5 'Side Hustles' Every College Kid Should Know About

5 'Side Hustles' Every College Kid Should Know About

Having a "real" job in college can be tough, but there are so many ways to make a few extra dollars.

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If you are anything like me, your weekends in college were a sacred time. They were time away from classes, from homework, and from everything and anything academic. They were a time to "kick back" and just enjoy yourself.

However, this could only happen If you had money to do it. I found was most often not the case during my first semester of college. Despite my best attempts at saving the money I had worked hard for over the past summer, I always seemed to come up a few dollars short of where I wanted to be when Friday came around. And I tried- I never treated myself to meals away from campus and I did not splurge on AirPods or whatever the "hot" trend was at that time. Heck, some weeks I did not even fill up my car with gas because I knew it was money I could not spend. Looking back, it taught me a lot about budgeting- a skill that is never really taught in a classroom but absolutely required in everyday life. I had almost no income and learning to reflect that in my spending was challenging for sure. I tried to work on campus (I was the fry boy in our cafeteria for a few months.), but my major required more time than I could commit to a stable job, so it did not last very long.

Almost every day I see articles or advertisements aimed at people our age pitching "side hustles"- jobs that you can work on your own schedule, as much or as little as you want. They promise flexibility for people with other commitments, and they are perfect for college kids like us. Do not expect to make great money, but if you're looking for a reliable way to make a few bucks between your classes, here are a few of my favorites.

(I have worked for some of these companies, but this article is personal opinion and in no way influenced by any listed entity.)

1. Food Delivery

Everyone has heard of "Postmates", the app that lets you order delivery from anywhere, or "UberEATS", which is ride-sharing giant, "Uber"'s, take on delivery. They may not be available near your school quite yet, but if they are, and you have a car, I would highly recommend applying to all of them as a driver. You can set your own schedule and work at your own pace, and for high-scoring drivers, the payouts are well above $7.25/hr. Another benefit? Some restaurants have been known to include a bit extra for the drivers. Making money AND eating free? Hard to beat.

2. Tutor

OK, so maybe it is not as glamorous as free food, but tutoring can be a good way to share your knowledge AND make a few dollars on the side. I signed up as a peer tutor during my first semester and worked with area high school students throughout the week who were struggling with subjects I knew well. I got really good at teaching, I mastered my own knowledge, and while the payment was never expected or required, I was always appreciative of a few dollars here and there.

Ride-Share Driver

This one is not for the faint of heart, especially in a college town, but everyone has used "Uber" or "Lyft" before. It has become a cornerstone of college society. If you have a car that fits the requirements of a ride-share company, and you meet the age requirements (21 for Uber), why not sign up to give rides? It may not be the most glamorous job, but it will keep you full of stories and keep a few extra dollars in your pocket. If you don't like it, no pressure, just delete the app and find something else!

Odd Jobs

Not every good "side hustle" has to be "official." My school had several community boards where local residents could post requests for "odds-and-ends" work available to students. I was a regular on these boards- I was out bright and early on snowy days shoveling driveways, I picked up leaves and cut grass in the warmer months, and I even helped an elderly couple set up the Apple TV that their son had given them as a gift. I always set my own hours and if I knew I would be busy, I just did not add my name to the call list.

Sell Old Stuff

Everyone has the shoebox or locker or car trunk full of old clothes or shoes or textbooks that they are never going to use again so make the most of it. You would be surprised what you can make selling your old belongings on sites like "Amazon" or "eBay." "Amazon" not your forte? Try apps like "LetGo" or "Facebook Marketplace" to avoid shipping!

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30 First-Apartment Essentials College Kids Forget To Buy At Target And Later Order On Amazon

Don't wait until you need to take something out of the oven to realize that you don't have any oven mitts.

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If you're anything like I am, you're beyond excited to start planning and shopping for your first apartment. It's easy to get wrapped up in the fun stuff for your first apartment, trust me, as a former Bed Bath & Beyond employee I could spend hours wandering through shower curtains and bedding.

Before you get too carried away there are just some essential things that you'll need, but they aren't as much fun to pick out. Don't wait until you need to take something out of the oven to realize that you don't have any oven mitts, because I really don't see that ending well for you (I may or may not know that from personal experience).

1. Oven mitts

Gets those oven mitts because the sleeve of your sweater might seem like it will work, but I'm living proof that it won't, most sweaters have holes.

2. Trash bags

Don't wait until you need to throw something away to realize you don't have them.

3. Hand soap

It's not like a dorm bathroom where the maintenance staff refills a soap dispenser that's drilled into the wall. You're on your own kid.

4. Toilet paper

Again, no staff replacing it for you. Stay on top of it and make sure you always replace an empty roll, especially if you have roommates.

5. Water filter or pitcher

This one depends on whether your water is safe to drink or not, but be prepared. You don't want to move in under the summer sun only to realize you don't have any drinkable water at your snazzy new pad.

6. Tools

Hammers, screwdrivers, all that jazz. If you're moving in some furniture you're probably going to need tools to put it together.

