If you’re in college you are probably torn between always wishing you had more money and never having enough time to actually make the money you need. After all, you should be focusing on your studies in order to get a full-time job that will help you to pay back your student loans.
There are a bunch of jobs that you can do without needing to commit to regular hours or drive yourself crazy meeting demanding employer’s needs. Here are a few jobs to try out so that you can earn money without letting your grades slip:
1. Try Academic Counseling
Are you great at time management and creating study schedules? You might think those aren’t skills, but if you look around there are probably lots of students on campus who just can’t seem to get everything done. Granted, some of these students just pack their schedules too full, but there are others that just do not understand the art of time management and study planning. Making a study schedule for someone else means you’ll have to step outside of your own routine and understand how other students learn. While it might seem easy to tell them, “Just study!” there are so many distractions and ways to procrastinate on campus that some students find it impossible to focus on work. As an academic counselor, you work with students to figure out where they are struggling (it can be in getting papers written, studying for tests, attending class, stuff like that) and give them strategies to help them stay on track. Most often, students put off the things they don’t enjoy – just like everyone else.
You’ll need to get creative with your advice and help them stay motivated. After a while, you will be able to identify which techniques work for certain students, and you will feel a sense of pride seeing students start to adopt these methods and pass the classes they came to you struggling to even go to in the beginning.
Get Started Today: See if your campus hires academic counselors or peer advisors. Some universities have programs set up to train successful students to help others learn the ropes. If you can get hired by your campus to be an academic tutor a few days a week, it’ll be an easy on-campus job that will likely allow you to set your own schedule. After all, they don’t want your grades to slip while you help other students succeed.
2. Try Tutoring
If you’re doing well in your field of study, why not help other students who are struggling? Most universities offer structured tutoring programs where students can drop in during regular hours for homework help or study sessions. However, this means you will need to be available during set hours a few times a week. When I was a tutor on my campus, I got to choose a few days a week where I sat in a tutoring room for 2.5 hours a time. If students dropped by for help, then I would work with them. If they didn’t I got paid to study that night. If you aren’t interested in the oversight that comes with being a campus tutor, then you can try to start your own tutoring business. You should probably figure out which courses you are best equipped to help students with and advertise online, on student bulletin boards, or through word of mouth. This option will let you choose to be available during times that work best for you, but it doesn’t guarantee you the cash flow an on-campus tutoring job would.
Get Started Today: Visit your campus academic counseling office and see what tutoring jobs are available and what the time commitment is for tutors. If it seems like more than you are willing to commit to, then ask around if anyone in your circle needs a tutor and start that way.
3. Try Freelancing
Obviously, I need to put freelancing on the list. If you have access to a reliable source of internet (think the campus library) then you can always take freelancing jobs. This gives you the ability to take jobs when you have downtime and choose short-term projects. That way, when you need to study you have the time to devote your brainpower fully to your coursework. Freelancing also gives you the option to do jobs that you may be interested in that deviate from what you are studying. If you’re a computer science major that yearns to do something creative, then maybe you’ll be able to freelance doing some web design. Think outside of the box, and you can earn money without getting burnt out.
You can also try out freelancing to see how to apply the things you are learning in school. Try out some projects to boost your portfolio of work. You will get a sense of whether or not you like what you are learning, and be able to figure out if there is a particular concentration you should focus on or take classes in next semester. As an added bonus, freelancing can help you build your portfolio. While most recent graduates will only have coursework or internship examples to show potential employers, having a portfolio of work that you actually did in the real world can go a long way. You might also make good contacts through freelancing that can help lead to recommendations or job opportunities once you graduate. But remember, if you’re freelancing, you will likely be getting your money in spurts so make sure to save cash for times when studying is your top priority.
Get Started Today: If you’re reading this then you probably know about XPlace. It’s easy to find freelance opportunities in most fields and they vary in the type of experience level required. Even if you’re a college student and still learning about your field of study there are some jobs out there you can absolutely do and build up your freelancer reputation in the process.
4. Try Teaching English
This is a job you can generally do no matter what your major is because the demand is so high. There are a lot of online platforms looking for English teachers to help students learn the language. In this case, some students are looking to talk business or technology, so teachers do not necessarily need to be equipped to teach spelling or grammar.
You do need a fluent grasp of the English language and to be willing to work with students at varying levels of proficiency. You will also be able to work during odd hours because most platforms have students across the globe.
Get Started Today: Searching “teach English online” will give you everything you need. You’ll need to apply and probably go through some training.
5. Try a Task Manager Platform
If you want to take on work that allows you to get into the community and interact with people while still picking your own working hours, then you might want to join a task matching platform. These online platforms allow people to post jobs that they want someone to do like pick up dry cleaning, get groceries, clean houses, etc. You can then apply to do the task, and you’ll get paid per job.
This type of platform takes the work out of finding odd jobs to do and allows you to focus more on completing them and getting paid. So if you’re up for anything from cutting lawns to walking dogs then you might want to look online for task matching sites. Some sites also offer more skill-based tasks such as translation services or graphic design work. These tasks are a lot like freelancing in that they can provide you with practical ways to apply the skills you are learning in college. These skilled tasks are often more lucrative than other tasks, and can sometimes lead to longer-term opportunities like summer internships at the companies you completed tasks for if you do a really outstanding job.
Get Started Today: One of the most famous task matching sites out there is TaskRabbit, but if you look around there are probably others. Find an online job posting forum for your community (make sure it’s reputable) and start applying to do jobs around your city.
Your main priority in college should be to get good grades and learn about the field you have chosen to study. These five job categories should give you the chance to earn money to live and eat without dominating your time and energy. Stop worrying about finding someone to cover your shift at a part time job so that you can study for an upcoming exam or meet with your group project team after class. You’re in college to learn not to run yourself into the ground, so start finding work that fits your schedule instead!
What ideas would you recommend for university students looking to earn extra cash? Were there any jobs that you did in college to earn extra money on your schedule? Post your thoughts in the comments below!