. Therefore, as I know many of you reading this are students yourselves (duh, this is Student Life!), I wanted to share my experience with you of StudyTubers, and give you a few pointers should you choose to consume their content.
Firstly, I would like to point out that this is in no way anything against these individuals as people. I am not bashing their personalities; I for one find their dedication to their learning extremely admirable, and the fact that during some of the most life-changing moments of their lives they are dedicating their spare time to supporting others is incredible. However, I do think their content should be carefully considered.
If you are not aware of the StudyTube community, there are several channels on YouTube dedicated to studying, with over 100k subscribers, which considering it is a rather new and niche audience, this is a substantial subscriber account in comparison to commentary, beauty and gaming channels. Many of these individuals have also been featured on the news, been in the papers, and even on the TV to commemorate their achievements and influence.
Many people, including 16 year old me, found these individuals very influential, and found that they spurred me on to keep dedicated to my studying. However, one thing that soon came to my attention, was how this influence to succeed became over-whelming and started to have a negative impact. 9/10 of the successful StudyTubers are straight-A/A* students. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this; they worked hard and dedicated their time to this. Although, for many of us, this is unattainable. We should strive to do OUR best, not THE best, and sometimes I think this YouTube content reflects the latter attitude, which can be toxic. As these StudyTubers are the same age as us, we see them as an online friend, and are encouraged with the notion that if we study like they do, we will succeed like they do; and quite frankly, this is not going to be the case for all the 100,000s of people watching.
A popular video amongst these individuals is to do live reactions of them opening their results, which I personally find to be dangerous for viewers’ self-esteem. I’ve watched countless videos of these individuals get A* in all but one subject, in which they get an A, then cry on camera about how they’ve failed. Now, as someone who received good grades in school, and always strived for the top grades, I understand the upset you may feel at not getting the grade you want. However, this is still a phenomenal set of grades, and when people who are not used to getting
A* in everything see this content, it can be so devastating for them. For the people who worked hard, to get a B or a C, watching these reaction videos can make them feel even worse about themselves, when you really shouldn’t feel upset. B and C are still fantastic achievements, and too many times have I seen people upset with this because they’ve compared their results to that of a StudyTuber, and are no longer happy with their grade just because they got lower than those online.
I’ve spoken before about these individuals doing a 14-hour long ‘Study With Me,’ claiming this is “quite a relaxed day for me” which whilst it may be, for many other people it is beyond imaginable. Whilst no harm is meant by this content, I personally do not recommend consuming this content around your exam periods, at all, because sometimes the way in which this content is created can be negatively influential. What matters is that you do your best, regardless of how other people do. Achieve your potential, and don’t view your success in the light of other people’s.