Meet Kiara Madisen: Full Time YouTuber and student… and someone who happens to be one of my best friends! Kiara and I first met on Twitter when our mutual friend, Keegan Acton, brought us together to plan a trip to Los Angeles for the following summer. The three of us became super close and even planned a few more trips together after that one. Almost three years later, we still continue to facetime weekly and text almost daily. I feel so lucky to have the pleasure to know Kiara and to have gotten to ask her questions all about YouTube.
Her Campus (HC): How and why did you get into Youtube?
Kiara Madisen (KM): “I started my YouTube channel in 2014 before Adsense even existed. Although I had spent countless hours falling down the rabbit hole of many different YouTube genres, it was really the channel “Katherout” that made me realize how impactful content creating could be. Katherine’s tips about how she maintained her grades, stayed focused and applied to schools motivated [me] in my own life. Starting my own channel felt like my way of giving back to her. All I wanted to do was help one person with my story, be a friend and use my extra free time productively by learning a new skill.”
HC: How does it feel to know so many people look up to you?
KM: “Some people may say the pressure of others watching your life could be crippling, but I have always felt touched by the support of the wonderful people in my community. Being a role model is an honor and something I take very seriously. I have had the pleasure of interacting with some girl bosses in my life and I hope to show girls how they too can be a leader to others. I also was that girl who felt lost and was always seeking mentorship, so sharing my advice now feels like I’m helping the younger version of myself.”
HC: Describe a typical day in your life:
KM: “Right now, my typical routine seems quite out of whack. I’m in my final week of summer before school starts up again and about ready to start a CNA program all amidst adjusting to a new apartment, so here’s what I did today on a very typical Wednesday. I woke up, made myself some English breakfast tea, replied to comments on my new video, checked emails, worked on my nursing school applications for a few hours, checked Insta, the fire situation in Oregon, more emails, called my mom, ran a few errands and wrapped up the day with a good old documentary about a horse race with my best friend. Most days pan out in a similar fashion of balancing school, family, friends, emails and keeping up my socials. Staying busy definitely makes me happy.”
HC: Is it hard to balance school and YouTube? How do you do it?
KM: “At this point, I have been in school every year I have been on YouTube, so I don’t know any different than the make it happen mantra. I always say school comes first, but the great thing is that I can bring all of you to school with me! Here are the three tips that have really allowed me to sustain my content creation with my busy schedule and keep me from burning out:
1. Give yourself a break: Not every week is the same. I could force myself to sacrifice my midterm grade and try to sleep for only two hours, but that gets old fast. This is the reason I don’t have an exact day I upload on, nor will I apologize profusely about uploading a few days late. I’m human. Turn your post notifications on.
2. Know yourself and plan accordingly: For the most part, I can tell how a week is going to look for me. This means I occasionally make some last-minute decisions about what video is going up that week. Don’t have time to get all done up for a formal sit-down video…no worries…a study with me can be just as amazing.
3. Let your involvement go beyond just YouTube: Your mental health needs this one. When you’re having a really rough week a rude comment can make you feel broken and alone. Surround yourself with activities (and good people in these) that show you that your life has meaning beyond just a screen. This keeps you grounded, sane, and entertained.”
HC: What is your favorite opportunity you’ve gotten because of YouTube?
KM: “This is a hard one. Each opportunity has a special place in my heart and I don’t think I’ve ever lived my life with more gratitude. If I had to pick one, I would honestly have to say that the opportunity to build such strong friendships has truly changed my life. In a weird way, I was ready for zoom calls and the socially distant COVID world because I had already gotten used to seeing my YouTube friends once a year and still being just as close to them. Shoutout to my gals Emma Romano and Keegan Acton for teaching me the art of weekly FaceTimes and being my number one motivators and cheerleaders! Never miss out on a chance to build a friendship.”
HC: What’s your biggest accomplishment on YouTube so far?
KM: “I think I’m really proud of earning my degree at the University of Oregon in a really challenging major while doing what I love; finding leadership opportunities on my ski team and in my sorority, and being able to document my story. Nothing touches me more than hearing that someone who I’ve never met before fell in love with my journey and school and decided to go there themselves. I guess you could say I’m proud of balancing my content and life while remaining authentically myself throughout the pressures and judgments from others. Sometimes I catch myself talking about it like it’s easy, but I know it’s not, and my disposition can surprise me.”
HC: Do you hope to continue YouTube for a long time?
KM: “I’ve always said that as long as I’m happy documenting my life and looking back on my memories I’ll keep going. I’m really excited to share my journey to become a nurse and I think it will be fun to show people the full evolution of my educational experience. Will I become a mommy blogger and take adorable photos of my kids? Subscribe to find out.”
I hope this brought you a little closer to the spark of joy that is Kiara. She never fails to brighten up a room and turn a bad day into a good day. As a YouTuber myself, I feel honored to look up to someone as amazing as Kiara.