Like many other teen and college-aged girls, I’ve been consuming the content of YouTuber Hannah Meloche and TikToker Lexi Hidalgo like no one’s business. Meloche and Hidalgo, along with Meloche’s video editor and several friends, have been living together in Hawaii for the past month, creating and sharing content of their adventures. Their videos and social media posts showcase their carefree lifestyle of surfing, tanning, smoothie bowls, and driving with the windows down, making it easy for viewers to envy their situation, with Meloche even titling one of her videos “Sometimes Life Feels Like a Movie”.
Fans have posted to social media expressing their longing to live like these influencers, using TikTok sounds that emphasize how Meloche and Hidalgo’s lifestyle seems “not fair” in comparison to their own. Personally, at first, consuming Meloche and Hidalgo’s seemingly endless picture-perfect content has given me big FOMO. I found myself daydreaming of what could’ve been if I had gone remote this semester and wasn’t living in dreary Connecticut.
However, different from most influencers, Meloche and Hidalgo’s vlog-style content has allowed them to highlight their low moments, too. Hidalgo went on TikTok to share her experience as she dealt with having her car stolen in Hawaii, taking fans along with her through her vlog-style videos to consult with insurance and get her car detailed once it was found. In her YouTube videos, Meloche explains her troubles with AirBnB and finding a permanent residence and speaks openly about the great effort she put into planning and budgeting her move. Both influencers frequently acknowledge how lucky they are to have social media as their job, which made moving to Hawaii possible.
With social media stars typically focusing their content only on their good moments, Meloche and Hidalgo’s transparency is refreshing. This semester has been less than ideal for many college students, whether you’ve dealt with the isolation of going remote or the challenges with altered in-person learning. But, knowing that even influencers with the most Pinterest-worthy lives have their own ups and downs has helped put my own situation in perspective. Meloche and Hidalgo show their situation in full, from the happy moments to their sad moments, and, most importantly, how they deal with it all. Their perspective has helped me reflect on the good and bad of college during COVID and how I’ve dealt with it all, and I now have a newfound appreciation for this part of my college experience.
While Connecticut and Hawaii are two drastically different places, after reflecting, I can appreciate how much I’ve gotten experience this year and focus less on what could’ve been if I hadn’t chosen to go to college in the midst of a pandemic.