Among the artists and the creators of the Cal Poly community, there is a rising Youtube star in the midst. Business administration second year student Kristina Johnson has a Youtube channel with over 33.9k subscribers.
Johnson posts lifestyle videos, many of which surround her life as a student. She was inspired to do this after watching older students do the same before she began college.
“Before I came to Cal Poly I genuinely watched every single video about the school on YouTube,” Johnson said.
Now she likes being that person for other new students.
“To think that people do that with my videos is so weird, but in a good way,” Johnson said. “I love the insight my vlogs are able to give to incoming or prospective students on what school is like here.”
Her channel consists of videos related to fashion, advice and she also answers questions about Cal Poly and her experience, too. She posts vlogs to show college life firsthand, such as her new series “SLO diaries.” Her most viewed content includes her college move in day and recruitment week.
Journalism student Lily Tenner watched Johnson’s videos once she received her acceptance to the university.
“I was so bummed because I couldn’t tour the campus due to COVID. I went on YouTube to see if anyone posted any dorm tours or any campus videos,” Tenner said. “Kristina posted so many videos and I loved her vibe. She made campus life look really fun.”
However, Johnson’s videos were getting attention even before her time at Cal Poly. She started her channel her senior year of high school and Johnson’s morning routine vlog is what caused her to go viral. She hit 1,000 subscribers and gained 700 overnight from it. A few hours later she checked again and had 3,000 subscribers.
“I remember going shopping with my friends one day and saw that my new morning routine video was getting a lot of views,” Johnson said. “It was so crazy to me how strangers were enjoying the videos I had been making, for over six months at this point, and interacting with them.”
Another high school video that caught many eyes was her prom dress shopping video, which currently has 1.2 million views.
Johnson currently considers being a Youtuber her job due to her increasing audience and opportunities.
“I think I view it a lot more professionally now that I am able to work with brands, and hope to keep growing,” Johnson said.
However, she still wants to keep the purpose of her channel light-hearted.
“I never want my channel to turn into something I don’t enjoy doing, where it feels forced, so, for now, I am just going with the flow and making whatever content I enjoy at the time,” Johnson said.
Additionally, with her increasing audience, Johnson has gained a bigger perspective of what it means to be a Youtuber and the hardships that come along with it.
“It has definitely given me tougher skin throughout the criticism that comes with putting your life on the internet. I think it has allowed me to be a lot more vulnerable, even though doing that scares me a lot,” Johnson said.
Despite it being scary, the reactions from her viewers and prospective students make it worth it and she said they’ve been surreal.
“I love meeting people who watch my videos in person and answering questions/reading everyone’s dms is crazy for me,” Johnson said. “Just last week I got so many sweet messages and questions after Cal Poly sent out their decisions. It makes me so excited for everyone coming next year.”
Johnson believes the Cal Poly community plays a huge part in her channel and has impacted the growth and role of her Youtube career.
“I think my content would look a lot different if I went to a different school. I love that I am able to showcase some of the amazing things in SLO throughout the vlogs,” Johnson said.