So. You're home from school. You've been home from school.
Whether you're an incoming freshman or just graduated, chances are you're looking for ways to make some money this summer while still abiding by social distancing standards in this new normal.
Here are 10 summer gigs you can pick up for some extra cash while you're stranded in your hometown for a while.
Offer virtual babysitting and kid-sitting services.
Let's be real: working parents probably have some of the most trouble handling quarantine. Parents everywhere might do anything for a kid-free hour or two, and that's where you come in. Offer virtual kid-sitting services over FaceTime or Zoom, if you can, and spend a few hours watching a Disney movie, reading books, or asking the kids to show you their favorite toys. Parents will be more than happy to toss some cash your way!
Virtual kid-sitting is completely CDC-compliant, and you can start working by reaching out to family friends or by posting about your services on social media.
Help your neighbors with lawn work.
Remember when you were a kid, and your parents wanted you to start a lawn-mowing/leaf-raking/garden-weeding business on your own? Well, now's the time. I'm especially looking at you, business majors. Send out flyers to neighbors' doorsteps to advertise your lawn work skills and your rates. If you own lawn tools, like a weed-whip, a pressure washer, or anything else you're handy with, make the best of the nice weather and get to work!
Getting involved with lawn work in your neighborhood can be a great way to connect with those around you during this lonely time, but make sure to keep at least six feet of distance between you and those you're helping out. Be sure to wear a mask if you'll be within six feet of anyone else.
Sell those out-of-season clothes.
Is your closet piling up with sweaters that are so last year, or crop tops that don't quite fit like they used to? I know my quarantine fits don't vary beyond t-shirts and athleisure, and seeing all those cute tops hanging untouched makes me a little sad. Try selling your old American Eagle tops on Poshmark, or make an account on Mercari to get cash for your high school prom heels. That tee you bought at a concert in 2013? It'd probably pull in a fortune on eBay.
This isn't technically a job, so you don't need to fill out an application to get started. By making your sales through these online platforms, you're completely compliant with social distancing guidelines.
Learn a new skill and market yourself.
If you've been busy doing nothing all day, put your brain to work by learning a new skill. Places like LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, or Codeacademy offer free online courses in things you'll definitely benefit from.
LinkedIn Learning offers courses involving creative and business skills, and it's especially useful for those looking to improve their emotional intelligence or professionalism.
With Coursera, you can take college courses or enroll in programs for free or discounted rates. They're especially notable right now since they're offering a COVID-19 Contact Tracing course from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Codeacademy teaches 12 different programming languages, including Python, Java, and C++. These are especially practical for business majors, but anyone can benefit from creating your own personalized web presence.
Become a contact tracer.
Contact tracing is a function of state and local health departments to control any virus' spread; this strategy was the Obama administration's key to keeping the 2014 Ebola outbreak confined to only 11 American cases. Many state and local health departments are now looking to employ "armies" of contact tracers, whose responsibilities include communicating with COVID-19 patients and their contacts, informing the public about safety measures, and connecting people to resources they might need during an isolation period.
Contact tracing is done over the phone or a video conference, so it's 100% safe. Contact your local department of health to apply.
Sew and sell personalized masks.
Masks are in serious demand right now. You know those personalized scrunchie-making businesses we've all seen on Instagram? Start your own mask-making business, if you can! Wearing a mask is part of the new normal, and I'm convinced college students are going to want trendy, patterned, or themed masks. Plus, this is a great way to help your community!
You can find mask patterns and instructions from healthcare workers at JOANN's Make to Give DIY page.
Teach others as an online tutor.
Just because classes aren't in-person doesn't mean they're over. Students are still taking summer courses or continuing education classes, and that means people still need tutors. You can start your own local tutoring service using Facebook's business tools, or you can join Tutors.com and search through a wide variety of positions.
As long as you offer virtual services, you won't risk breaking quarantine.
Teach English language lessons.
At Penn State, I've volunteered with a local language library. There, the organization's leaders explain to volunteers that international students and professors often relocate to the U.S. in pursuit of educational opportunity, and that their families might struggle to learn English and thrive in their new communities. You can choose to work for good in your community by offering English language lessons to those who are interested!
Look for opportunities to work with online resources like EF Teach Online or with local businesses.
Register as a delivery driver.
Services like Postmates, Grubhub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats have found new life during quarantine: they're the perfect way for people who have self-isolated to keep safe while they still support local restaurants. Becoming a driver for a delivery service can be a great way to maintain social distancing while getting back to work. Plus, you can earn tips!
Apply for these positions online at the respective service's site.
Make a lemonade stand.
If all else fails, you can always throw it back to your childhood with a lemonade stand. If it works, it works, right?