Anneka Smith: Starting A Podcast In College

I am SO excited to be launching this series!! Our first guest is Miss Anneka Smith, and you guys are going to love her! Anneka is one of the sweetest and most creative people I know. Well, I actually only know her virtually! I was introduced to Anneka through some mutual friends at school and noticed how much we have in common. After quickly scrolling through her aesthetically pleasing Instagram and listening to her podcast, I knew we had to meet!

We actually had a coffee date set up the day we were sent home from school due to COVID-19; however, we've still stayed in touch + support each other through these crazy times!

I could tell you a little bit more about her, or you could just hear from her instead!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do

Hey there! I’m Anneka. I’m going to be a Senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying Advertising with minors in Public Relations and Psychology (I have said this too many times within the past few months scrambling for internships #covid19). I am your average multi-passionate small town girl looking to make her mark on the world! I have a podcast called Wannabe where I talk about the struggles that girls like me face. Whether it be career, friendship, lifestyle-related, I cover it all and seek to help college women be the best version of themselves.

2. What is at the top of your bucket list?

If I am being real, the main thing on my bucket list right now is to be able to provide for myself. That entails moving out, getting a job, and a car! I aspire to be self-sufficient.

3. What are some of your hobbies that aren’t related to school or work?

I am big into health & wellness. I ran throughout high-school and it continues to be a part of my everyday life. I like to try out new healthy recipes and workout classes. Orange Theory is my FAV.

4. Explain your journey of starting your own podcast while being busy with college, your sorority, and working a part-time job.

I am a busy bee. If my schedule isn’t jam-packed my life feels off-kilter. So, adding in a podcast to the mix didn’t really phase me. I try to make time to fit it in where I can and don’t put too much pressure around it. That helps my schedule flow better and allows me to work in a recording where I can.

5. As a girl who blogs in college, I know it takes some courage to start when it isn’t exactly the “norm.” What did you do to overcome this fear of doing something different from other girls our age?

I’ve always followed influencers and more recently podcast hosts on various social media platforms and thought “Why can’t I do this?” It just took getting over that hump of self-doubt to actually put myself out there and do the dang thing. Every average girl will face backlash and judgment for doing something “out of the norm” and you just kind of have to get used to that awkward feeling at times. As you invest more time into your projects that feeling will eventually subside and you’ll start to feel proud of what you have accomplished. If it’s truly something that makes you happy, that’s all that matters!

6. What was the hardest part of getting started and sticking to it while being so busy?

The hardest part of the process is sticking to it when you don’t see results. It’s something I constantly struggle with. Always asking myself, “Is this worth it?”, “Is anybody even listening?” But, it’s your supporters who push you to keep going! Even if my podcast helps one person, it’s worth it for me!

7. If you could give one piece of advice to girls in their twenties, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid. I always find myself second-guessing certain decisions out of fear. Fear of embarrassment, fear of failure, fear of nervousness the list goes on… But, that’s life! You are going to fail, you are going to feel embarrassed and that’s OK. Those feelings and experiences are what help you grow as a person, friend, daughter, girlfriend etc. And after a while, you’ll look back and think “Why was I ever embarrassed to do that?”

8. Where can people find you and your podcast?

INSTAGRAM : @anneka_smith


Thank you so much, Anneka for sharing your story with us and letting other girls learn through you!!

I think Anneka is the perfect example of why you should just go for it if you've been putting off a project you want to start. There is never going to be a comfortable time to start. There is probably never going to be a time when you aren't busy (unless we're quarantined inside again for 3 months... knock on wood).

I have received countless messages from people telling me they are wanting to launch their own creative platform. I can always tell that they are mostly wanting a little shove and for me to tell them to just go for it.

So if that's you, and you've had something unpublished and ready to go for weeks or months now, here's your friendly shove. Go do it. You will be perfectly fine. It will feel uncomfortable, but it will be SO worth it.

If you are interested in starting a podcast, I'm sure Anneka would love to help you out. Everyone go follow her on Instagram for the cutest pictures + listen to her podcast for some awesome advice!!

Do you know an inspiring girl in her 20s that would be PERFECT for this series? Head over to the INSPIRE tab on my website + fill out the form! I would love to have her!