Rosia, a second-year medic at Trinity Hall, vlogs her daily life on YouTube and TikTokRosia Li

One of the newer faces of the Cambridge studytube scene, Rosia Li is a lifestyle vlogger currently in her second year at Trinity Hall, studying medicine. She started her channel back during GCSEs, encouraged by friends asking her for study tips. Now her channel has grown to more than six thousand subscribers, and, despite being in what is deemed to be the hardest year of the six year course, she still posts several times a month. We reached out to her to discuss what motivates her to create videos and how she thinks it has helped improve student access.

Rosia’s videos provide an opportunity for people to learn more about Cambridge in a less formal way, and without the difficulties travelling here can pose. It might not be surprising that her viewers are somewhat transient, mostly made up of prospective Cambridge applicants looking to glean more information than can be found from faculty websites and open days. Indeed, Rosia comments that her content has an important element of access to it: “it provides a transparent window into life in Cambridge”. In her first year, her college Trinity Hall promoted the vlogs for this very reason, and it’s one of the main motivators for her uploading.

Rosia also points out that, in addition to her vlogs being an access tool, they’re also a kind of personal diary for her. In one vlog, she tells the viewer: “they’re a special way to record your life”. She understands that time here has passed quickly, and the vlogs will give her plenty for her (and her mum!) to look back on. She also plans to continue well after graduating. In fact, she recommends vlogging to everyone, not just to help with communication and confidence, but also as something to cherish – “it’s more fun than a diary!”.

“Even when it’s overwhelming, it’s important to realise your own limits”

YouTube is now about to turn 18 – about the right age to apply to Cambridge. With an established – albeit small – community of student vloggers both past and present at the University, Rosia confides that she, like many students at Cambridge, used to be an avid watcher of previous generations of studytubers. At times she watched almost every upload from Holly Gabrielle and Paige Y. Since coming to the University, her level of interest in this genre has waned, but Rosia is full of admiration for Holly Gabrielle’s commitment to health in particular. She still keeps up to date with her uploads, and is slightly in awe of how much she shares online.

Rosia’s biggest YouTube inspiration, however, comes from the other side of the pond: she most looks up to Jenn Im, a Korean-American beauty and fashion vlogger. Rosia says that she “loves art” and that YouTube “came about quite naturally from recording things” on her iPod nano. Rosia’s first video was a ‘study with me’ filmed in the half-term between her GCSEs, starting her channel “for fun and to show her friends”.

Similar to her motivation to study medicine, Rosia said that she has an “external motivation to help different people”. Her most popular video, filmed in only “one-cut”, is, oddly, about “How to pass your driving theory test” with around 300,000 views to date. She says that she “got spotted on the streets of Cambridge” a few times last year and was once recognised in London for her theory test video. “A lot of the first-year medics know about my channel”.

With that comes a more challenging question; we ask her for her views on the danger of ‘toxic productivity’ and presenting a misleading picture of Cambridge. Rosia tells us that she makes an effort to be as true to life as possible in her vlogs – although she feels that didn’t highlight how “Cambridge isn’t easy” nor did she “record her mental breakdown” last year.


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Being Christian, she expresses genuine gratitude for her work and life that’s easy to lose sight of during term, assured that her life will be fulfilling regardless of deadlines or short-term challenges. “The most important lesson at University is not the Kreb’s cycle – although that’s cool”. Cambridge students should “reframe work as a privilege rather than something that pulls us down. The world is still spinning”, even if you don’t finish a problem sheet or an essay. “Even when it’s overwhelming, it’s important to realise your own limits”.

Rosia has spent the last week helping organise the Human events week run by the Cambridge Christian Union, a week of events exploring ‘what makes us who we are’. She seeks solace in the rational and finite nature of life. “One thing about medicine is the pressure”.

It “helps to draw on internal joy as a Christian. It’s okay to be stressed and anxious. If you fail your exams, you still have resits. If you fail resits, you still have Christ. If you die, you still have heaven.” This message of positivity underpins and encapsulates the spirit of Rosia’s channel. “My deep-seated happiness cannot be taken from me”.