Career Advice

10 Easy-to-Start Side Hustles for College Students

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Juggling studies, work responsibilities, social commitments, and extracurricular activities is a circus-worthy feat. Sadly, college students often have to add a few side hustles to the mix to make up for the expenses of college life.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options for an extra income during college. Whether your main focus is the money or gaining workplace experience, these gigs are flexible and can fit into a student’s messy schedule. Plus, they pay well and can make a difference in your monthly budget.

Without further ado, take a look at ten easy-to-start side hustles you should consider this semester.

1. Babysitting 

Caring for children is not the most straightforward job, but the benefits outweigh the downsides—particularly if you have a good hand with kids.

There is always a demand for babysitting, so you will always have various options. Likewise, it’s a flexible job that offers you some free time you could use to review some books or do some research.

The competitive pay rate for this side hustle depends on your area and availability. However, you could charge more than the average if you have some marketable skills—such as a second language or a CPR certification.

2. Dog Walking 

Regarding side hustles, dog walking might be the most enjoyable—at least for dog people out there. After all, you get to pet many cute dogs, take a leisure walk, and get paid for your efforts.

Payment varies wildly depending on many circumstances, such as the area you live In, the demand for dog walking services, and the number of pets you manage. However, the advantages include flexible timetables and the chance to stretch your legs and walk around.

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3. Selling Books 

As a student, you probably have a steady supply of textbooks and other types of books that you no longer need and would like to get rid of. That is why selling your used textbooks is the perfect solution—you get some extra money and declutter simultaneously.

While you can do so online if you want, plenty of physical stores, such as Half Price Books, accept used textbooks at a reasonable cost. 

However, you could take this side hustle further into a full-blown book-selling gig. Flipping books involves buying cheap books and selling them for a profit, and it is an easy-to-start side gig you can do from home. If you’re curious, take a look to see how to sell textbooks on Amazon.

4. Tutoring

If you’re a good student with astounding grades, a few credentials, and a passion for teaching, then tutoring might be your best option.

Granted, this is no walk in the park; tutoring requires time and effort, as you’ll have to prepare materials and lessons for your students. However, the pay is worth it—depending on your skill set, this could be the best-paying gig in this list.

There are countless classes you could tutor, and the advantage is that depending on the topic, you could also reinforce your knowledge of the subject by teaching it—a phenomenon called the protégé effect.

5. House Sitting

House sitting is one of those jobs that seems perfect for students—you are essentially getting paid for looking after someone’s house. As such, your tasks would usually be mundane, everyday things you probably already do at home: switching lights, watering the plants, and feeding pets.

While house sitting usually requires you to be available for at least a couple of days, the benefits are worth it—mainly because once you complete your tasks, you get plenty of free time to study or catch up on your assignments.

6. Virtual Assistant

If you’re considering gaining experience in the corporate world and enjoy working from home without fulfilling a regular office schedule, then a virtual assistant might be your calling.

Your tasks would be diverse and depend on who you’re working for. Still, managing social media accounts, answering emails, controlling appointments, or writing newsletter entries would be commonplace. Of course, they all would be online-only duties you can do from home.

Payment is unpredictable and varied, depending on your baseline fee and what your client is ready to pay.

7. Gardening

It’s the quintessential side gig you always see referenced in pop culture. But its fame is for a good reason: mowing the lawn is a reliable and omnipresent task that is always on demand—at least depending on where you live.

Gardening, landscaping, or mowing require a lot of physical work and may need some investment, but they are profitable activities that will pay off. Depending on your area, you may only be able to do this for half a year, but it’s still an excellent chance to save up.

8. Food Delivery

If you own a car or have other transportation methods, consider becoming a food delivery driver. Apps such as DoorDash or UberEats have made it easy, and you will never struggle to find work on a college campus.

While you may have some fuel expenses, it’s a flexible job that allows you to choose your schedule—and you might get some tips, too.

9. Freelancer

If you have a marketable skill that is high in demand—programming, illustration, writing, or graphic design—then consider offering your freelance services online as a side gig.

The advantage is that you can set your rates, availability, and the type of work you would like to work with, which gives you full control. You can also limit the number of projects you can take on and withdraw your services temporarily whenever you get too busy with your studies.

To find jobs, you can register on online freelance companies, or you could also market your services around campus.

10. Kids’ Entertainer

If you have a passion for the scenic arts, a knack for entertaining children, or are simply a spontaneous and fun-loving person, becoming a kids’ entertainer might be your call.

Granted, this side gig requires an initial investment, mainly regarding outfits, makeup, wigs, and any other props you might need. However, once you secure it, you might realize there is always a demand for kid entertainment.

Clowns, Disney princesses, and magic trick shows are the most common options. However, you can be creative to make your service stand out.

Countless Options To Fill Your Pockets

If you’re looking for extra income, your starting point should be deciding whether you’d prefer an in-person or an online side gig. From then on, it’s only a matter of focusing on your talents and skill sets to find what works best for you.

Whatever you choose, be sure to do your best—if you offer a quality service consistently, you’ll reap the benefits immediately.

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