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Bella Bozied

Making YouTube Videos Has Changed My Life for the Better

My first YouTube video is a mess, but it’s my 13-year-old mess so I keep it on my channel, and I love it like my firstborn. 

I created my channel on Jan. 17, 2015, and while video ideas were whizzing around my middle school brain like a train off its tracks, I didn’t have the confidence to act on any of them. 

So, there it sat until Jan. 2, 2016! Almost a whole year later, inspiration struck! 

The concept of my first video is a ‘news reporter’ (played by me) reading an incoming story that a new girl had just entered the YouTube landscape: in enters me, played by me. Pretty iconic if you ask me.

While I can only get through 10 seconds of my first video, just seeing it makes me remember how excited I was; how hard I worked to set up my iPad just right, how I moved my office spotlight to shine just over my head so it wouldn’t wash me out and the array of props I had hiding behind my filming setup (and by props, I mean sunglasses—the peak of comedy). Not bad for a scared middle schooler, I guess. 

When I first started posting videos, they consisted of just little ol’ me sitting down and talking to my iPad because I wanted to get my opinions out and have fun! 

It was exhilarating to have an idea on paper, execute it in my room, for it then to be on screen and uploaded to this void—I didn’t have to annoy other people with my thoughts or exuberayting actions, my videos could instead sit on the internet as a choice if someone wanted to listen or not.

The YouTubers I watched made everything seem so thrilling; they would make videos in their rooms yet create such this amazing atmosphere through their sporadic editing skills, planned out skits and more. I wanted to create a fun space just as my favorite YouTubers did.

I didn’t tell any of my friends when I first started making videos, which is SO ironic as now I promote my videos consistently, but when I first started, five years ago, I was petrified of what people would think. I enjoyed cracking jokes and creating humorous scenarios to make people laugh, but I wasn’t the most confident kid. I kept my channel a secret for a while until I slipped up a year after posting my first video. It’s not like I was too good at hiding it though… my username is my first and last name.

I was just so fearful of what people would say, but I had never felt greater relief than when my friends in eighth grade told me they laughed at my videos! After seeing all their comments under my uploads, that was the start of a change. 

In 2017, I began documenting my life and what was going on around me. It all started with family walks and trips to Target but progressed into vacation vlogs and filming what was happening at school and even some bigger ‘projects’ like when my Girls Flag Football team went all the way and won our State Championship! Those are some of the best videos to me, especially because of what I know I overcame with putting them together.

Girls laughing with camera
Bella Bozied

As I started taking my videos more seriously, when entering high school, I would in turn get super overwhelmed with creating. I would sit at my desk and cry, staring at all the footage I had to compile together, not even having started the project yet; just the idea of going through it all and ‘making the right decisions’ petrified me.

While I got better at grounding myself, quarantine was the prime time that I had the epiphany: I can’t terrorize myself over what others may or may not think, I just have to be confident in what I’m creating because if it makes me smile—that’s all that matters.

During my freshman year of college, I made a promise to myself that I won’t let my anxiety overrule my love for YouTube anymore.

There’s something so special about being able to capture memories, times with friends and beautiful scenarios; even if you aren’t explicitly saying what’s happening in the clips, sometimes when I sit down with those closest to me to watch one of my videos back we smile because we remember what was going on behind the scenes, and that just makes it all worth it.

My first few videos embarrass me; you couldn’t pay me to watch them with others, but I take it as growth. I’m changing every day, and I always found it kind of fun how I can watch my humor evolve. 

How my face looks the same every day in the mirror, yet I watch a video I uploaded from a year ago, and all of a sudden I’m looking at a whole new person.

Pictures are great, but there’s something a YouTube video captures that’s unreal. 

It’s easy to slip back into the past. To view the cheery photos and ponder back on all the laughter, to then look around your empty dorm room and think, “Wow, things used to be so much better.”

It could be said that watching those memories back or saving them forever through posting on the internet could feed into this unhealthy love for the past, but I view it as: YouTube helps savor the recollections, so I have room to move into the present. My channel helps me grow by assisting me in realizing all the great times I’m living right now. 

My friends, my family, my memories; all of our memories. They’re there.

13-year-old Bella made the best decision by sitting down and making that first YouTube video, and I think she would be pretty proud of how far she’s come.

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Bella Bozied is an Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT) major while minoring in English. She is working towards a future within the social media and writing/journalism industry!
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