Make a reasonable amount of money, or die tryin’ : Ways to Make Money in College


Madison Aument

Your bank account is barren, like a town ravaged by a tornado. (You are the tornado in this scenario.) It’s empty, quiet, there’s an eerie sense that a tragedy happened. You’ve blown through your birthday checks and you’re collecting quarters as a means to purchase your daily Dunkin Donuts iced coffee.

The simple answer is to get a part time job, but that comes with some catches. First, the process of getting a job is slow and full of bureaucratic procedure; it’s at least a two week process to secure a good job. Secondly, should you get that job, it will be another two weeks at the least after starting work before you get paid. If you’re patient and not in dire need of cash, this is a viable path for you.

But remember, your bank account was struck by a tornado, and it needs intervention by FEMA immediately. Desperation does not mean you have to resort to immoral or illegal strategies to make quick money. You have completely safe and legal options.

1. Task Rabbit : is a website for employers searching out freelance employees. Common tasks include housekeeping, business assisting, running errands, and best of all for the occasional employee, saving places in lines. You must create a profile, choose areas you specialize in, and best of all, set your hourly rate.

2. The sketchier route… Craigslist: You have several options with Craigslist. You can sell your stuff in hopes that someone is in the market for a used boom box from your formative middle school years or you can browse the gig section to look for one time job opportunities that turn out immediate cash. Some of the jobs get weird so you have to be smart about it. Don’t go to someone’s house by yourself, don’t accept any jobs with vague descriptions and promises of unbelievable amounts of money.

3. Not sketchy but more difficult than Craigslist… eBay: Again with selling your old junk, this time, with a little more structure and a little less “meeting-people-in-abandoned-parking-garages”. People bid on your products, so how much you make isn’t completely in your power, but the service is more monitored than Craigslist, giving you peace of mind and a sense of safety.

4. The tried and true method: At a certain point, the traditional route to making money is the best. Securing a part time job, however tedious the process, is the most consistent source of money as a college student. Create a basic resume, dress up in nice clothes and give your resume to prospective employers. Bonus points if you print the resume on thick, resume paper. Most jobs will work around your school hours, and if they don’t, search elsewhere because you should not miss classes you pay for to work a temporary, part-time job.

Regardless of the path you choose, patience and perseverance are paramount. You are in college to attain the skills you need for the job you want, so you probably aren’t going to find a job you love now. Use that as your motivation to succeed in college, and use the money earned at your college job for that Dunkin Donuts iced coffee.