How To Make Money While In College

How To Make Money While In College

Five great ways college students can make money.

In 2010 the American Association of University Professors released a report called Understanding the Working College Student. The report revealed that the majority of faculty members and administrators thought college students should only be working paying jobs "10 to 15 hours per week, on campus." The report continues to lay out extensive studies conducted to prove that working students did not do as well and had a lower retention rate than students who were working less hours or not at all.

The reality is the average college student is just like every other person who needs to work to survive. To say finding time to do so is hard is an understatement. Students are working well over the suggested 15 hours per week just to make ends meet. Just to end up in a low-level job with a huge cloud of debt circling for the next 10 years. This isn't the case for everyone, but the current job market does not look promising while the cost of higher education is rising.

Put two and two together—that's broke forever.

There are, however, many ways for a college student in this day and age to make money. Some jobs are more unconventional than others and require a little more creativity than what's required from a typical nine to five.

Here are five different ways to make money while in college:

1. Start your own business.

It's possible. Imagine if you can use the things you like to do in your free time as a means to sustain yourself. Think about how you can monetize your talents and take the first step to living abundantly.

Like to draw? Start asking your friends and family if they would support your new business by purchasing a portrait. Like taking photos? Start selling original prints. Got a printer at home and Wi-Fi? Start offering office services to those seeking administrative assistance.

Not a good salesman? Lucky are we that the days of door-to-door sales are over. Most things are online now, and your new business can be, too! Host sites like Big Cartel, SquareSpace, WiX, and Etsy offer a variety of platforms to share your wonderful new business and gain customers from all over the world.

Everyone is good at something, but the more original you are, the more appealing your product/service will be!

2. Take a serving job.

Server isn't exactly the fanciest title but you will feel pretty great heading home at the end of a shift with a pocket full of tips.

Waitressing, bartending, and server positions have held college students down since the beginning of time. Find a mom-and-pop restaurant if possible. One that isn't in threat of being bought out or commercialized. Somewhere that still cares about good quality and service.

Chances are if they care about the food and the customers, they'll care about their employees' well-being too.

3. Do work study.

Work study is an option exclusive to college students. For those fortunate enough to receive financial aid in New York City, the work study option is usually given when filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

This option is usually very convenient for the average college student. It provides stable and steady income while adding more experience to your resume.

The best part about work study is that in most cases it is on campus, eliminating the extra stress from traveling from work to school or from school to work.

4. Try busking and performance art.

If you have stage fright, this option is not for you. But if you can hold a crowd's attention long enough to win a poetry slam, then you might be able to get paid for your charismatic stage presence. There are performers all over who have figured out how to do just that. You can join that community, and the first step is to figure out what suits you best.

Slams aren't for every poet. Not every comedian laughs at his own jokes. Not all singers are American Idols. But if you can hold a tune and demand attention with your art, you could make up to 100 dollars performing on the New York City subway within an hour on a good day. Even people who already graduated could use an extra hundred dollars a day. So why not try it?

If you expect to get paid for your performance art you have to find out what you're best at and always work to perfect it. Try out different performance techniques, venues and open mics to build up your confidence and prepare for the real deal. There are many poetry and comedy slams that offer cash prizes and other events in the city. The Internet will readily provide more possibilities than you could probably handle with finals week and all.

5. Upcycle.

There are many broken pieces of things in this beautiful city to be found. Once you find them, you can then restore them and put your own spin on them. Then it's this whole new thing that can be flipped for a profit with little to no production cost. All that is required is an open mind, a good eye and some imagination.

If you are good with your hands, you can transform the most basic items into something beautiful and one of a kind. The kind of stuff people pay for. A dried flower petal, seashells from the beach, even seeds from your favorite fruit can all be used to create something.

And if you dare get the idea in your head that nobody wants old or used things, just think about why vintage thrift stores are so successful...and expensive! You know what they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure.

In between or after long hours studying and belting out essay after essay, I urge you to get imaginative and use what you got to not only make a profit but be self-sufficient and abundant. Get out there and start making that money!

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia

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The Dangers Of Ideology And The Importance Of Free Speech & Debate

Universities are currently policing thought, indoctrinating students into a radical egalitarian ideology, and crushing dissenting opinion.

It’s truly amazing to consider how quickly the culture on college campuses has changed over the last several years. Once staunch defenders of speech and academic freedom, modern universities are quickly turning into ideological echo chambers, indoctrinating students into a radical left-wing egalitarian worldview, while crushing dissenting opinion.

The disturbingly Orwellian trend to quell free expression on campuses can best be illustrated by an event that unfolded last year at James Madison University’s freshman orientation, when “student leaders” distributed a list of 35 things that incoming students should avoid saying, including phrases such as “you have a pretty face,” “love the sinner, hate the sin,” “we’re all part of the human race,” “I treat all people the same,” “people just need to pick themselves up by their bootstraps,” among other expressions.

You might find yourself laughing this off as nonsense, an isolated set of events perpetuated by a select group of fringe radicals. Unfortunately, I can assure you that this is not an isolated incident. In addition to the slew of protests that erupted at universities last year in response to conservative speakers being invited to campus, these kinds of events are indicative of a larger, and more pernicious attempt by the radical left to control the linguistic territory.

At universities across America, the campus left now demands that people accept certain preconditions for discussion. Not the kind of reasonable preconditions such as “treat people with respect,” or “don’t resort to personal attacks.” Rather, It is demanded that you accept a neo-Marxian worldview, rooted in the notion that the world is nothing more than a power struggle between two groups of people: those who oppress and those who are oppressed. They demand that people accept notions like white-male privilege as axiomatic – not to be debated – and force people to acknowledge how they've been privileged by the current socio-economic structure.

