When Stony Brook, N.Y., freshman Hannah Detwiler began vlogging her life on the Baylor campus, she didn’t expect one of her first videos to hit over 14,000 views.
Detwiler posts videos related to lifestyle and Baylor on her YouTube channel. Whether it be a campus dorm tour or showcasing a Baylor tradition, Detwiler seeks to document her college life in an authentic way for those viewing her channel.
“I absolutely love vlogging campus life,” Detwiler said. “Not only do people on YouTube love that, but it will also be fun to look back on when I’m older — I can see when I did things like run the Baylor Line for the first time.”
Detwiler is an English major with a film and digital media minor and became interested in vlogging after seeing a relative get involved in film. She decided she wanted to pursue filming herself and began experimenting with different creative outlets.
“My uncle loves making films, and I grew up around him filming all the time. It made me want to start, so I began making home movies with my little cousins,” Detwiler said. “I started getting into watching YouTube more, and I began making fake tutorials, even though I wouldn’t post them. My junior year I started to make travel videos, and once I came to Baylor I decided I wanted to start vlogging.”
Detwiler is from Long Island, but knew she wanted to attend college out of state and fell in love with Baylor and its traditions. She said she enjoys featuring Baylor in her videos and highlighting aspects that make the school unique.
“I used to watch a lot of YouTubers that went to big southern schools, and a few of my friends went to Baylor. I came and instantly fell in love with the community and traditions — when I visited, I just knew,” Detwiler said. “I want to continue filming things that are unique to Baylor — it’s cool to see how interested people are in the school. I was blown away after posting my ‘Week in the Life’ video since so many people commented wanting me to show more of Baylor.”
One of Detwiler’s recent videos titled “College Week in my Life,” has reached over 14,000 views. Her other videos have reached nearly 1,500 views, and her recent success inspires her to continue growing and expanding her channel.
“I was very surprised since I really only promoted the video on my Instagram,” Detwiler said. “I think a lot of views were coming from Brooklyn & Bailey and Baylor-related videos, so they probably came onto my page to see what Baylor life is like. The response is exciting and motivates me to do more.”
Detwiler has been watching YouTube for years and is inspired by other college vloggers who manage to balance YouTube with academics and other school-related activities.
“I watch a lot of vloggers, but I really love Margot Lee. She vlogs at Syracuse University, and she originally made me want to start filming at school,” Detwiler said. “She’s a vlogger but also a straight-A student. She also does business-related projects while still going to school. She’s so good at what she does — my inspiration is being able to balance things like that.”
In the future, Detwiler hopes to film more Baylor-related videos and showcase school traditions and other activities she gets involved in.
“I definitely want to keep vlogging by incorporating more of Baylor into my videos other than just my daily life — I’d love to work with admissions people or people just interested in the school,” Detwiler said. “I’m definitely going to be rushing, and I want to vlog that — I love watching rush videos. I’d like to keep getting involved at my church too, but going into my freshman year and coming from so far, I want to get used to school first and see what happens. I’m focusing on school, filming and editing.”
Palatine, Ill. freshman Sarah Straup met Detwiler on move-in day and has been included in several of her campus videos.
“She lives right across the hall, and we’ve become really close friends,” Straup said. “I love seeing my friends and the Baylor campus in Hannah’s videos, and I think other people appreciate seeing them too. I love her videos — they’re so fun to watch and be a part of.”
Straup believes Detwiler will continue to be successful in her YouTube career, especially when it comes to depicting college life to her viewers.
“I think a lot of Hannah’s success is because people like to see what college is really like,” Straup said. “She does a great job advertising her new videos through Instagram and Snapchat. Her videos can really take her anywhere in life, and I know she’ll continue to use her talents.”
Detwiler encourages students interesting in vlogging college life to actively pursue their interests and keep time management in mind.
“Make time for it, because even when school gets hard I’ll still look forward to editing and filming since I love doing it,” Detwiler said. “Also, just do it. When I was in high school I wanted to do it, but I was nervous about what people would say. When I got at Baylor, I just went for it since this is something I love to do. The biggest advice I could give is to just start it, and you’ll end up loving it.”