Between the smartphone in your pocket and the laptop in your backpack, finding a side job as a college student has never been easier.
You can take the traditional route and work at a coffee shop or wait tables in a local restaurant. Or, you can start a side hustle and work right from the comfort of your own dorm.
Whichever route you go, the hardest thing about working a part-time job is finding the time to do it. If you’re ready to put some extra money in your pocket this semester, here’s our full guide on how to make time for a side job in college.
Be Realistic About Your Time
A side hustle is a great way to make extra money, but there’s one thing you can’t lose sight of:
You already have a full-time job: going to school.
You must do well in your classes and graduate on time so that you can begin your real career. Though making extra money might be a necessity, you can’t let in infringe upon your academics.
Be realistic about your schedule. Don’t take on a side job that requires you to work in the middle of the day if you have classes during that time.
Instead, look for a side hustle that offers extreme flexibility and affords you the option to work whenever you want.
Learn How to Say No
You probably have more free time in your schedule than you think. But in order to find and reclaim that time, you’ll need to learn how to say no.
Resist the urge to go out and party every night. Don’t accept every social invitation that comes your way. You don’t need to become a workaholic or a recluse, but you may need to pass up a party every once in a while.
It’s also important to cut out (or at least cut down on) drinking alcohol. A night of drinking can easily lead to a hangover and a day in bed. That’s wasted time that you could be working on your side job!
It may seem like you never have a free moment because you have a fully-packed social calendar. But if making extra money is that important to you, you may have to pass up a football game here or there or skip your weekly TV binge-fest with your roommates.
Schedule Your Classes Accordingly
Unlike high school kids, college students have ultimate control over their schedules.
Sure, there may be a required class that’s only offered at 10 am, but for the most part, you get to determine your own calendar.
To make more time for a side job, try scheduling all of your classes at the beginning or at the end of the day. Instead of having classes spaced out throughout the day with breaks in between, try to schedule your classes back to back. That way, you’ll have larger blocks of time to focus on work.
If you prefer to work in the morning, start your classes in the afternoon. If you’d rather work in the evening, take as many early morning classes as you can.
When it comes time to pick your classes for next semester, do so in a way that frees up some hours for making money.
Learn How to Organize Your Time
You’ll always accomplish more if you know how to organize your time. Learn to make the most of every hour and you’ll feel like you have more time to do the things you want to do.
If you’re not fully aware of how you spend your time, start analyzing it. Download a time tracker app to record your habits, study them, and see where you can make changes.
Are you wasting two or three hours a day watching TV? Try cutting that back to one hour.
Do you leave campus for dinner every night? You might be able to conserve some time by eating in your dorm or having dinner on campus.
Are you spending too much time on social media? Designate two or three specific times a day to check social pages rather than scrolling all day long.
The better you understand how you’re spending your time, the easier it will be to organize a schedule and stick to it.
Get Up Earlier or Stay Up Later
This is one tip that you probably don’t want to hear, but …
An easy way to make more time for work is to get up earlier or stay up later.
It’s important to get eight hours of sleep every night. Do NOT sacrifice sleep for working, studying, or anything else. But you can stop sleeping in on weekends if you leave the party early so you can get to bed sooner.
If possible, try to get in the habit of waking up one hour earlier or going to bed one hour later each day. That alone will give you seven extra hours a week that you can devote to focusing on your side job.
Part of college is learning how to balance your responsibilities.
You have to sleep, study, and eat. You need time to have fun and be social. You may also have to work so you can put some extra money in your pocket.
There are lots of things that college students have to do, so you must be selective in how you spend your time.
There will never be more than 24 hours in a day, so there’s no point in wishing for it.
In fact, what you can accomplish has nothing to do with how much time exists – it’s all about how you use it.
Cory Rose, new to Coronado Place and Towers, brings a new kind of experience to Coronado. He holds a BA from Michigan State and an MBA from Texas A&M and wants to take Coronado to a new level of student housing management. In a highly competitive and challenging market, Cory brings 8 years of multifamily and student housing experience to St. Louis to set a new bar for housing in the Midtown/Central West End/SLU/WashU areas.