I need a dollar, dollar… How to make money at uni

Photo by ebony.com

Being a student is tough. No seriously, it is.

If you’ve had the trauma of accidentally putting your new favourite black jeans in the wash with your whites, or forgetting that 3000 word essay that’s actually due in tomorrow, then you’ll know what a treacherous and onerous life we students lead. Without mother dearest to guide me along the way, my life is a series of trial and error experiments.

But I know, for me, (aside from the washing debacle) dealing with and most importantly, not spending, my money, is the hardest task. There are always places I want to go, food I want to try and clothes I want to buy but even with a job (no, working in Essentials, Venners and Woodys isn’t enough for me), it’s still a struggle. So how about some creative ideas to earn a bit of dollar in Canterbury alongside your studies?

1. Sell your stuff. ALL OF ITdebt-2

Okay, not all of it, but if you haven’t used it, worn it or played with it in the last six months, or if you’re really brutal, the last month, then sell it on eBay. People will literally buy anything. Though saying that, I now just have an ever increasing  ‘eBay pile’ in the corner of my room, looking quite neglected and lost, wishing I would just send it to a new, loving home already.

I like to think I looked as cool as Colin Farrell when I had my brain test (I know for a fact I didn't)

I like to think I looked as cool as Colin Farrell when I had my brain test (I didn’t)

2. Be a lab rat

I’m not suggesting you sell your body parts, although I hear that pays very handsomely, but it turns out that there are a lot of psychology students on campus conducting experiments, who need guinea pigs to take part. And the best bit is, they pay you for it. JobShop at Kent often advertises these experiments and whilst I’ve given up my money making secret just for you, it really is the best and easiest way to earn on campus. £7 for 20 mins, yeah I’ll take that. And to be honest, every experiment I’ve done has been very interesting, from eye tracking to brain tests, they’re worth getting involved in.

3. Procrastination pays

You know those emails the university keeps sending you that you don’t even read and just automatically discard? Well, every now and again, those emails are handing you money on a plate. All they’re asking you to do is fill in a survey or questionnaire, give them some basic info about yourself and press a few buttons and… hello £10 Amazon voucher. NUS do it all the time too. No more than 20 minutes of procrastination, and you’ve earned yourself a tenner. Time to trawl through that trash folder.

flyering4. Humiliate yourself

Remember that guy you saw in town, dressed like a baguette or a slice of pizza and handed you a flier that you immediately threw into the nearest bin? Well haven’t you always wished you were him? Okay, maybe not, but flyering isn’t a bad money earner. Show your sense of humour and risk your reputation for the dollar. It’s a bit more creative and it might even be fun (for your friends when they show up and take photos and post them all over facebook).

5. Oh sugar sugar

Or if you’re really stuck for ideas, you may remember InQuire reported on the craze of ‘Sugar Daddies’ a while back. Sign up and find your own part mentor, part sponsor, part ‘friend’. I know what you’re thinking but hey, don’t knock it til you’ve tried it I guess. If it works for some people… Our very own University of Kent has the highest number of ‘sugar babies’ in the country, so you’re in good company if you want a more drastic way to earn some extra money.

Whatever you choose to do, good luck!


Look, Read, Watch and Follow

photo by cintascotchLOOK … @cintascotch on Instagram

Ever looked at your everyday household objects and wondered if they could be made into some more creative? Have you ever looked at a pair of scissors and seen a ballet dancers legs? No, didn’t think so. But now, thank god, you don’t have to imagine it ever again. ‘Cintascotch’ has done it for you only ten times better. Run by Javier Pérez, this Instagram account is wacky and pretty damn awesome. Pérez says that the most common daily objects appear most attractive to him. “Everything inspires me”, he says.

You might see a bunch or juicy grapes but Pérez sees a handful of balloons, or that paperclip holding your essay together, that’s a trumpet in the eyes of Pérez the household object artist. Amazing.

READ … Freshers’ Fun and Frolics

This is a sweet little blog I stumbled across a while ago whilst I was setting up mine. It tracks the life of a university student in her first year. Maybe it’s not the craziest, most hilarious blog you’ll ever read, but it’s honest and I found myself agreeing with everything the author says. It’s some light, easy to read, procrastination with a cheery style and a few interesting facts thrown in.

Look out for her tips on mastering student life from budgeting and saving money, to getting over homesickness and settling in.

Or, you know, there’s this little awesome blog called hashtagstudentproblems. I hear it’s pretty great… and it’s author *cough* me *cough* is pretty awesome too. Day to day, typical student problems that I’m pretty sure we can all relate to. Have a read and see what you think. Or not. Whatever.

sourcefed-subscribers-600x369WATCH … SourceFed on YouTube

It has to be SourceFed. It was created by Philip DeFranco, so you just know it’s going to be good. If you haven’t seen it, feel ashamed, feel very very ashamed. It’s hilarious, it’s quick witted and it’s even educational. It’s 20 minutes day split into 5 videos about the best, weirdest or most interesting news stories of the day. But the presenters… oh the presenters, they are a-ma-zing!

