Side hustles provide an extra outlet for students – The Auburn Plainsman

With the demands of coursework, many college students find it hard to find time for a conventional hourly job. Side hustles are one way for college students to earn extra cash on the side without the time restrictions and scheduling problems.

Modern side hustles range from delivery services such as DoorDash or Instacart, to odd jobs like pet sitting or handy work, or selling old or new things like clothing, jewelry or stickers online and the list goes on.

Michael Tucker, senior in business management, flips trendy clothes from thrift stores and sells them on his Instagram and on eBay. Tucker said this idea came to him in high school when he had little money, but wanted new clothes and shopped at thrift stores. 

Tucker said he realized he could make money selling these clothes, and his business started growing about two years ago. He purchases the clothes in Auburn at places like Mission Thrift, Local Thrift and Goodwill. He also shops in Columbus at the Goodwill outlet store. 

“Half of my business comes from my eBay store and the other half is pretty much local in Auburn,” Tucker said, “I like being able to work my own schedule and be my own boss and it’s really flexible with school.”

He puts about 30 hours a week into his business.

“Classes being online helped me a lot because I can do everything from my house, and I don’t waste time going back and forth to campus,” Tucker said. “This is now my main source of income and I’d like to eventually have a brick-and-mortar location.” 

Tucker said he started his business as a way to make extra income on the side and it has turned into a profitable business that he hopes to expand after he graduates.

Caroline Stone, an Auburn graduate from 2020, started her clay earring business on Instagram while she was a student at Auburn. She said she started making clay earrings for fun and learned the process through YouTube videos and lots of practice. 

“Even if I am not making a lot of money it is a great creative outlet for me and a good break from classes,” she said.

Stone said she had a conventional job before she started making earrings in college and then started spending around 10 hours a week making earrings. She makes all of the earrings herself and has continued to make and sell them in graduate school.

Liam Egeland, freshman in forestry, said his side hustle is DoorDash.

“I usually DoorDash under 10 hours a week just to make spending money,” he said.

Egeland said he thinks the pay is very good for the time you put in, and it is easy to work around his class and extracurricular schedule.

Nolan Cartier, senior in mechanical engineering, does home improvement jobs on weekends to earn some extra money. He currently works full time in a co-op rotation through the College of Engineering and spends two to three hours a week doing home improvement jobs. 

These jobs include mounting shelving and TVs, assembling furniture, building storage units, replacing lights switches and outlets and replacing car batteries. 

Cartier said, growing up his dad told him, “if you can do it yourself why bother paying someone else to do it.”

Cartier learned home improvement skills from his dad and grandfather, he said. He began charging people for his services at the end of his sophomore year at Auburn. 

He said he generally does home improvement work for his fraternity brothers and friends of friends who do not know how to do the improvement themselves or do not have the proper tools. All of the jobs he has gotten have been from word of mouth. 

Cartier said he plans to continue doing his own home improvements after graduation and possibly other people’s as well if the need arises.

“It’s a side hustle but it’s also kind of a hobby, I enjoy doing home improvement stuff,” he said.

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