Millennials, This is Why You Need To Start Freelancing In College

why college students need to start freelancing, freelancing tips, freelancing for beginners, freelancing jobs, freelancing in college, college students making money

*Guest Post*
All thoughts and opinions of guest posters are uniquely their own and do not necessarily reflect my personal experiences or beliefs. Thank you for supporting writers who support The Confused Millennial. Please welcome Cole Nemeth from She Monster Media.

Like a lot of students, I started college without a clear vision of what I wanted to do once I graduated. Back in 2013 I had little knowledge about freelancing, content marketing or business in general. What I did have? A lot of determination and drive to succeed. I knew I wanted to get as much experience as possible while still in school.

When I saw a post on one of my favorite blogs looking for regular contributors, I knew I had to go for it. Even without any experience and just two months into my schooling, I submitted an application and to my surprise, I got the gig!

Now I’ve moved up to the next level in my program and I still freelance. There are a lot of reasons why I started freelancing in college, but it wasn’t until recently that I began to notice all of the benefits it's awarded me. I honestly think that there are a lot of incredibly talented students out there who would also benefit from freelancing while in school and here’s why.

1. Try Out Different Things

College is the opportune time to test the waters. See what it is you like, and what you don't like. In almost every career field there are a number of different paths you can take, so before you even graduated it's a good idea to have some sort of direction. For example, while studying public relations, there are a number of different jobs one can do from event planner to social media manager. By doing some freelance work that's related to your program, you can try out different things and discover what it is you really enjoy.

2. Gain Experience

When I started applying for internships and part-time jobs, I quickly realized how beneficial it was to have freelance writing on my resume. A lot of my classmates were working retail jobs, which are also great, but here I was having actual related experience. Freelancing is a fantastic way to help gain experience while still in school, and you can do it all on your own.

3. Profit off your skills

No matter what you study in school, chances are there’s a way to make money at it as a freelancer. Graphic design, writing, illustration, bookkeeping, photography, tutoring or even babysitting – the possibilities are endless. Freelancing while still in college is probably one of the easiest ways to profit off of your skills before you even graduate.

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4. Learn more and faster

By taking what you learn in school and immediately applying it to a real life work experience, you're going to learn the material a lot more and a lot faster. When I took project management in school, I found it so confusing. But when I was getting ready to launch my new website I actually followed the steps I learned in class and without even realizing it before, I actually understood it completely. Freelancing gives you the opportunity to apply what you learn right away, which is good.

5. Flexible work schedule

It can be really hard to find the time to do anything between your class schedule and your homework. And if you have a part-time job, on top of extra-curricular activities, your time is that much more valuable. Instead of making time to travel to and from a part-time job on someone else's schedule, freelancing allows you to work when and where you want to.

6. Make an income

A lot of college students end up working minimum wage jobs while they're in school. While there's nothing wrong with that, freelancing can actually make you a lot more money. For example, where I live minimum wage is about $11 an hour, but I can make $30 or even $300 in just an hour or two writing up one blog post for somebody else. Your income is not controlled by anyone except for you.

7. Profit off your passion

Speaking of making money, wouldn't it be amazing if you could profit off of something you love? Freelancing while still in college gives you the opportunity to make some serious cash from your passion.

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8. Build your portfolio

Depending on which college program you're in, your portfolio might be more important than your grades. Not that grades aren't important, because they totally are. But when you go into a job interview a lot of interviewers are more interested in seeing what kind of work you can produce. By freelancing while still in college, you'll have more than just course assignments to share, you'll have real projects.

9. Start networking

Networking is an important part of any career, and at every stage in your career. Freelancing while still in college is a fantastic way to start networking. First, because you have to in order to get clients, but because you're already reaching out to people, you're already staring to build professional relationships. This can be a huge benefit when it comes time to start looking for a job after graduation.

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10. Build a successful business

And who knows? Maybe by the time you graduate your freelance business might become your career. A lot of people make comfortable incomes from freelancing. The sooner you get started, the more successful you will be by graduation!

Being a freelancer is not always an easy path, but there are a lot of benefits to freelancing while in college. If you're a determined and self-motivated person, freelancing might just be the perfect gig for you while you're working towards your degree.

