After graduating in May, senior Morgan Yates will move to Los Angeles to become a YouTuber full time.
She began posting to YouTube as a high school sophomore with her best friend, fellow UNC senior Caroline Harding. She now has over 150,000 subscribers on YouTube and has collaborated with brands like Macy’s, Barnes and Noble and Redken.
“I recruited my friend because she was cooler than me, and I didn’t want to do it by myself,” Yates said. “So, if people found it, it would be less embarrassing.”
Their first video, filmed under the username The Forever Glamorous, was on prom hair tutorials, inspired by beauty gurus like JuicyStar07.
“It was a video of her just curling my hair. It was so unprofessional and kind of embarrassing looking back, but that got us started," Harding said. "I remember we kept it a huge secret because at the time it was not a cool thing to have a YouTube channel."
"But, it was fun to start, and it’s really cool to see where it is now.”
The video has since been made private and Harding left the channel after privacy concerns from her parents, but Yates continued making videos in high school, uploading twice a week.
“She’s a type A personality,” Sarah Bonn, Yates' housemate and UNC senior, said. “She’s super organized and detail oriented, but that also makes her very driven and focused. Even though she has those qualities she’s also a very carefree person.”
She took a break from YouTube when starting college, but returned to posting consistently in the beginning of 2016. Yates originally planned to go to nursing school, but switched her major to communication studies with a minor in entrepreneurship after realizing she could turn video editing into a career.
Through YouTube, she said she met many others who share her passion for making videos.
“The number one thing I’m thankful for that’s come from YouTube is definitely the other YouTubers I’ve met and the relationships I’ve formed. It’s kind of weird to say, ‘Yeah, these are some of my closest friends,’ but they really are, and you spend a lot of time together," Yates said. "I lived in Los Angeles this summer and hung out with my YouTube friends all the time.”
Since starting her channel in high school, Yates has shifted from beauty and fashion to creating more lifestyle content, such as her recent videos “22 Things I Learned in 22 Years” and “Freshman Year vs Senior Year.”
“Right now, since I’m about to graduate, I’ve been trying to do all the college-centered videos I can before that’s no longer relevant to my life anymore,” Yates said.
“Vlogging is something I really love,” Yates said. “And, it’s not like I have to do it and that I have to be capturing everything I’m doing. There are definitely times when I’m doing things and make a conscious effort of, ‘I'm not going to bring my camera because I want to be present with my friends’, but I don't think having my camera ever prevents me from living in the moment.”
Her favorite part of vlogging is capturing memories that she can revisit.
“I look back at my high school vlogs from prom that no one even watched," Yates said. "But that I’m so glad to have those memories of and just the little moments I would have forgotten.”
Welcome to the 2020-21 edition of The Daily Tar Heel, now in our 128th year!
COVID-19 brings significant challenges to the UNC, Chapel Hill and Orange County communities and to the DTH, but our staff is committed to bringing you the news you can't get anywhere else, wherever you may be. We are printing a newspaper three times per week for now, with digital coverage every day.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.