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Casey on Campus

Casey on Campus

Read any of my current favorite blog posts, and you'll know that I LOVE Casey Neistat. So much so that I tend to share something new from him every chance I get. So you can imagine how excited I was when I found out he was coming to speak at the University of Oklahoma this past week. The minute my friends and I heard about this we had a moment of, "Are you kidding? This is real?!".

About a year ago, I started watching his vlogs on YouTube and became obsessed with how creative and intriguing they were. I showed them to Hannah and Caroline, and they were instantly hooked too. We would sit on my bed after class and watch video after video. He spoke at the University of North Texas last semester, and we were very close to making the drive to see him speak. Because of our schedules, we couldn't make it work, but the thought of him being that close and not getting to see him made us a little crazy. 

One of my favorite parts of his talk was how conversational it was. Of course, he's a very casual person so that was to be expected, but I loved that everything he said was directed at college-aged students. He spoke for about an hour and a half, and I was intrigued the entire time. 

I've been thinking about the things he said and how I can apply them to my own life. He shared some really great stories - most of which went beyond what you'd see in a typical daily vlog - 

The path to success is crooked and has no map // He shared about how his career in film has now grown into starting a tech business (Beme, something you can learn a lot about by watching a few of his YouTube videos), which was recently sold to CNN. The Beme team is working on a new concept, starting a YouTube channel, etc., and he admitted that it isn't easy, and it isn't always happy and pretty. Some might say that once he sold the company to CNN, he won. But really, that's where all the work begins. He admitted that it can be scary to not know where the brand is going, but that is where we find that there is no map to any of it. 

Nothing good ever came from comfort zones // Casey often shares about moving to New York City when he literally had nothing. But he knew that's where he needed to be in order to make his film career thrive. He actually opened with this topic.

The day before coming to Oklahoma, he filmed a Q+A on the vlog, and someone asked, "do you think you would have been as successful if you hadn't moved to New York City?". His final answer to this question was no. I've found that going to a school in the midwest makes people want to look at you and say, "oh, it's okay. You could probably do something cool there, too". It's as if they feel bad for me - as if I didn't choose to come here on my own. 

And the truth is, yes you can do some really great things from absolutely anywhere in the world - especially given the tools that the university gives us as students. But what I loved most was that Casey wasn't afraid to stand in front of an audience of Okies and tell them that he believes his career grew because he was in New York City. 

Work because you're passionate about it // I think everyone can relate to finding a passion and wanting to work toward it - no matter what that might be. Something even more common is settling into something else because it pays better, etc. Finding the balance between doing what you love and loving what you do is just as important to finding success. If you love what you do, you will find a way to succeed - it's as easy as that.

In each topic he spoke about, he related it specifically to the college-aged audience he was speaking to. The really important message Casey gave left with us, especially as college students, was that it is possible to get what you want, but you're going to have to work to get there. Not only will you have to work, but it is going to be tough. 

Seeing Casey Neistat speak in person was an amazing experience, and I am so happy that I got to experience it with two of my best friends. All of these points are what I got out of the talk personally, and I encourage you to watch a few of his videos if you've never seen them before. AND! watch his vlog from his day in Oklahoma and try to spot Hannah, Caroline and I in the audience! 


xoxo, emily

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