A student who has faced up to and worked through the challenges of university life and living away from home has put her experience to good use by creating a YouTube channel devoted to helping her peers.
Adanna Eke – who goes by the name of Dee – hails from Dagenham and is a final year Banking and Financial Planning student at the University of Northampton.
Noticing there is an abundance of advice for students, but often in different locations and sometimes given from a non-student perspective, Dee decided to combine her degree knowledge and personal passion to pass advice on to others and created #DeeTalks.
The platform is an unofficial online ‘school’ – whose motto is ‘#Educate2Elevate’ – a collection of short, light-hearted but informative videos in which she ‘Deemystifies’ the financial, social and personal brick walls students can encounter when they start university.
The topics currently covered include:
- Credit scores – understanding them and how to increase your score
- Taking out credit cards
- What to do when you find yourself in debt
- How to save
- Brexit for beginners
- Buying a car and car finance options.
The aim is that the viewer/’student’ progresses through the videos and knocks down some of these walls and gets a clearer view on how the world works now they have cut the apron strings.
The videos also feature full descriptive text, with links to the organisations or statistics Dee references and a breakdown of where viewers can fast forward to if they want to quickly access a specific piece of advice.
Dee explains: “I know what everyone’s going to think, that this is ‘another one of those hair/makeup channels’ – but no, no, no!
“I’ve done something a bit different and created a platform aimed at teens and young adults – although anyone can watch them as you’re never too old to learn! – where I share all types of advice and information that might have been missed at school, college or uni.
“The problem I’ve found is there is no simple, single Google search where young people can access all of this information under one roof and given by someone they can relate to, someone who has, or still is, going through all of this.
“Students think: what do I do, where do I go to? Explaining all of this is a real passion of mine – I’ve wanted to do it for years!”
Dee’s plan is to publish a new video each week for the next 12 months. Future topics will cover a broader range of subjects, answering the type of questions Dee herself has asked or been asked during her academic life:
- Understanding payslips
- Interview preparation
- Work experience
- Apprenticeships or university
- Studying away from home or commuting to uni
- Student mental health (MH).
“The main purpose of #DeeTalks is to relieve some of the pressures on young people, who leave full time education and step into the real world with only academic knowledge and are expected to cope and succeed.
“Part of this is talking about mental health, a hot topic at the moment and I want to focus on MH in teens and young adults. I think a big part of the rise in uni students experiencing MH is because as young people we are not well prepared for adulthood.
“At university, we are thrown in at the deep end a bit and expected to ‘get on with it’. Mental health is something I really want to focus on and I hope the videos help sign-post young adults to where they can seek help and open up about their feelings”.
Access #DeeTalks’ videos on YouTube.
You can follow her on social media, on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram (account name: @_dee.x_).
She uses the hashtags: #deetalks and #Educate2Elevate
Find out more about the University’s Banking and Financial Planning (BSc) course.