Woodson Students Enter the World of Podcasts

Emanda Seifu, Editor in Chief

     Being in a global pandemic is not what anyone expected when school closed for an extra week back in March. Since then, a lot has been shut down, and people have had to find new forms of entertainment. While some students picked up a new hobby and others took classes, seniors Ashley Zhang and Carolyn Adkins each decided to start their own podcasts as their fun project.

Photo courtesy of Ashley Zhang.

     “Over quarantine, I had started listening to more podcasts,” said Zhang. She is the creator of High School Uncensored, a podcast about “the mind of today’s high schoolers.” 

     Zhang’s podcast is “a compilation of different people, different stories and different experiences to try to give a full picture of what high school is like.” The journey to creating High School Uncensored was somewhat unusual for Zhang.

Photo by Emanda Seifu.

     When a friend jokingly said Zhang “would not be a good podcast host,” she decided to create her podcast “out of spite.” Though her original reason for creating her podcast was somewhat unconventional, Zhang finds inspiration in the creative process.

     “But the more I thought about [the podcast], the more [interested] and excited I got; I had this vision of just being able to connect with people,” said Zhang. She believes that although everyone has a different story, we all go through the same thing.

     “One thing I want my listeners to take away is that they [are not] alone. We live different lives, but we feel the same things….[insecurity, stress, anxiety],” said Zhang. High School Uncensored provides a place for people to find life lessons and know that “there are [others] who care for you,” according to Zhang.

Photo courtesy of Carolyn Adkins.

    Adkins is the creator of What’s the Word? which is “about relatable topics, funny stories, helpful advice, show reviews and more. “I wanted a platform where I could talk about my life experiences and lessons I’ve learned,” said Adkins.

     “My podcast ranges [over different topics]… I choose to switch up what I talk about every week,” said Adkins. She was inspired by Youtuber Emma Chamberlain’s podcast, Anything Goes. Adkins wanted to create a podcast where people could feel like they are having conversations with the host.

Photo by Emanda Seifu.

   “My favorite part about having a podcast is having the ability to show my authentic self and, most importantly, to allow myself to be informal,” said Adkins. Similar to Zhang, Adkins wants to help people realize that they are connected and have What’s the Word? be “a place where [people] can feel safe, comforted and share a good laugh.”

     For those interested in creating a podcast, Adkins’ advice is “feel free to get as creative as you want! The possibilities are endless… never forget to display your true self.” 

     Both podcasts can be found on streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Podcast.