"It's my creative outlet, I'd say, from normal work"Paige Yallop

When many people think of Cambridge, they envisage long-standing traditions and never-ending workloads, perhaps a somewhat lacking perception of what the University is truly like. Yet the rise of social media has given way to faces that have come to be associated with an authentic portrayal of Cambridge. One such face is Paige Yallop, known as PaigeY on her YouTube channel, who has amassed over 200,000 subscribers since starting in 2017.

Now a student actuary, Paige has been sharing the transition from student life to the workplace. Her bright and often honest insight into her life has drawn many in, and her enthusiasm for what she does remains clear throughout our conversation. “It’s my creative outlet, I’d say, from normal work,” she says. “I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t enjoy it.”

She started her channel to document her time at university, though it was her sister who initially had the idea. “Beforehand, I had no experience of filming, editing, nothing,” she admits. “I didn’t really fully expect where it was going.” However, five years down the line, she couldn’t recommend it more, calling it “one of the best decisions [she] made going into university”.

“We’ve all had failures, all of us, just that not everybody shouts about them”

The conversation moves towards her time at university. Paige studied Natural Sciences at Jesus from 2017 to 2020, and she visibly brightens as she describes her experience: “I feel like I just came out of my shell at uni and had the best time.” YouTube was just one of the ways she filled her spare time – she also did coxing and ballroom dancing in first year. However, she admits that “it added extra pressure onto uni life,” and that she would sometimes pause her other extracurriculars to prioritise YouTube. Nevertheless she is adamant that she wouldn’t have made those sacrifices if it wasn’t something she loved to do.

Posting weekly videos meant that Paige’s time at Cambridge was captured from start to finish online. We touch on authenticity within social media, and the pressure to be “perfect”. She describes herself as “a big advocate for just being honest when you’re struggling”, mentioning sharing a moment after one of her first year exams where she was “really quite visibly upset” with how she thought it had gone. However, the responses she received from the video made her realise that many others could relate, and appreciated her candour.

Her authentic attitude towards content creation seems refreshing in contrast to the criticisms raised against social media “influencer culture”. Even within the circles of “studytube” (the genre of YouTubers posting study-related content) the image of the always-successful student prevails. “You get some really high performers on studytube, who have flown through every exam they’ve sat, and I guess that could be slightly toxic to compare yourself to,” she acknowledges. She chooses to document both sides of the picture “because we’ve all had failures, all of us, just that not everybody shouts about them.”

“I like that it’s dispelling myths, and people can see there’s a place for them”

Yet the impact of her channel extends further. Soon after “PaigeY” began to grow in popularity, Paige realised the potential that it could have in regard to accessibility. Alongside the official outreach schemes put in place by the university, Paige has found the online space to be another, unofficial manner of access. “Sometimes you just want to hear it from the students who are being truly, brutally honest.” The range of YouTubers creating content focused around Cambridge also helps. “I like that it’s dispelling myths, and people can see there’s a place for them.” Paige also mentions the spikes in applications that colleges will see after a YouTuber documents their experiences there. “It’s a way of reaching people and it’s effective.”

Paige studied at Jesus College from 2017 to 2020Paige Yallop

After Paige graduated in 2020, her videos didn’t stop – instead, she showed the transition into her current position as a student actuary, including her difficulty deciding between the job and continuing to a master’s. Though she settled on the actuarial role, the choice was not easy for her. “Our degrees, they open up so many doors – there’s almost too many options!” she jokes.


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Having recently moved back to the city, the topic of the “Cambridge bubble” comes up in conversation. While she still knows people studying at the University, she now feels “a little bit outside that”, but she affirms: “I’m content with that. I feel like I’ve grown up.” Though not a student anymore, she has still been involved in some aspects of student life, including formals and the recent Jesus May Ball, choosing to merge town and gown.

So what’s next for Paige, and her YouTube channel? Alongside the newer branch into graduate life, her study content continues as she has three more years of actuarial exams to complete. Though her channel may have changed since its origins in 2017, its essence remains the same: “I’m going to keep doing it as long as I enjoy it.”