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Would you try freelancing while still in college? Why or why not?

50 thoughts on “Millennials, This is Why You Need To Start Freelancing In College”

  1. I really wish I had done this in college. I have always been a driven person but I lost some of that in college when I learned I had lots of freedom. lol. If I could go back I would add WAYYYY more experience to my resume during that time.

  2. Alissa Carpenter

    Cole, this is such a great post and thanks for sharing! I think having a side hustle at college is important and honestly can lead to some great contacts along the way.

  3. I found it really difficult to start freelancing while I was at Uni. I just got lucky and after the first couple of projects it got easier. I always suck at getting new projects, I’m not just a “sales person” I guess.

    Cristina | *janded

  4. Freelancing is awesome when you can make it happen! This is great to do in college!

  5. thesophiadiaries

    These are definitely all good reasons 🙂 I never thought of adding it on my resume like that, but I am definitely going to add it now 😉

  6. Freelancing is literally the perfect job for motivated and creative college students! I have no idea how to even start freelancing or else I totally would now as a part-time graduate student. I’ll be stalking your blog for advice and resources now!

  7. I wish I knew more about freelancing when I was in college but I didn’t join the blogging world until I had already graduated which kinda sucks haha.

  8. These are all such great reasons to freelance in college. I honestly wish I knew that this was an option while I was still in school – it really would have allowed me to do what I want/enjoy without taking up as much valuable study time as a regular job!

  9. Oyinkan Ogunleye

    Freelancing in college definitely teaches you how to hustle for the real world (post college) and definitely forces you to network (which you need after college).

  10. Freelancing sounds like a good opportunity to learn your way around. It would most definitely helped me to become a better writer and set me up to know what I was in for 🙂

  11. Love this! So true freelancing will allow you to learn, gain experience and find out what you really love doing/what you’re good at!

  12. I wish I read this post when I was in college. I have started to consider freelancing more and this post just gave me the kick I need to start!

  13. These really are great tips and reasons to do freelancing. As an engineer, a lot of people might not think it makes sense to do freelancing jobs (as engineering internships can make a good amount of money) but a lot of people don’t realize that writing, photography, and management are a lot of skills you don’t necessarily learn in school, but EVERY job wants. Great, encouraging post.

    Cassie’s Big Adventure

  14. Tiffany Stein Staples

    This are great tips – regardless of if you are in college or not. Would be great to share with high school students as well – it’s never too late to start building your brand and making money!

  15. These tips are great. I’m currently taking a break from college just to work, but I’ve started looking for some freelance jobs I can do on the side to build my resume and add a little extra money to my bank account!

  16. I have enjoyed reading your article, the tips are so valid. Experience is everything and when you get to start working having experience will make things so much easier!

  17. YES! I wish I would’ve started freelance writing in college. It’s a great opportunity to get some experience and get your name out there. I think there’s a large market for sites and companies looking for freelance writers who are in college. Great post!

  18. Kristine Circenis

    I JUST starting freelancing and I’m kicking myself I haven’t started sooner. I have had such a positive experience so far and it’s so easy to find work now-a-days.

  19. Elizabeth Johnson

    I wish I would have done freelancing in college. These are all really great reasons to start in college. Experiencing things like this in college is the best time. There is a safety net of sort which is nice!

  20. I really wish that I would’ve done some freelancing while I was in college because of all these reasons! Gaining experience in your field is always a great idea, especially if you’re on the fence about what you’re going to school for. This will give you the opportunity to see if it’s something you like doing 🙂

    All great tips! I definitely encourage other college students to start freelancing.

    Kristen |

  21. Yes! I wish I had freelanced in college. I had so much free time that I could’ve utilized better (not that watching Netflix isn’t a good way to spend time…) and I could’ve made some money too!

  22. Having a chance to build a portfolio/resume is worth a lot itself! HR people like to see something concrete – and if you’re the one who can produce it, that helps.

  23. Ashley Vickney

    I really wish I had done that in college! What a great idea to do that, I did start doing some writing in college but never paid! I did save stuff from my internships though!

  24. Freelancing is arguably one of the best ways to determine what you’re passionate about!

  25. This is amazing! Love all the points she shared, especially about trying out different things and building a portfolio. Love it!

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