For many prospective students going through the college application process, traveling to Brunswick can often be difficult, impractical and expensive—especially with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite Bowdoin’s virtual tours and online information sessions, it can be difficult to replicate the College’s atmosphere through the confines of Zoom.
In order to document their own stories and connect with other members of the Bowdoin community, a few students on campus are sharing Bowdoin through a different format—Youtube.
Owen Marvin ’23 and Adepoju Arogundade ’25 are two students on campus who wear many different hats. Arogundade is a member of the track team and plays the trombone, while Marvin plays guitar and is a member of the Running Club at Bowdoin. In their time between classes, practices, club meetings and homework, the two upload videos to their YouTube channels, which boast a combined 258,891 views.
Capturing some of his first moments as a Bowdoin student shifted how Marvin viewed vlogging.
“The first video that really changed how I thought about YouTube was the accepted students day
… that got a couple thousand views pretty quickly and I was like ‘Oh, wow,’” Marvin said. “I was really excited to get to Bowdoin and start making vlogs. You wish you could do it every day because it’s just so random, and it’s days that I would have never thought of again if I hadn’t vlogged. My favorite part is going back and watching.”
Marvin cited Destiny Kearney ’21, a Bowdoin alumna and content creator, as inspiration for his content. Marvin used the dorm tour video she posted to her YouTube channel as inspiration for his own video.
“I had seen [Kearny]’s video for a room tour, and that had probably 10,000 views. I was like ‘Oh, I could do that,’” Marvin said. “I was putting hours into [creating the videos].”
Arogundade has similar Bowdoin-related content, including a dorm tour, a video detailing his move-in day and a vlog he made on the day of the football team’s win this season. He started to make his more Bowdoin-specific videos as a way to help future students going through the college process.
“After I got accepted into college, I decided that I wanted to try making some vlogs, just so in the future I have stuff to look back on and so I can be a point of reference for other kids who are looking into Bowdoin,” Arogundade said.
While Bowdoin content peppers their channels, both students admit they don’t want to be seen as just Bowdoin YouTubers.
“I want my channel to be related to me,” Marvin said. “I don’t want it to be a Bowdoin channel, because it should continue after I leave.”
Arogundade feels similar to Marvin, preferring to make videos with his friends over his college-related content.
“I involve my friends more in the other [videos]. I guess they’re more fun to make. Even in the dorm tour video, I got my friends involved,” Arogundade said.
For both Arogundade and Marvin, they make their videos to share with special people in their life. YouTube, the two believe, helps them stay connected with their families. Marvin recounted that his first video he made back in 2014, while not a vlog or related to Bowdoin, was a video he made with his brothers.
“It was something super dumb, but we wanted to put it on Youtube so I could send the link to my cousin” Marvin said.
“One of the most rewarding parts [of YouTube] would be when [I] finally publish a video and I get to tell my friends and family about it,” said Arogundade.
Despite the fun they have creating content at the College, both students don’t anticipate their channels looking the same after they graduate from Bowdoin. Arogundade doesn’t plan on continuing to make vlogs after graduation but would be open to sharing his music through his channel. In a similar vein, Marvin still plans on making vlogs but anticipates uploading the videos much less frequently and spending less time creating them.
“The purpose is to really have fun,” Marvin said. “The vlog shouldn’t feel like work to do— it should be easy.”