7. Lighting

You don't want to be unpacking and stumbling around a new space in the dark your first night. Know what lighting is built in and where you might need to add some light.

8. Silverware organizer

Ok, so you probably remembered to pack the silverware, but do you really want to throw it all in a pile in a drawer? That's a good way to grab the wrong end of a knife by accident, maybe get some dividers to keep your silverware nice and sorted.

9. Dish towels

Most people think about bath towels, but if you're not used to having a kitchen you might not have thought of dish towels. You're going to need those when you're whipping up your favorite dinner.

10. Measuring cups

I'm a huge advocate for estimating and guessing in the kitchen, but if you're baking anything at all you should probably at least have some measuring utensils as a guide.

11. Bottle opener and corkscrew

You're going to want to crack open a drink and celebrate your first night in the new place. Wouldn't it be a buzzkill if you couldn't even get the drinks open?

12. Sponges

You have to be able to clean the counters and the dishes when you're done being an expert chef!

13. Paper towels

Spills happen, and you don't always want to clean them with your nice towels.

14. Toilet plunger

It's one of those things you never really think about... that is, until you need one.

15. Air freshner

You know, for after you use the toilet plunger.

16. Extension cords

You probably have a larger space than you're used to, sometimes those cords that come with all your new electronics just aren't quite long enough.

17. Utensil container

A little round pot or bucket is the perfect place to put all of your kitchen utensils. Things like spatulas and whisks will take up space in your drawers and create clutter. Plus, keeping them out makes them easier to grab when you're whipping up some food.

18. Batteries

There's nothing worse than getting your new TV all set up and realizing you can't use the remote.

19. Curtains

If you need darkness to sleep, you want to make sure you get those bedroom curtains up and ready to roll.

20. Toilet bowl brush

Sorry, but I'm certainly not reaching in there with my hands.

21. Ice cube trays

To keep you cool as a cucumber during this stressful time.

22. Can opener

Try prying a can open with your hands. I dare you.

23. Stain remover

For when you try to pry the can open with your hands and manage to spray tomato sauce all over yourself.

24. Carbon monoxide/Smoke detectors

Cause we don't want any tragedies here.

25. Collander

We both know you will be making pasta every night, so you're going to need to drain it.

26. Coasters

You definitely don't want to ruin your super fancy new Ikea table.

27. Dry erase board

No need to argue over who should take out the trash, just make sure to write down everyone's chores.

28. Underbed storage

On a college budget there's no way you can expect a walk-in closet, those clothes and shoes will have to go somewhere.

29. Drying rack

For when the dryer in your building inevitably stops working.

30. Step stool

If you're short, like me, you need a little help reaching that top shelf.

Hopefully this list has helped you feel a little more prepared to move into your first apartment. The decorating and planning is so much more enjoyable when you know you have all of your bases covered. I wish you the best of luck with your first major endeavor in the world of adulting!

Note: As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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How To Stay Mentally Healthy In College

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

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Staying healthy in college seems really, really hard to do. Classes, friends, clubs, and the whole fact of living by yourself can create a lot of stress and anxiety. Most students, and people in general, don't really know how to deal with stress or how to take care of themselves mentally, leading to unhealthy behaviors physically and mentally. If you don't take care of your mental health, your physical health will suffer eventually. Here are a few tips and tricks to help take care of your mental health:

1. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and other healthy foods will help you feel more energized and motivated. Most people associate eating a balanced diet as beneficial for your physical health, but it is just as important for your mental health.

2. Keep a journal and write in it daily

Writing can be one of the most relaxing and stress-relieving things you can do for yourself. Writing down the issues you are struggling with or the problems you are encountering in your life on a piece of paper can help you relax and take a step back from that stress.

3. Do something that brings you joy

Take some time to do something that brings you joy and happiness! It can be really easy to forget about this when you are running around with your busy schedule but make some time to do something you enjoy. Whether it be dancing, writing, coloring, or even running, make some time for yourself.

4. Give thanks

Keeping a gratitude log — writing what brings you joy and happiness — helps to keep you positively minded, which leads to you becoming mentally healthy. Try to write down three things that brought you joy or made you smile from your day.

5. Smile and laugh

Experts say that smiling and laughing help improve your mental health. Not only is it fun to laugh, but laughing also helps you burn calories! There's a reason why smiling and laughing are often associated with happiness and joyful thoughts.

6. Exercise

Staying active and doing exercises that energize your body will help release endorphins and serotonin, which both act as a natural antidepressant. Keeping an active lifestyle will help you stay happy!

7. Talk out your problems

All of us deal with stress and have problems from time to time. The easiest and probably most beneficial way to deal with this stress and anxiety is to talk it out with a close friend, family member, or even a counselor.

8. See a counselor, peer mentor, or psychologist

Just like it was stated in the previous point, it is beneficial to talk out your problems with a counselor. We all have issues, and it is OK to ask for help.

Keeping up your mental health in college can be a struggle, and it may be hard to even admit you are not mentally healthy. This is OK; you are not alone. If you want to see a psychologist or would like to learn more about mental health, there are resources. You can also take a self-assessment of your mental health. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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