Contrary to popular belief, college isn’t all parties, fun, and games. Sure, everyone realizes that there are classes and studying involved, but many students struggle with funds and making enough money to sustain themselves while in school.
While some students are lucky enough to get financial help from grants, scholarships, and their parents, the rest struggle to get enough nutrition, keep their grades up, and have a life outside of those things. A large majority of college students barely squeak and are relegated to eating dollar ramen and staying in the dorm on weekends. With so many students competing for part-time work, paid internships, and more, finding ways to make an income can be a little hard to come by.
When it comes to jobs for students in college towns, competition is fierce, even with a multitude of fast-food gigs. So, if you want to earn extra cash this semester, you may need to get a little creative to find a part-time job.
Unless you have some priceless football cards you can sell so you don’t have to work this year, take a few minutes to peruse the ideas below, and you may find your wallet a little heavier in the coming weeks.
A near-perfect option
If you like kids, babysitting may be your answer. Check Craigslist and school bulletin boards, ask around neighborhoods, or even consider putting up fliers around town. You can also check out nanny-finder websites for a more permanent gig. Being a childcare provider can give you the flexibility you need in order to work around your class schedule, and these days, it can pay quite well.
While you may not need a new interview-ready suit to meet the parents, you should dress nicely and come ready with your resume and experience watching children. Be professional, open, and honest. These days, most families run nanny background checks, so if there is anything that will show up, be sure to address it beforehand.
Whether you’re a writer, singer, or web guru, freelancing and internet side gigs could be exactly what you’re looking for. Set up a profile on a site like Fiverr and list your services, e.g., voiceover, blog writing, exclusive music, etc.
If you aren’t creatively driven but you have a car, consider becoming a rideshare driver, a private tutor, or a pet sitter. Pet sitting is a great option for students because they’re a lot less work than children, and because all you need to do is make sure the pet gets walked and fed, it’s essentially passive income. Plus, if the owner wants you to stay in their home to watch Fido, you have a reason to get out of the dorms.
Don’t knock it until you try it
If you don’t think you’d be able to make money with a blog writing service or babysitting isn’t your cup of tea, one of the most flexible jobs is in the food service industry. Not only are they fairly plentiful at almost any given time, but they can pay fairly well these days.
While McDonalds may not sound like a place you want to work, don’t forget about host/hostess opportunities, bartending, waiter/waitress (you can get good tips here), or you can hit up Starbucks or other coffee shops and become a barista.
These types of businesses are usually pretty flexible with schedules, and though you may not gain any degree-related experience, it will likely be a fairly stress-free job, and you can focus on your studies instead of worrying about impressing the employer.
Pro tip: You may not need a professional resume, but it’s not a bad idea at all. Anything that can make you stand a little above the competition can be the difference between snagging the position or continuing to eat those frozen dinners.
So there you have it – a variety of part-time jobs that can help you get by in college. Remember, every little bit of extra income can help reduce the stress of financial constraints, allowing you to focus more on your studies and enjoy your college years.