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.
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.
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!
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!