This month, the College of Sciences is checking in to see what our students are up to and how they’re doing. In the face of an unprecedented pandemic, we want to know: what does summertime look like? Read the other stories in our Stay at Home Summer series:
- Sophia Martin Gets Creative, Fosters Positive Mental Health
- Edward Freeman Uses Resilience Strategies to Navigate a Summer of Uncertainty
- Courtney Astore Balances a Packed Schedule with Comedy, Community Connections
Nylah Boone is a fifth-year neuroscience major with a Spanish minor and marketing certificate. She’s taking advantage of this summer’s unique circumstances to spend extra time with her family and work on her social media brand. Boone actively manages a YouTube channel, TikTok account, Instagram, and blog where she shares fashion tips, travel advice, and creative content that inspires her.
Though her social media pages started out of pure passion, Boone says that positive feedback has created an opportunity to cultivate a sustainable brand. Aided by her marketing certificate and online research, Boone considers the possibility that her social media presence could someday translate into a career lifestyle.
“I am learning new skills through LinkedinLearning, networking with fellow creators, and learning the ins and outs of making valuable and engaging content for people to feel inspired by,” she shares.
Most days, Boone spends a few hours working on her social media presence through researching and creating content, collaborating with fellow creators, and exploring of new platforms. Recently, Boone has been experimenting with TikTok, an app that can elevate young creators’ reach overnight. On the app, users make and share short videos meant to quickly capture and hold attention.
“It has been such a creative journey, learning how to use the platform and figuring out my niche in topics,” explains Boone. “I am meeting many people who have similar interests as me, and we are able to collaborate on ideas and network as creatives.”
Even with the rise of TikTok, Boone shares that “YouTube will always be number one in my heart.” She shares travel tips, fashion finds and college life vlogs on her YouTube channel, which she has maintained since summer 2018.
In some of her videos, Boone dances to trending songs with her mom, shares her pros and cons of studying abroad, and reviews popular brands and fashion trends. She shares that the YouTube channel started out of a desire to document her travels.
“[I started] right before my fall study abroad trip to Spain, and I was incredibly excited to start vlogging my travels and my college life!” says Boone. “I have traveled to seven countries since then and documented those trips on my channel.”
Outside of keeping connected with her online community, Boone is staying active this summer as an executive board member of the Georgia Tech chapter of Her Campus and of her sorority, The Gamma Rho Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Boone is also conducting remote research with the Expressive Machinery Lab, where she explores the intersections of cognition, creativity, and computation through the study of creative human endeavors.
Alongside research and responsibilities, Boone shares that she prioritizes time with family. Most days, she spends a couple of hours with her three-year-old cousin, practicing for preschool.
“Most college kids would be sick and tired of being home by day three, but for me I have loved every second of it,” says Boone. “The normal things that used to easily annoy me seem to have disappeared, and my time with family has been fun and peaceful.”
She adds that the summer has been a “wild mix of emotions”, with social unrest and advocacy work.
“Things outside of home became chaotic. With the murder of George Floyd and the second wave of fighting for #BlackLivesMatter, my life for sure took a turn as I began to focus on amplifying the movement,” explains Boone. “It for sure hit my mental health pretty hard with the constant coverage of police brutality and nationwide injustices against my brothers and sisters. But day by day, I incorporate self-care activities, and put a lot of energy into loving my close friends and family, while also educating those around me.”
She encourages others to “make sure you do something to support the movement today: sign a petition, donate time, donate money, or educate yourself or a friend.”
As for what's next? “I am super excited to graduate this December, and I can't wait for it to be safe to travel again! The moment it is safe, I will be on a plane to Spain.”