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Side Hustles for College Students –A lucrative opportunity

Opprtunity 01

“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.” – Chris Grosser

Well, unlike yesteryear, when students went to college, attended lectures, and got back home to read or watch television, today’s students have a lot to handle and process. A college education is expensive, and students apply for education loans to pursue degrees from premier institutions. As most of them move to new cities for their UG/PG courses, costs include accommodation, food, and commute in addition to college fees and books.

Irrespective of the affordability factor of parents, students are highly aware and sensitive to take the onus of their expenses and are willing to be accountable. They do not believe in burdening their parents/guardians with their education expenses.

This being said, Gen Z does not want to compromise on any aspect of living life king-size. They are raring to explore diverse domains and tap into their multifaceted personality. While they believe in acquiring a degree to calm down the angst of parents, they also have the desire to chase their dreams and passions.

How do they balance the two??

The twenty-first century embraces this dual aspect of the youth and provides an amicable solution to them. Side Gig or Side Hustle is the boon, that offers a buffet of choices ranging from virtual to offline, from social, financial, and human resource-related jobs to fun ones like event coordination, dog walking, etc. Some of them are offered as Internships, while some as Freelance projects and the rest as regular jobs. All of them create a viable learning and earning platform for young adults.

Check these out!

Mainstream Gigs

  1. Affiliate Marketing: A process of making money online, every time a purchase is made based on your recommendation. Here, you are the affiliate who earns a commission as you help increase sales of that product. Basically, you refer a product or service in your blog/social media/website or any online platform that you may be logged into, and make a small gain consistently, though not big bucks instantly.
  2. Online Tutoring: Good communication skills, patience, and interest to teach your favorite subject are the only prerequisite to taking this as a side hustle. Considering the number of children and adults looking to learn diverse subjects and pursue hobbies, there is no dearth of enrolments. There are plenty of online tutoring websites, both Indian and foreign, with their own terms and conditions on eligibility and payment patterns.
  3. Managing Social Media and Digital operations for SMEs: You have the knowledge and they have the money. Get it together for a win-win business model. Most SMEs do not have the bandwidth to maintain their presence online to promote their product. If you can tie up with a few of these businesses closer home, and develop a model to create visibility and traffic on social media platforms, you will get paid for the service, while also their gratitude for catapulting their profits.
  4. Personal Trainer: Are you a fitness freak or a sports enthusiast? Make your proficiency generate extra pocket money for you. Today, with apartment complexes flaunting state-of-the-art gyms and play spaces, everyone is eager to have a personal trainer to help them stay fit. Similarly, they look out for coaches to train their children in Football, Basketball, Skating, Karate, and indoor games like Chess, Table Tennis, and many more. This would be a fine balance of earning the extra money and staying fit, in addition to building a wide network of contacts. These contacts eventually may serve to land you plush jobs after graduation.
  5. Party Planner: Do you enjoy organizing events? Are you the cultural coordinator of your college? Cash in on this expertise to plan birthday parties and other annual events in housing complexes and known circles. Just by word-of-mouth references, you will get booked well in advance and keep innovating to get better at it. If you have photography skills, add that to the quotation to cover the parties, baby showers, and newborn photo shoots.
  6. Good fellows: Join this team as an intern to spend fun times with senior citizens fondly called the ‘Grandpals’. An initiative by the dynamic Shantanu Naidu, this team has stumbled upon the most humane venture ever thought of by Gen Z. While there are institutions that house and provide for the elderly, the loneliness of the empty nest syndrome has been wiped away by the good fellows. They attend to the little joys of the older people, by taking them to enjoy picnics, and movies, celebrate festivals or just sit and chat up and listen to them, share laughter, and have lots of good times. If empathy and being humane are your forte, give this a try.

Quirky Hustles

  1. Dog walker: Do you love dogs? Always checking them on your Insta reels and YouTube videos? Love playing and cuddling them? Am sure you have neighbors who have high-end or run-on-the-mill breed dogs that have to be walked every day twice. Opt-in to do that and while you earn you also get to walk your pet dog for free. In due course, you may be offered to pet sit the dog while the family travels on long and short trips. Sounds fun? Take a run at it.
  2. Tattoo artist: Do you have an artistic flair and patience and skill to tattoo? Start with known people, and based on feedback on your execution, you can make good money doing this.
  3. Bartending: This is another popular, exciting, and well-paying gig. A Bartender is someone who mixes and serves beverages in high-end resto-bars. Guess you have seen some really proficient ones juggling the drinks and being the cynosure of all eyes at the bar/restaurant.
  4. Cloud Kitchen: Fond of cooking, baking, or trying your hand at fusion food? With minimum investment, and without any physical space, in the comfort of your home or garage, you can whip up your favorite goodies and sell them on any delivery platform or market it through your social media handles. The same tactic applies to arts and crafts made by you or any other handmade stuff. I know a student who knits stuffed dolls, gives them cute names, and sells them for a bomb. She has a queue of pending orders always.
  5. Translation services/Podcasting/Ghostwriting: A series of services that are much in demand both in academic and technical circuits. Translation services are for those who are adept in two languages, usually English and a regional or foreign language. Right from novels to research papers, today everything is available in multiple languages. Hence this would be a good way to earn a good sum of money.

Podcasting is an audio recording of either your own blogs or content read and appreciated by you, that can be shared as a podcast.

Ghostwriting is writing content anonymously for a well-known corporate head or even a writer. This will neither give any recognition nor can be cited as proof of writing but will fill your pockets for the little extra expenses.

Benefits of Side hustles:

  1. Earn multiple sources of income.
  2. Create new contacts/build a broad spectrum of networks that can be tapped in the future for career connect.
  3. Develop a sense of self-worth and accountability towards income and expenses.
  4. Acquire diverse skills and qualities that empower your personality and groom you to take on real-world challenges.
  5. A fun way of learning, growing, and in the bargain, identifying your real passion and interest to pursue as a profession.

Understanding the momentum of the side hustles, most colleges today encourage their students to multitask and sign up for an internship of their interest. New Horizon College too instills this awareness right from the first year of college. Students are given diverse opportunities to tap into their passion and are supported with a tweaked timetable that balances classroom learning with real-world experience. There are so many students, who have proven their worth to bag appointments much before their course is completed.

At the end of the day as Einstein says, “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”