It’s 11 p.m. and you have a paper due at midnight. You switch back and forth between your word document, a scholarly article, and Instagram, until you notice your favourite YouTuber has just posted a new video.

Often, it’s easy to get lost in the endless amount of content the World Wide Web provides. While browsing YouTube, you may have found yourself wondering what it’d be like to start your own YouTube channel. Will people watch and subscribe? Will I gain a following? Well, Jordan Walsh, a third-year forensics student at UTM, has been making videos for the last four years and has gained over 32,000 subscribers and over 100,000 Instagram followers. Walsh is the perfect example of a self-made sensation.

Walsh’s content is varied, as it ranges from entertaining rants and tutorials, to more serious topics that help viewers understand the pressures of anxiety, depression, and growing up as a gay male. His topics do not exclusively fall under one genre or theme, as he believes in the idea of posting “anything that makes [him] happy.”

Walsh tells The Medium that he decided to start his YouTube channel as a way to make friends and form relationships with likeminded people. He reveals that growing up in the small town of Sarnia, Ontario, meant that everyone looked the same, dressed the same, and acted the same. Walsh was different and “being different meant it was easier to connect with people online.” Walsh turned to YouTube to tell his story and live outside the box his peers had set for him. He was able to use his online platform to be his true self in front of the camera, deciding to show his viewers the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Growing up in the age of social media can sometimes be detrimental, as we are often presented with a perfectly polished picture of people’s lives. This leads us to internalize our own problems as unique only to us, leading to self-doubt and insecurity.

Walsh believes that the key to success is “being yourself” and also being “unafraid of being raw on camera.” Walsh has posted a few emotional videos in which he discusses personal issues, uncensored, and exposed. His advice to hopeful YouTubers is not to construct a channel based on preconceived notions of what you believe will get you the likes, but rather to just post content you genuinely enjoy filming