These days it seems like every college student has a side hustle or is at least considering starting one. And that makes a lot of sense! A side hustle, basically a second job or project balanced outside of classes, is a great way to make extra cash, especially when you might not have time to work a full job on top of going to school. Plus, you can sneak in work experience and build your resume, or even pursue a passion unrelated to school!
If you’re interested in starting this part-time work or side project, but don’t know where to begin, here are some tips to help you make the right choices on the way.
Pick a job that fits naturally with your lifestyle.
If you can’t commit to a structured second job, there are still a lot of side hustles that you can make work with your schedule! For example, some students can easily integrate working at a nearby bar or restaurant into their routine because they’re close to campus and have night or weekend shifts available that work with class schedules.
If you can only commit to a few hours a week, part time gigs in your college town, such as tutoring or dog walking, offer a lot of the same flexibility. If you’re unable to commute to work several times a week, there are even opportunities to work online, by taking online surveys or working as an online tutor.
Expand on a hobby or passion you already have.
If you’re not in the mood to look for work in an entirely new field, another option is to just build on what you’re already interested in and find a way to monetize it as your own boss. Do you know how to style hair, or have you always loved taking portraits of your best friends? Advertise your skills and start charging the cash for them! You have a ready market available right there on your campus.
While it may seem scary to start another job or project on top of classes, your flexible class schedule is what makes this the perfect time to do something cool on the side. Be sure to take advantage of your free time and devote it to projects that inspire you or can help you in the future!
Find something that counts for college credit.
While the thought of having extra cash is really exciting, it’s also important to remember that not all side hustles will be very ~lucrative~. It can be hard to find paid work as a student, especially if you can only work part time and in a location near your campus. If you can afford it, consider pursuing a side hustle for college credit, even if you won’t be paid in the traditional sense.
Aside from internships, there are tons of opportunities you can do for college credit! There are plenty of students who have pursued an independent study in college where they get academic credit for completing a semester-long project. Others have received college credit for doing photo projects, creating zines of original writing, and even doing research on a topic that interests them. Independent studies are a great way to build your resume or your portfolio and get college credit while doing it!
It’s important to remember that side hustles can benefit you in a variety of ways that aren’t all financial. Having work experience before you graduate is an incredible advantage, so be sure to not knock an opportunity just because it’s unpaid!
Balance your side hustle with your other responsibilities.
Once you’ve chosen the right-side hustle that fits your schedule (and your budget), it’s time to figure out how to balance it on top of being a student. You want your side hustle to enhance the other aspects of your life, rather than detract from them or act as another stressor. This means you will need to learn some time management.
Time management looks different for everyone. Some like Google calendar, but others may organize their time with structured planners or bullet journals. Whatever your preference, be sure to have some way of keeping track of your days and workload so that you don’t fall behind.
Also, having a side hustle will inevitably mean that your days get a lot busier, meaning you might have less time for TLC. Even with a more occupied schedule, it’s important that you continue to take care of your mental and physical health. Be sure to eat regularly, stay hydrated, exercise and sleep, no matter what your schedule may look like. Self-care is important! Remember that a side hustle is only worth it if you are healthy and awake enough to enjoy it.
Starting a side hustle while already in college sounds like a lot to take on at first, but it can be a truly rewarding and worthwhile experience. Whatever your hobbies, location and schedule, there is bound to be something that works for you!