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Tab talks to Astrid Franciszka

A Cambridge Youtuber on the rise

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With over 4600 subscribers on YouTube, second year English student Astrid Franciska is an expanding name in the Cambridge vlogging scene. She began making videos in her first year at Jesus College, and uses her channel to document her life and studies in Cambridge.

Why did you set up Youtube?

I had wanted to make a channel for a couple of years because at school I was obsessed with makeup and really wanted to vlog about that. I didn’t have the confidence to do it though, and it was only seeing Paige (fellow Cambridge vlogger PaigeY) set up a channel that made me think maybe this is something I can get in to. The studytube thing just seemed less intimidating than makeup.

What do you think of the Cambridge vlogging scene?

It’s quite divided. There’s the people who have been vlogging for a long time and they’re all friends with the big ‘studytube’ vloggers like Unjaded Jade. And then there’s us smaller names who are all collaborating with each other. Overall there’s not really much interaction. We’re thinking of doing a vloggers formal like they did at Oxford because we want to change that.

What is the weirdest question you have been asked by a follower?

"Will you marry me".

What did you say?

Absolutely not!

Do you have regrets from first year?

Not doing enough extracurricular stuff. I spent too much time stressing about my degree and forgetting that you’re supposed to have a work/life balance.

What advice do you have for anyone who wants to start a YouTube channel?

Just do it. Don’t be scared. You’ll get more confident as the videos go on so don’t worry about them not being perfect at first. The main thing is just getting started.

Do you think Cambridge vloggers have a responsibility to their viewers in terms of how they present the uni?

Yes. I know that people who are considering applying to Cambridge watch my videos and that comes with pressure because I want to represent the uni as honestly as possible. And that does mean saying that I’m tired and stressed sometimes, but also showing that we have fun here as well. From an access point of view, there’s definitely a responsibility there.

What is your favourite thing about Cambridge?

You know the shop with the free fudge? That.

What is your least favourite thing about Cambridge?

I feel like we could really do with a reading week in the middle of term. Just to catch up with reading or sleep or go home.

What do you hope to achieve with your channel?

I’m not really sure. At the moment I’m just enjoying doing it. Plus I’ve had messages from people saying that they were scared about applying here and then watched my channel and weren’t scared any more. That’s the reaction I want to get.

You often discuss your own mental health struggles in your videos. How do you find speaking out about that online?

I’m really open with things anyway, and I know that it makes a massive difference for some people to see others representing mental health. If it’s little cost to me and benefits other people it makes sense to do it.

What advice would you give to students who are struggling with their mental health?

Talk to people. If you’re college student union has a mental health officer, talk to them. Or there’s the college councillor who you can always go to. I think talking to other people about it is so important because you realise that there are other people like you and that you’re not alone.

What is your favourite thing about vlogging?

What people do in the background. So I’ve been walking along King’s parade and people will do jazz hands in the background or stick their tongue out or wave at the camera. I only notice it when I come back and edit the video. It’s hilarious.

Wednesday Cindies, Friday Fez or Sunday Life?

Friday Fez. It’s so bad it’s good.

What advice would you give to anyone in their first year?

Don’t take it too seriously. Don’t aim for perfection because it’s not about that. Also if you need help, seek it out. Don’t sit in your room thinking there’s nothing you can do about it because there are loads of support networks in place.