The original trio of Joe Bereta, Lee Newton and Elliot Morgan was unstoppable and now there’s a whole host of new shows and presenters to keep it fresh and new – Steve Zaragoza is particularly entertaining. They all have their own little quirks and they’re all fabulous. Watch out for Lee Newton’s hysterical obsession with dinosaurs and everyone’s ability to talk super-fast so they can cram everything into their 20 minute daily quota. And once you’ve become addicted to their fast paced videos, look out for their individual YouTube channels. Definitely worth a watch.

5dfcf1d3f8bdfd0f1dc7a1c80006b13a_400x400FOLLOW … Student Problems @ProblemsAtUni 

The one twitter account that perfectly sums up your uni life in just 140 characters. It makes you feel that little bit better about yourself and a little less guilty about all that procrastination you’ve done. It’s perhaps a bit worrying how accurate it is; maybe they’re stealing my tweets…

Created by just another typical student, 19 year old Dom McGregor studies at the University of Manchester and has generated over 124,000 followers since he set it up. If only my procrastination was as productive as that.

It certainly won’t do anything to convince your parents that uni is actually pretty hard. Instead it’ll only confirm their fears that you sleep all day and binge watch Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad instead of ‘working’. But hey, it’s humourous and light hearted.

Plus, with all those exams and deadlines, it’s reassuring to remind myself that I’m not the only student panic revising and living in a little corner of the library. Definitely wish I was sleeping all day and binge watching programs now!


Who’s scared of the word ‘cancer’, Katie Hopkins? I am.

This is a more serious (and emotional, sorry about that) post, but one I think needs to be written. So please read it.

A recent tweet by renowned loud-mouth Katie Hopkins got me very riled up. Known for her outrageous views, you know, the one who won’t let her kids play with Tyler or Chantelle, I actually follow her on twitter to see what ridiculous nonsense she comes up with next. But recently, something she said hit a nerve.


Don’t worry, stick with it, this is still a student article because everything I’m about to say all happened when I was a young and frightened college student. And I want other students who have gone through the same thing to know it wasn’t just them.

Katie Hopkins has chosen to talk about a matter very close to my heart, and to the hearts of probably just about every one of you reading this. Now if Hopkins wants to come out and ask why we are so scared of the word cancer, then she wants to re-live what myself and my family went through in 2012.

When I was 17 and in my second year of college, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, an aggressive form that led to the most hellish year and a half of our lives. As a teenager who lived with her Mum and only her Mum, I suffered everything with her. Most people have another parent to help them out, their siblings at home to hold you when you’re scared, or a large family to comfort you when you want to give up. But for me, it was just me and my Mum, the most important person in my life. I cannot put in to words how difficult, terrifying and heart breaking that was.

If you’re a college student now, just think about your workload, your A levels, your desperate attempts to get into a decent uni to try and make your parents proud. Now imagine dealing with that whilst caring for a parent, passing your driving test and only driving so you can take them to the hospital, cooking for them, seriously contemplating not going to uni because they haven’t even finished their treatment yet, looking after them after every operation, every round of chemotherapy and every other drug under the sun has been pumped through their bodies. Fun, right?

And you know what the worst part is. The cancer wasn’t making my Mum ill, the drugs to make her better were. Two operations, 18 weeks of chemotherapy, 4 weeks of radiotherapy and a year of Herceptin and the emotional distress and physical scars to last a lifetime. You never fully recover from cancer. The word itself is loaded with negative connotations, and it honestly makes me nervous when I hear it or read it because I feel like it’s coming back to get us.

I am more than happy to stand up and admit, even after going through it all with my mother and watching her finally get better, that I am scared of the word cancer. Terrified in fact, because it could always come back. There is no cure. Until you’ve found a cure for every cancer, no, every disease out there, we’ll all be scared to some degree.

I am in no way fishing for sympathy. We got through it and my Mum is certainly a tougher person because of it. I just want other students to know that your studies and that bad grade you got in that essay, is not the end of the world (no offence). And if you went through what I went did, well done. Other students, other teenagers need the support that I lacked. The only thing I ever wanted was to deal with the pain and drugs so my mum didn’t have to and I know that upset her more than anything. But I was completely powerless to helping her and I found that more painful than anything I have ever experienced. I know that anyone who has been in this situation will say exactly the same, but they’ve probably never told anyone that, so I’m telling you for them.

So actually Katie Hopkins, thank you, because if you hadn’t angered me so much, I wouldn’t have had the guts to write this.

What I want to know is: how can you NOT be scared?