I don’t know about you, but there are times where I feel like I’m not doing enough. Sure, I have my homework and readings to do for all my classes, but there is a part of me that feels empty. As if I have not been busy enough to count all the work I’ve been doing as being “productive.” This is a very unhealthy way of looking at productivity. This new craze over how much can you fill your to-do list with can become a toxic habit. Social media is a well-known enemy; we love to see other people completing so many great things, but it starts making you second-guess your own hard work. You lose sight of your own effort after comparing yourself to the next person.
I’ve been trying to work on this since quarantine started. As a social introvert, I feel perfectly fine staying in. However, hitting that six-month mark really did it for me. I craved to go out, I had this burning desire to do something. Anything. I kept thinking to myself: how can I make this time worthwhile? There had to be something I could do, how did Rapunzel keep herself entertained stuck in a tower for 18 years? That is when I got a notification recommending a video titled, “Simple Life: The Life of a Homebody,” and after that, I was forever changed.
It was through that video that I was introduced to the concept of simple life: the lifestyle of enjoying the simple things that life brings in the four walls of your home. Whether it is knitting a nice little scarf for your cat or making your favorite feel-good meal, these five YouTubers know what it means to cherish the little things. Since I have been watching them, they have inspired me to think about productivity as a way to grow. Not as a way to conform to an idea of perfection; but as a way to discover new things about yourself and your surroundings that you never noticed when life was bustling.
- Ondo (온도)
If you asked me to choose who my favorite YouTuber is within the community of simple life vloggers, without a doubt it would be Ondo. Since 2018, Ondo has been vlogging her daily life as a homebody in South Korea. She does things from weaving, making canelés and madeleines to making delicious meals and playing with the newest addition to her family, her cat named Greeny. Ever since I started watching Ondo, I set in my heart to focus on the things I love to do that I never made enough time for. It always feels like Ondo has all the time in the world to do everything, but it is all about prioritizing and doing what makes you happy. She does not advertise herself as “productive” but simply enjoys showing all the small pleasures in her life.
- Michelle Choi (The Seoul Search)
Oh, Michelle. There are so many wonderful things to talk about when it comes to this amazing recent UC Davis graduate and former transfer student! The fact that she herself has lived through the quarter system encourages me to keep pushing on the days I want to give up. When she isn’t filming her daily life, it’s her coffee montages that do it for me. Who thought clips of making a fresh cup of joe in a moka pot would be so relaxing and inspirational? That is Michelle. She’s literally the big sister you wish you had. You know, the one who would talk to you about the hardships of college, and most importantly, being a woman in the STEM field. Her video on productivity is so insightful; she is such an intelligent human being. In every video, you are guaranteed to learn something totally new. She currently resides in Los Angeles, and you best bet that I am hoping to bump into her to talk about the transfer life!
- Alexis Gilbert
Alexis Gilbert is in that special group of YouTubers who have amazing content, but then you ask yourself: why don’t they have more subscribers? You curse the Youtube algorithm for its selfish ways and enjoy a nice sweet vlog of a beautiful soul. Watching her pursue a graduate degree, juggle wedding planning and balancing a full-time job all in the four walls of her bedroom is incredibly inspiring. Her work-ethic always leaves me in awe; we love women working in corporate! She loves to share why and how she juggles so much on her plate. She loves the hustle and bustle but also takes the time to slow down by doing devotionals and afternoon strolls in her neighborhood.
I didn’t start watching Deemd until these last few weeks; something about her vlogs just lured me in. The simplicity of it, with no crazy special effects or editing; it literally is a simple life of being a college student in a Chinese university. Residing in South Korea, Deemd is definitely my spirit person. At first, you’d be shocked to see how hard she studies for her reports and assignments. She stays late into the night- not sleeping until three in the morning, but it makes her even more relatable. Even if she is residing in another country, every student understands the student life on a spiritual level. Though she spends a considerable amount of time at cafes or her small room, she always finds joy in downtime and spending time with her family. Her vlogs remind me that although we are stuck at home, being with family is like living in your very own sitcom or hilarious soap opera; it can literally go both ways. All in all, Deemd’s vlogs teach you to work towards your dreams, but also take time for yourself.
- Moya Mawhinney
If that name does not ring a bell, I’m sure you’ve had one of her dreamy Dublin vlogs on your recommended page. Moya is an up-and-coming Youtuber who has skyrocketed in the world of vloggers. She is a wonderful example of enjoying every minute of being an undergraduate student living with her housemates. Rather than displaying her life through rose-colored glasses, Moya is super honest about her downfalls and insecurities. Her vulnerability allows her viewers to connect deeply with her and grow alongside her on becoming better and more confident versions of themselves.
Each and every one of these YouTubers has impacted my life since I first started watching them. It’s strange to think you can lose track of time watching someone else live their life, but I find it very entertaining and exciting. I understand that sometimes these videos can be self-harming, as it is hard not to compare one’s lifestyle to another person. However, my hope is you find a friend in any or every one of these amazing young women, and that you may be motivated to get out of your bed and do something you love in any bit of free time that you have. The best form of productivity is one that focuses on balance. Giving time to care for yourself but also doing your daily tasks and responsibilities, careful not to overwork and exhaust yourself. You’re doing your best; don’t allow it to be overlooked.