Summer Opportunities Commonly Missed by College Students

Finding a job over the summer is a horrible thing for college students. They have to compete with everyone else in town who is looking for work. They’re having to say, “Actually, I only need a job for the summer.” Luckily, there’s a lot of ways around that. Whether it be plasma or temporary work, there’s always something available to even the least optimistic student.

Plasma Centers

Depending on the center, and how much patience you have, donating plasma twice per week could easily result in $200 per month, depending on the plasma center. While $200 per month doesn’t sound like much, it turns into $1,800 over nine months. What could you do with an extra $200 per month? Some people would probably get Netflix and Hulu. Personally, I’d save it.

Temporary Work

Being a temp isn’t all so bad. Especially if you play your cards right. Some time after I got back from serving a church mission in Japan, I was a temp at Symantec. The agency I worked through offered me $14 per hour, 40 hours per week, and a 3-month contract. After taxes, I made $400 per week! Can you imagine if a college student lived at home and worked a job like this?

My three rules for college student temps: Do not go to firms like Labor Ready, keep in contact with your managers, and do all you can to save. First off, you don’t want to work for a firm like Labor Ready because it’s not consistent. Keeping in contact with your managers is the best way to ensure that you get your summer job back next year. Depending on the job, you might even get remote work to do while in school.

Lastly, save, save, save! Too many college students that live at home are tempted to spend all of their money because they have fewer expenses. If you save most of it, you might have a boring summer. But more importantly, you could have a much better school year. While your friends are all complaining about how they can’t finish school faster because of money, you could take an extra class. If you didn’t care to do that, you could then have extra money for food. If you’re wise with it, you can make that small sum of cash grow into something you could live off of.

Amazon Mechanical Turk

If you’ve got some data entry skills, Amazon Mechanical Turk is a great way for students to make money on the side. Simple jobs that take a few minutes to an hour only pay pennies. If you’ve got some free time, you might consider taking a few hours to earn $20 to $30 or more, depending on what’s available. The more rewarding “jobs” require qualifications such as accuracy on other projects. Sometimes, they just require a qualification test. Either way, if you had a week-long break from school, and didn’t mind long days of just working, you could easily make $300 in a week.

Every Little Bit Helps

Whether you believe me or not when I say that every little bit helps, it really does. Too many people in college don’t seem to believe me when I say this. Especially when they live at home with fewer expenses than I do. If I had a summer job at Symantec and took either the fall term after, or winter term before, off so I could work longer, I would have a post-tax income of $9,600 just because I worked six months instead of three.

Who says that plasma has to be only during the school year? People who deal with the annoyance of it year round have the potential to make $2,400. Besides, who wouldn’t want an extra $600 over the summer? I think too many people underestimate the power of extra money from a summer job. If everyone who reads this shares with college students they know, fewer people would miss out on the opportunity.


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