Updated: Feb 21, 2020
In case you have been living under a rock and have no idea what Studytube is, you’re probably one of the few lucky ones. It’s basically a bunch of young people who talk about studying on their Youtube channels, and it’s a pretty big deal. Specifically, the British studytubers have been seen over the last few years wizzling their way onto endless brand deals and every interview possible, they’ve essentially turned studying in their bedrooms into their full-time careers. I mean Ruby Granger just bought a house by herself, and she’s in her 2nd year studying at Exeter. For the majority of the population, studytubers are arguably living the dream. However, I would beg to differ. I personally think studytubers are making their money by making the rest of us feel like failures, and these are the reasons why.
Arguably, Ruby Granger is the queen of Studytube. She exudes classic Studytube characteristics. However, I think her content is dangerous and could have a serious negative impact on her viewers. She gained her popularity through videos where she films herself studying for 14 to 15 hours a day or wakes up at 6am and films her ‘extremely productive’ morning routine, these videos have well over 1 million views. The fact that she can study for that long blows my mind and her dedication to learning is truly commendable. Despite this, I don’t think these videos are good for people to watch. I have gotten to the point now where I watch her videos with fascination and amusement, I find her crying over only getting A*AA in her A levels and not straight A*’s and getting her weekly student food shop from Ocado funny because her world is so different to mine. It’s like watching a whole different universe through your screen, yet it makes you feel sort of like an idiot. I’m sure Ruby doesn’t study for that long every day, she’s too busy putting water in her cereal and acting out Hermoine Granger scenes, but the fact that she promotes these videos as her regular life scares me. I’m sure Ruby is a lovely girl. She’s intelligent, kind, and very business savvy, but I don’t feel as though her content is good for people who are feeling slightly rubbish about their grades or work ethic to watch. I fully believe that she wants her content to motivate people to work harder and get better grades, but at the same time she’s coming across as condescending. She’s essentially that friend who you don’t even want to ask how they found the exam because she definitely found it easy thanks to her piles of colour-coded flashcards.
In general, I feel as though some studytubers aren’t real people. They may be students, but they’re so far from normal student life that it’s almost like watching the Truman Show. For example, Ruby Granger posted a sponsored video recently about why studio flats are the best choice for all first-year students. She completely ignored the fact that these flats cost approximately £7,000 a year, which is unrealistic for the majority of new undergraduate students. Then there’s Holly Gabrielle, proving that studytubers aren’t real people with her 4-video series on applying for her first ever job at the age of 21 after graduating from the University of Cambridge. To me, this is madness. She treats applying for a job like it’s comical and fun, as if people who are desperate for work don’t apply for endless jobs every-day. She films herself sending her CV away and planning what she’s going to wear to her first ever interview. There is nothing wrong with being excited to work or being passionate for a job that is perfect for you, but there’s a sense of superiority alongside her vlogging her interviewing prep and reacting to the job offer. The fact that she finds applying for her first job at 21 (almost 22) shocking and exciting makes anyone wanting to work seem inferior in her eyes, because sending out a cover letter is so much fun!
And then there’s UnJaded Jade. Out of the classic Studytubers, Unjaded Jade is the queen of making you feel like trash. Jade recently just took a gap year where she interrailed across Europe, travelled across Australia, studied French in Montpellier for 2 weeks, released her own merch, lived in London, spent 3 months in Uganda and went on a casual holiday to Japan before she had originally planned to attend Bristol University like a normal person. However, now she’s studying at Minerva, a weird new programme (it’s not even advertised as a university) which is most definitely a $30,000 a year scam where you get fake degrees at the end, as she couldn’t possibly be a regular person and sit in a normal lecture like the rest of us. Jade is completely different than the other studytubers as she tries to pretend as though her grades are going to be anything less than perfection, whilst she’s filming a segment on exam results for The One Show to be aired on results day. Honestly, I find Jade fascinating and her travel videos are actually well edited and enjoyable to watch. She does have some genuinely good videos where she talks about positivity and dealing with rejection. It’s just difficult to look past the underlying ideology of ‘I’m better than you so watch all the ads on this video and buy my merch so you can watch me do amazing things whilst you do nothing’, vibe which seems to pan across Youtube in general, but Jade seems to thrive off.
On the other hand, there is Eve Bennett. She is in her 2nd year at the University of Oxford and seems like a normal person. She posts regular ‘Uni life!!” vlogs featuring nights out and her seemingly endless piles of essays and assignments. Eve is probably under the ‘classic studytuber’ umbrella with her years of study tips videos, but doesn’t seem to get too involved with the others. She just enjoys her life at uni and posts some pretty fab insta pics every so often. Out of all the classic studytubers, she’s got the most accurate and realistic student lifestyle to the general population. She hasn’t forced any merch upon us or made a weird coffee company (Eve Cornwell I see you), and she also doesn’t fill her videos with annoying motivational speeches. Instead she discusses topics such as procrastination and pressure openly, something all of us can relate to. She also seems to go out pretty regularly and is nailing her degree, so there’s hope for the rest of us! Keep doing you sis.
On a smaller and unappreciated scale, the lovely PaigeY is uploading her weekly University of Cambridge vlogs and saving youtube every time she posts. I wouldn’t really class Paige as a classic studytuber but rather a university vlogger who does the occasional study with me. Her content is more academic based than Eve’s, but she also discusses real student issues such as procrastination, finances, and finding a balance between having a social life and academics. If you’re looking for a real life studytuber who seems to have a grasp on real student life, she’s your gal.
I honestly have a large amount of respect for the majority of studytubers as they all seem like extremely intelligent young people and are not checking the SAAS countdown every couple of hours, they’ve truly mastered life. They also all attend top universities: Jack Edwards is at Durham, Eve Bennett is at Oxford, Eve Cornwell was at Bristol but she graduated last year, Ruby Granger is at Exeter, PaigeY and Holly Gabrielle both went to/are at Cambridge, and Jade is at her weird programme which claims to have a harder acceptance rate than Harvard but I think that’s just because everyone else in the world knows it’s a scam. We can make fun of them all we want and critique their every word but at the end of the day they’re making big money of simply living their everyday lives and are thriving doing so. However, rather than admiring these influencers, I think we have every right to critique them and watch out for the impacts of their content. If you’ve recently had a bad grade or are simply having a bad day, watching Unjaded Jade look fake shocked at her exam results or preach yet another passive aggressive motivational speech before plugging her merch won’t make you feel good. I think that these youtubers have a responsibility to think about what the impact of their videos are on their viewers and should probably take a second to reassess how boasting about your entrance to a top uni or how easy that 8-hour study day was impacts everyday students. If you’re struggling, please don’t watch their videos.