Your university years can be the most fun years of your life, but they can also be your poorest. For the majority of students, university means loans, debt, budgeting, and bargain booze. There’s more tumbleweed than money in your bank account and your diet consists mostly of Ramen noodles.
Working and studying can be hard. Universities normally advise less than 16 hours of work a week, which does not nearly cover the price of rent, books, bills and food. Another problem I faced was that during summer, I needed as much work as I could possibly get, but during term time, I wanted to avoid working altogether so I could concentrate on my coursework. How many employers want someone for 3 months of the year? This problem has meant that I have quiet many of my jobs, mostly in retail, after about 6-9 months. Now, if you are like me, then you have tried to explore other ways to make money other than to work a job with set hours and a contract etc. But before you consider becoming a stripper, have a look at some alternative ways to earn money without interrupting your studies.
As an English Language student with two years of English Literature, I have tutored English to local schoolchildren on a casual basis. I simply advertised on the Facebook page of my local area and within a week I was tutoring two National 5 (Standard Grade) children. Now, don’t get me wrong; tutoring can be tough. You seriously need to prepare your lesson carefully and you can rarely turn up a wing it during a session because it will be unproductive, and a waste of time for the child. However, if you put a few hours work in, and maintain a good relationship with the student, then tutoring can be really successful. Today I found out that one of my kids got an A in her National 5, and I am over the moon. Seeing their hard-earned success is extremely rewarding, even if you do not intend on becoming a teacher in the future. Generally, you can charge between £10-£15 for an hours session, bearing in mind that whilst you can easily understand and teach the schoolwork, you are not a qualified teacher.
What you consider junk is someone else’s gold. Sell your old textbooks, broken laptops/iPhones and clothes and you will be surprised at what you can actually earn. I generally sell my clothes because I used to have a TERRIBLE habit of buying something, wearing it once and then forgetting about it. Selling things on eBay not only cheered up my bank account, but made room in my wardrobe for shit that I actually wear.
Take Part in Paid Research Interviews/Experiments
Check your emails and look our for notice boards at your Uni which advertise paid volunteering in research. Masters and Phd students are always looking for help to carry out their research. The money is generally set at minimum wage, and experiments are normally one offs. However, if you participate in a few a week, you could take the pressure off your weekly food shop.
If you are a talented musician and live in a major city, you can earn serious pennies by busking. Set aside a whole Saturday and sing/drum/dance your heart away on a busy high street. You need permission from the local council, but I know someone who plays the fiddle on Buchanan Street and makes about £60 for a days ‘work’, but really he’s just having a great time and getting paid for it.
Well, there you have it. Some alternative ways to earn some dolla without sacrificing your degree. If none of these options suit you, fear not. Perhaps you should consider stripping, or maybe selling a kidney/lung, because let’s face it, they are fucked anyway.