Recently I’ve seen a raft of videos floating around my YouTube home screen about young people quitting high-school to focus on their YouTube careers.
The top hit as of today (2/12/2017) is Millie T. A lovely, British, spritely YouTuber with around 900, 000 subscribers. A mean feat if you ask me, I never even managed to crack the 150 point. In Millie’s video she explains how she watched a raft of travel YouTube videos – and started to feel conflicted between pressure by society to attend university and wanting to travel. She also explains that one day she got a trending video – and realised it could be a career option. She talks about consulting her Mum, about realising her passion for YouTube (not to mention the money) and about how she has make her closest friends and fondest memories through the site.
But quitting school. at 16. to ‘do YouTube’ I just can’t express how much of a bad idea I think this is – and how much I hate that more than a quarter of a million little (lets be honest YouTube lovers are generally young) eyes have set their sites on this clip – let alone the other top hits.
From listening to the way she speaks about school it sounds like she sees it solely as a pathway to a career – which sure, when I was 16 I did too. But looking back I can see the process of school, friendships, groups, schoolies, balls, university, real-world jobs just make you a more worldly person. From what i’ve picked up from the world of YouTube. They’re all friends with each other, all they talk about, think about, live and breathe is YouTube. Everything is for views, thumbnails, likes, subs… the list really does go on.
Another problem I have is – as I said before – all the little ears these words fall on. I understand the YouTuber’s premise of ‘sharing your life online’ But even as a 23 year old educated woman – I felt almost inferior to this girl. I have 7 years of life on this lovely little lady – and I certainly have a LOT more learning to do. I mean theres only so much learning making brainless content, editing videos, uploading videos and being a Z-list celebrity can encourage. You cannot ASPIRE to be a YouTuber. Aspire to be something else – and weave your channel into your passions, hobbies and beliefs.
University, year 12, and general life experience in those years allow you to explore your passions. She speaks about people ‘knowing what they want to do so good on them for going to Uni’. But that’s just completely false. Coming from a girl who changed career directions 3 times and still could change again. You can’t pick your future at 16. You just can’t – and little miss Millie T – you aren’t the only one struggling. Quitting school for YouTube doesn’t seem brave – it seems like the easy way out.
I don’t know. I may be wrong. But I truly don’t think I am. I university isn’t for everyone. But finish your bloody schooling. Oh and never-ever stop learning. In this day and age there is absolutely no excuse (see my favourite Earl Nightingale Quotes post )