Refusing to accept these presuppositions not only bars someone from participating in the discussion. To challenge an idea, such as white privilege, is to reject the fact that racism and bigotry exist in our society. To challenge the notion that being white necessarily means you must be more privileged than a person of color is akin to blasphemy. To push against the idea that certain classes of people in America are ‘victims of systemic oppression’ is to deny the humanity and individual experiences of people of color, women, and other minority groups.

The campus left emphatically espouse the notion that “the personal is political.” Thus they believe, unequivocally, that the primary responsibility of the University should be to ensure students from “diverse cultural backgrounds” feel safe – and by safe they mean “not having their identities challenged;” and by identities they are referring to their belief systems – the lens by which they perceive the word.

From the perspective of a radical leftist, to participate in debate is not seen as merely engaging in criticism of some abstract idea. To challenge an idea is to challenge someone’s identity, and to challenge someone’s identity is to debate their humanity.

And that is one of the axiomatic rules of the campus Left – you cannot debate someone’s humanity.

Indeed, with more than a fifth of college undergrads now believing its okay to use physical force to silence a speaker who makes “offensive or hurtful statement,” the future of the First Amendment itself is currently uncertain.

What exactly is so dangerous about this movement?

For starters, the freedom of speech has wrongly been construed as just another value that we in the West hold in high regard. But it is more than a Right that we share as citizens of this nation. It is, ultimately, the mechanism by which keep our psyches and societies functioning.

See, most people just aren’t that good at thinking. I don't mean this as a sleight against anyone, but we’re all insufficient and we have limited awareness of most things because we just can’t know everything. We rely on communication with one another to facilitate the process of learning about things outside our realm of knowledge. Often we have to, first, stumble around like the blithering idiots we are, espousing our biased beliefs in a public forum, and subjecting our ideas to criticism before we can properly orient our thoughts.

When the open exchange of ideas is allowed, you get the opportunity for multiple people to put forward their biased oversimplifications and engage in debate that raises the resolution of the particular question and answer at hand. Ideas are hit with hammers, combed for contradictions, inadequacies and even falsehoods. On an individual level, this kind of scrutiny sharpens the schema you use to navigate the world because other people can tell you things you can’t know by yourself.

Maybe it’s an opinion espoused, or a behavior that manifests itself, or a misconception you hold- in any event, subjecting your beliefs to criticism is, in the short term sometimes painful because we often learn things about the world and ourselves that are uncomfortable; but, in the long term, it is the only way method we have for moving closer towards something that more closely resembles truth – and if not anything true, at least something less wrong. As a result, the lens by which you look at the world becomes clearer.

Further, it is also through a collective process of dialectic that we identify problems in our societies, formulate solutions, and come to some sort of consensus.

Thus the right to say what you believe should not just considered as "just another value." It's a conical value, without which all the other values we hold dear, that people have fought so hard, in such an unlikely manner, to preserve and produce all disappear.

Without it, there can be no progress. Without it, individuals abdicate their responsibility to engage in the sacred process of discovery and renewal. Without it, we can’t think. Without it, there can be no truth. Without it, there can be nothing but nihilistic psychopathology. The end result is a populist that is not only afraid to say what they think, but that doesn't even know what they think because they haven’t been allowed to stumble around in the dark to find some tiny fragment of light.

Therefore, when we consider placing restrictions on the freedom of speech we must do so with the most extreme caution. By setting ridiculous preconditions for discussion, the campus left not only makes the process by which we solve the problems with our society more difficult, but also, if taken to its extreme, it can lead to totalitarianism.

In the wake of dozens of campus protests last year, universities are now in a position where they have to choose between two incompatible values: truth or social justice. The former will lead us to a greater understanding, while the latter can only divide.

Cover Image Credit: Teen Vogue

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Being An English Speaker Is A Privileged Status

Multi-lingual is the way to go

English is not the official language of the United States of America. But even if it was, a country apparently founded on the idea of valuing every citizen as a free individual could do a much better job welcoming people who do not speak English.

While it is natural that one language became the most common, and that this has simplified many processes, this same simplification is not afforded to those who do not speak the language.

Language barriers can reduce one’s job opportunities, meaning that even if one has degrees and plenty of experience, many jobs are simply not available. Many employers are unfortunately unaccepting of those who do not speak English fluently, and some even discriminate against those who do not natively speak English.

Education becomes extremely complex for non-English-speakers. On the student side, while many schools offer English as a Second Language programs, which is wonderful, it should be acknowledged that these students face more work and less support than students who are native English speakers. To add to this, if parents do not speak English, communication from the school or with teachers becomes harder to access.

One of the greatest privileges of English speakers lies in healthcare. They can be sure that they will find a doctor who speaks their language and can clearly explain their medical situation in that language. The same goes for psychologists, social workers, and others in the health professions.

This becomes especially complicated for those who speak languages that are not commonly studied.

A friend of mine who teaches was mentioning recently that while there are many students and families in her district who speak Arabic, there are so few people working in psychology, social work, or other support services who speak the language that for the district to access them is not only difficult but expensive.

This too often means that schools fail to offer students and parents speaking these less-commonly studied languages sufficient aid.

So what is the answer? To adopt English as an official language would be so wrong in our country full of diverse and wonderful languages, backgrounds, and cultures. Instead of attempting to make English more and more widespread, we should focus our efforts on ensuring that people in this country who do not speak English can receive all of the same support as those who do speak English.

Some of this lies in ensuring that systems and institutions offer resources in several languages and that employers will not discriminate against those who are not native English speakers.

Much of the solution, however, is on us, especially if we are students entering a people-oriented profession. In fact, in all professions, becoming multi-lingual does not merely open doors for us but creates a society where more people have access to the services they need.

Cover Image Credit: Maialisa

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