The First Video (JHP Day 20)

The First Video (JHP Day 20)


I finally did it.

For those of you that don't know, I've been on about starting some sort of YouTube channel for absolutely ages - dedicating time to filming videos, making resources, sharing student insights, and talking about the lessons I've learned from aerospace engineering.

But today was the day I finally got over the barrier of filming my first video.

It's one of those moments I'm glad I've documented now, and can look back on in the future, knowing exactly what thoughts I was having at the time, and the struggle that I overcame. Because I think to some extent everyone understands how awkward, off putting and scary it can be, just to turn on the camera and speak to yourself.

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Inherently, it's a pretty unnatural thing. You're talking to an inanimate object as though it's a living, breathing, understanding human. But I've come to acknowledge how much value it has in a digital world - in everything from virtual work meetings to personal videos like these.

As someone who's watched videos about creating content for a while, it was definitely a mental journey for me to get to the point where I finally felt ready to start. I'd been listening to a Skillshare class about starting a YouTube channel for a while, and taking tips from it, like the idea that your first 50 videos were just experimentation and part of the process of getting better. Little lessons like that really helped me ease into the mindset I needed to make the plunge.

What helped me even more though, and served as a kind of last straw, to start making content, was witnessing first hand that it would actually have value to a lot of people. And it happened completely by chance.

The Trigger

With the start of September, now is probably the most common time for those students newly accepted into university to start asking questions about their course. I took up the role of Inclusions officer for the aerospace society here in Sheffield again this year, and as a result I had access to the group chat that newcomers were joining.

And today was the day that those conversations about the course started. The nerves and anxiety about moving to a new place, making friends, figuring out what textbooks you needed, when lectures would be happening, what societies to join - they were all feelings and questions I myself had been through two years ago, as a fresher joining during lockdown.

One really common theme that content creators tend to follow to help them provide value, is to focus on giving advice to the version of themselves from a few years ago - asking what that person might have wanted to know, or what would've helped them. And in a way, that's exactly what this was.

That was my trigger, to finally get up, set the camera, and just start sharing. And I'm glad I did.

It's definitely a long journey ahead, but I'm doing my best to take it one step at a time. We'll see where I end up!

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