Odd jobs and easy money: how college student make quick cash

Aaron Cortinas • Staff Writer

Money and college seem incompatible. College students seem to repel it like bug spray repels mosquitoes. With busy classes, labs and homework schedules, holding down a consistent job can be difficult. Instead, some students rely on odd jobs. These jobs can be hard to come by but pay well. Like any job, they have benefits and challenges.

“Paid to stand”

Senior art student Grace Richardson works part-time as a brand ambassador. She says she found the job on Craigslist.

Richardson says she visits grocery stores in the Tyler and Longview area and hands out tea samples “to people who don’t want [them].”

The job pays well. Although she only works a couple days a week, she says she makes $15


an hour. Plus, when the store she’s working at sells out of the product, she can leave early.

Richardson says she recommends the job for college students.

However, the job can be “very boring,” Richardson says, “[with] a lot of standing around.”

“I pretend to be a juice box for an hour”

Sophomore English student David Newsom donates plasma twice a week at Biolife. He says it’s almost like having a part-time job.

Blood bag or money bag?

Newsom says the job allows him to sit in a chair and read.

The only downside is “you have to get over needles.”

He says that people can expect to make $100 donating plasma. Because he has a Presidential Fellow scholarship, he is allowed two meals a day at the MET. He says the extra cash helps him pay for a third meal every day, gas and books.

“I would absolutely recommend it to people that need money,” Newsom says.

“Most of it is wiping away some dirt”

Senior psychology student Greg Sturrock has a small business. He repairs vintage film cameras and resells them. He says some weeks, he can make over a thousand dollars.

Sturrock says film cameras became his hobby after finding several of them at an antique shop in Montana. In his free time, he watched videos about how to fix them.

Eventually, he realized if he was already repairing cameras in his free time, he could also profit off of the hobby.

“I might as well do that as my job,” Sturrock says he remembers thinking.

There's more money in the refurbished camera industry than you'd think

Being your own boss has its perks. Sturrock says he can set his own hours, which can both be beneficial or an obstacle.

“Some days, I don’t get any work done,” Sturrock says with a smile.

Sturrock says this business can be profitable, but it requires a large time and money investment. He says the necessary equipment can cost up to $400. Plus, it requires research on how to fix cameras.

Sturrock recommends that college students do what he does, only if “it’s something that’s already your hobby.”

“Getting paid to live”

Sophomore art student Karissa Smith works as a house sitter. She says it’s easy money.

As a house sitter, she cares for animals, cleans pools and tidies the house.

Further, Smith says she gets to live like she normally would at her dorm. Sometimes, she can make $35 a day, and some days she makes $20.

Babysitting for money

“I bring all of my art supplies [and] homework and just hang out and watch Netflix,” Smith says.

Smith says house sitting is exclusive and can be hard to come by.

“If someone asks you, absolutely do it,” Smith says.

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