Uni is hard, right? Trying to juggle eating, sleeping and partying is bad enough, let alone squeezing in lectures, seminars and coursework (or even worse, group coursework). You’re working your socks off trying to maintain grades, a social life and a semblance of a diet, surely you can’t be expected to do anything else?
Knock knock. Yeah, hi, reality here. After you graduate, you’re going to want a job. Professional success is not going to magically happen because you manage to maintain a 90% attendance to your classes. In today’s saturated job market, you need to have some sort of job while you study – just to put you on the same level as your competition.
Not sure where you can possibly find the time? Mull this over; Google, Facebook, Reddit, Snapchat, Dropbox, WordPress. While you spend half your life absorbed in these sites, consider the fact that all of them were started while their founders were still studying at university. What does that tell you?
Not everybody has it in them to become the next tech start up over a Pot Noodle, but that doesn’t mean you’re relegated to a shop floor to earn minimum wage. There are plenty of fun, flexible and creative ways to earn some extra cash while you study, without having to learn anything new (or even getting dressed).
- Hobby + Craft Fair = Profit
Do you have a creative hobby, like baking, card-making or metalsmithing? Excellent! Get thee to a craft fair and slap some price tags on the results of your hard work. Make sure to advertise it as “local” and “hand-made by hungry students” and you can be handsomely rewarded for a few hours of your time (and doing something you already enjoy). Some fairs will charge you to host a stall, so split the costs with a like-minded buddy, and try to book it in around a holiday (like Christmas) to guarantee footfall.
- Use them mad skills
Don’t feel left out if your hobby doesn’t involve making physical things. Take advantage of someone else’s laziness by signing up to an “odd jobs” website, where you can make a few quid coding a website, building some flat pack furniture or playing a jingle on your guitar. Seriously, there is no end to the weird stuff people offer to do for money, and the best part is you can literally get paid to improve your skills. Start by looking at TaskRabbit, Fiverr, People Per Hour or My Odd Jobs.
- Work your butt off
If you don’t have any skills to sell, what about a six-pack? There are heaps of agencies up and down the country hiring hosts and hostesses to join hen and stag parties, all year round. Most agencies (and make sure to find a reputable one) will provide training before you start, so all you need is a bit of confidence and a smile! Joining a team of butlers in the buff or becoming a beer maid can be a huge amount of fun, and a very lucrative side-hustle while you study… Although you might want to come up with a cover story to tell your gran.
- Rep your favourite brands
What if you’re confident, but don’t want to bare it ALL? Well, becoming a brand ambassador might be the ticket. Usually centred around larger cities and universities, a brand ambassador represents a company, service or product, and makes it look attractive to potential customers (i.e., other students at your uni). This can be anything from club night promoters to the people offering tasters in supermarkets, so there’s a lot of scope to finding opportunities that match your interests.
- Get free stuff.
Love free stuff and don’t mind a little bit of writing? Apply to be a mystery shopper (or diner). Some companies will give you free clothing, tech or make-up to trial it and review it, and others will reimburse you for eating out, trying a new yoga studio or buying a certain brand of peanut butter. You’ll get a list of instructions to follow, and usually you need to demonstrate that you can follow these and provide a timely report before they’ll start giving you the really good deals.
- Got time to answer a few quick questions…?
Want to feel like you’re earning, but reeeeeally don’t want to get up in the mornings? No problem. Grab your laptop and sign up for some online survey sites. You can usually earn 50p to £2 for every survey you answer – all in the comfort of your pjs. Couple that with the Google Opinion Rewards app, and you can complete short surveys (for Google Play Store credit) even when you do finally make it outside.
So, go out there and make it happen. You’ll keep your parents happy, get some sweet deals to impress your friends, and add some impressive skills to your CV – all while having fun.