Violet investigates: What can you learn from watching 24 hours straight of student YouTubers?

Violet‘s editor, Devarshi Lodhia, delves into the world of Cambridge influencers to see what life lessons he can gain from the University’s most recognisable faces

Devarshi Lodhia

Name a more iconic squadDevarshi Lodhia, Ibz Mo, Nissy Tee, Sophie Louisa, Holly Gabrielle, Stephen Chen, Joe Binder, PaigeY, Evelina Gumileva (Composite: Felix Peckham)

As someone who uses YouTube exclusively to watch hour long loops of Australian wicket-keeper, Matthew Wade, saying ‘Nice Gary’, Vine compilations, and clips from late 90s/early 00s WWE, the world of actual YouTubers is completely alien to me.

Nonetheless, due to my never ending quest for self-improvement and the Varsity editor’s insatiable appetite for content, I decided to spend an entire day watching Cambridge’s very own student influencers. I wanted to see if I too could gain their inspirational powers – or at least pick up tips on how to make my life less aimless.

20:00-22:00: Jake Wright

Here we go. The pioneer. The big dog. The OG.

Apparently Cambridge’s first proper YouTuber, I’m expecting big things from Jake but I’m left a little disappointed by just how mundane his first few vlogs are. Is grainy footage of clubs and shaky footage of walking to lectures all you need to become a YouTuber? He’s just an ‘ahohohoi’ short of becoming Cambridge’s answer to Love Island’s Dr Alex.

Please don't tell anyone how I liveRugile Matuleviciute

After an hour of uni vlogs, I decide to move on to more recent videos to see if they’ll give me the answers I need. Unfortunately I’m just left with more questions. After watching ‘London Room Tour 2017 | Cambridge Graduate’ I can’t help but wonder: at what point does the uni you went to stop being the defining feature of your character? Do Jimmy Carr and Thandie Newton still introduce themselves as Cambridge grads? And most importantly, why is there a shower in his room? Not an ensuite, but just a shower.

Undoubtedly Jake’s cooking tutorials prove to be the most difficult watches. How does a Cambridge Graduate (see what I did there?) get to 23 years of age without ever having chopped an onion before? Why do people in the comment section find this level of incompetence so funny?

22:00-01:00: Holly Gabrielle

After a frustrating two hours in my pursuit for personal betterment I move onto Holly Gabrielle (street name, Vegan Holly). Thankfully Holly mixes it up a bit, with practical advice and recipes mixed in with standard vlogs.

Don't worry mum, I'm eating properlyDevarshi Lodhia

I can’t help but feel my mum’s been in touch with Holly for her video ‘HOW TO MANAGE YOUR TIME AT UNIVERSITY’ (all caps is seemingly a big trend for YouTubers) with her advice of ‘eat properly’ and ‘get enough sleep’ reminding me of every conversation I’ve had with her since starting uni.

All the chat about vegan food has made me quite hungry so inspired by Holly, I make myself some chana masala because I don’t have the ingredients for any of her STUDENT BUDGET FRIENDLY TOFU RECIPES. Maybe next time.

01:00-05:00: Nissy Tee

The least Cambridge-centric YouTuber of lot, it’s up to Nissy Tee to help me get through the night.

And for a while it works! Her videos, ranging from eyebrow threading (possibly the next Violet Investigates:) to frank discussions about racial discrimination and relationships are finally providing me with the material I need to be a better person both physically and emotionally. Also I’ve finally learnt what contouring is which is progress, I suppose.

Yes, it genuinely was that funnyRugile Matuleviciute

But just as I feel like I’m mentally getting woke, physically I’m lagging.

05:00-07:00: Sleep

I’d like to take this opportunity to apologise to all of my fans and everyone who’s read this far but I’m a fraud. At 5am I fell asleep whilst watching Nissy’s latest #WAKEUPWEDNESDAY

Thankfully, God (or a senior member of college staff) wills me to write this article and scheduled the annual fire alarm for 6:48am, so after a short nap I’m straight back at it.

07:00-09:00: Joe Binder

This is what I expected from a YouTuber: clickbait video names, dramatic thumbnails, and a weird name for his followers #MossGang4Life amirite guys?

Without the wisdom of Nissy and practical advice of Holly, it’s difficult to know what exactly it is I’m getting from watching Joe’s vlogs but ever the professional I persevere and am rewarded with this absolute gem: “I don’t think I’m going to die cycling but I do think I’m going to die jumping off a cliff into a lake where there are sharks”.

How he knows this is never revealed, nor is where he goes to University, with the video title ‘Planet Cambridge: A Cambridge University Vlog Series by Joe Binder (Episode 1)’ leaving this quite ambiguous.

09:00-13:00: Ibz Mo

Risking a water damaged laptop for journalism and I still wasn't nominated for BBC's student journalist of the yearRugile Matuleviciute

I finally decide to drag myself to the shower with Wolfson’s very own Ibz Mo for company. He's probably the college’s third most famous student after University Challenge icon, Eric Monkman,  and alt-right fuckboi Milo Yiannopoulous (although he didn’t actually graduate).  It’s actually refreshing to see how honest Ibz is in his view of Cambridge compared to other YouTubers, with his discussion about university admissions proving to be quite nuanced and insightful.

This isn’t helping my self-improvement though, so I move onto Ibz latest series on how to make affordable meals. His desi-fied pasta recipe containing ginger and curry powder is exactly what my dad does. Is this how all South Asian people make pasta? I thought this was just a Lodhia thing.

It’s also weird to see everyone I’ve spent the past two years with at college but younger.

13:00-15:00: Sophie Luisa

On the advice of a senior member of Varsity staff, I check out Sophie’s channel. It might be the tiredness talking, it might be the retina damage done by staring at a screen for far too long but Sophie’s videos leave me feeling nothing but envy.

She’s better-dressed than me, has better friends than me, is probably doing better than me academically, and doesn’t have to resort to doing dumb shit for attention.

My only real friend is someone who isn’t competent enough to beat a 14-year-old at korfball, and who very recently described me as a “colleague”. So perhaps he’s not.

15:00-17:00: Stephen Chen

Like Stephen, I too do my laundryRugile Matuleviciute

On the home straight now, only five hours until I never have to watch student vloggers again.

Stephen’s a relative newcomer to the game but I admire his audacity at starting a 40 minute video by doing his laundry. Stephen’s vlog also features the most tragic incident I’ve ever heard: a restaurant triple booking meant he was unable to go on a swap (R.I.P. fun). But sad stories and rowing anecdotes aside, I’m not being given the advice I need.

I’m starting to think student vloggers might not be the best people to tell me how to live my life but I’m so far into this I’ve got no option but to continue.

17:00-18:00: Joe Binder (again)

I don’t really know why I opted for Joe Binder again. It might have been his feature in Ibz’s video of him doing topless cartwheels around Wolfson, who knows. I instantly regret it only manage to last an hour.

18:00-20:00: Evelina Gumileva and PaigeY

As I approach the end of my ordeal, I alternate between Evelina and Paige only because I’ve been reliably informed that I feature in one of their vlogs whilst working on the Varsity desk at Freshers’ Fair which is incredibly on brand as the paper’s most committed journalist.

Plz join VarsityEvelina Gumileva (YouTube)

Just when all seems lost and the clock hits 8 o'clock, I’m finally rewarded with the sight of my own face.

As I stare at myself, I can’t help but think, maybe this is what this exercise was all about. Maybe I’m the only one who can be a real influencer in my own life. Maybe I should look internally for guidance on how to live my life. Or maybe I’m just really sleep deprived. We'll never know