Jessica Wayne is the transition guide she’s never had before.
The fourth-year math student runs a YouTube channel with nearly 1,700 subscribers, and posts content surrounding her college life and career. Inspired by her love of K-pop and video editing, Wayne said she originally started her YouTube journey as a way to combine these interests. The K-pop fan videos currently have over 100,000 subscribers, which Win said was a pleasant surprise to hear, considering she now finds her old content on this channel embarrassing.
“I realized that I really like the feeling of making people happy, making them laugh, and just being able to help others with my content,” Wayne said. “So from there, I wanted to keep getting creative.”
Over time, Wayne said she gradually lost interest in her old K-pop content and started a new vlog channel, dvyjessica, to shift her focus and represent her real-life experiences. Rather than creating clickbait titles and focusing on improving views, Win said she wants her audience to recognize and appreciate her as an individual. By going from behind the camera to in front of her, Wayne said she was able to connect with and help her viewers on a deeper level.
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On her new YouTube channel, Wayne uploads videos about her college career and daily life at UCLA. As a sophomore transfer student, she She said it aims to provide comprehensive advice and helpful advice regarding college, community college, and UCLA curriculum applications to viewers in similar positions. She said there is very little organization and planning for her videos, especially since her content is produced on a whim. From vlogging the day she moved on to what her life looked like during Finals week, Wayne said her channel is a visual diary of real, unfiltered moments.
Since this is her first and only physical year on campus, Wayne said she discusses many related concerns and frustrations in her school’s vlogs. As a fourth-year student, she said she has been trying to balance her busy schedule with the challenges she faces as she adapts to multiple new environments: moving from online classes to in-person classes, living with other people for the first time, And she took much harder courses than those at her community college.
“[Fear of missing out]is really bad, especially for our fourth year transfers because it’s our only year on campus,” Wayne said. “Most of us are trying to get the most out of the social experience… along with good academic performance.”
In addition to her YouTube channel, Win runs her own Discord server with nearly 200 members. Driven by her popularity on YouTube, the server serves as another way to connect with her and learn from her. Subscriber Anh-Thu Tran has been active on the server since following Win a year ago.
As a student who also uploads college content to YouTube, Tran said Wayne’s content has personally motivated her. Watching Win Tran’s videos inspired her to create her own daily vlogs at UC Irvine, especially because she noted the lack of documented transfer experiences at her school. Tran said transfer students usually do not have the same resources that were accepted into students during their first year.
“Those who graduated straight from high school have a lot of resources offered to them,” Tran said. “While for transfers, resources are very limited because they are already in their third and fourth year of college, and most transfers already have a different perspective on their social lives before even entering college.”
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Prior to her first year as a student at Bruin, fourth-year chemistry student Cece Nguyen said she met Win through a Facebook group to transfer at UCLA to a room together this school year. She said she has watched Wayne become increasingly comfortable with vlogging in public and with other students, particularly with their new personal college experiences. Many different elements such as living in the transitional residence hall and relating to other students guided the couple through some of the more difficult adjustments of the school year, but Nguyen said she remembers being clueless at some point in the past.
“If I (was) planning to relocate, I would really appreciate[Win’s]videos because I remember watching surface-level curated videos of other people’s experiences,” Nguyen said. “She’s more human, and I appreciate how transparent she is with her channel.”
While Win’s future plans for her YouTube channel are unknown, she said her main goal is to share advice to her viewers that she is qualified to provide through her own experience. Currently, you see her vlog content moving from college to graduate school as a software engineer.
“I have enough experience to create how-to videos for community college, but I don’t think I have enough experience to share software engineering tips just yet,” Wayne said. “I’ll see where life takes me and goes with the flow.”