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Happy Thursday y'all,

Over the last year I have transitioned away from school and into my own as a freelance writer. I am still getting my business off the ground, but I am so thankful for the opportunity to write.

Writing has been both a creative outlet for me and a job for the last little bit, so I wanted to share some tips on balancing your creative passions as both an outlet and a career choice.

Related Reading: 12 Tips To Help You Get Out Of Any Slump And Back In Creative Alignment

1. Be Thankful

Most people won't be able to do what you are doing.

For many, they go in everyday to clock into a job that they absolutely hate.

You get to say that your job is something you are passionate about and that is more than what most people get to say. 

Start a gratitude journal so that you can remember all the things that you have to be thankful for in the current state of your creative life.

You were able to profit from your passion, after all.

2. Set The Mood

You may want to create some distinctions between your creative and professional life.

Create a routine that you do to end your work day and focus on your creative work day.

For example you may:

  • Use different computers to note when you are working on your job or your creative outlet
  • Create different playlists for work and creative time
  • Work in different spaces as you work on different parts of your creative and professional life
  • Cleanse the air of certain energy when you get ready to work on a different side of your professional/creative life
  • Use a certain candle or scent to denote when you are working on your job or creative outlet

However you choose to set the mood, taking the time to do so will help you get focused on the task at hand.





3. Work Smarter, Not Harder

This one truly applies to your professional life.

When you are able to minimize the amount of energy you dispense at work (without minimizing your production) you can spend more energy pursuing your personal creative endeavors.

So, when you are at work, be at work. Get rid of distractions and focus on the tasks at hand. I love using the pomodoro technique, setting my phone to do not disturb, and even using a site blocker like Freedom to get in work beast mode.

Do whatever makes you most productive so you can stop slacking and get in the zone.

4. Don't Stop Creating Things Off The Clock

When you are creatively drained it's easy to put your personal projects on the back burner. This how you let your creative pursuits die a slow death. Don't do that.

Instead, take it slow, ease back into your creative outlet.

If you write all day, give yourself just ten more minutes of writing as a creative outlet.

Yes, it may feel extra-draining at first, but you will thank me later.

The same with any creative outlet you have whether it's reading, painting, singing, dancing, etc. claim some of your time doing these activities each day to yourself.

Do it for you, even if you can only do it for 10 minutes.





5. Find Other Creatives To Work With

Sometimes you just need a little accountability.

Spending a few hours a week working with local creatives or even checking in with creatives on a Facebook group will hold you accountable.

Your creative buddy will help you focus on creating at least a little bit for fun each week. This will keep your creative side ready to rock and roll.

6. Relax + Don't Take Things So Seriously

It may seem counterproductive to tell you not to take your job seriously, but I am just being honest with you.

Some people take things way too seriously and it sucks the fun out of everything they are doing.

Yes, you should take your job seriously, but you have to stop somewhere. Don't let your job stress you out unnecessarily or make you associate something you love with something you hate.

I have seen how stress can take something I love, crumble it up, and make it something I despise. Don't let stress from work or stress from trying to be creative make you hate both your career and creative outlet.






7. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone Creatively

If you are struggling with your outlet, it may be time to get out of your comfort zone a bit in terms of creativity.

Try something new. For example:

  • If you write nonfiction blog posts, try getting creative and writing fiction short stories
  • If you like painting pictures of food, try your hand at portraits
  • If you like singing pop songs, try your hand at country

Anything that will shake things up and get you out of your comfort zone is a thumbs up in my opinion.

8. Find Something Else That Relaxes You

Last, but not least, you may have to find another outlet to get your creative juices flowing while you spend more time creating for work. That's okay!

Find something else that stimulates your mind whether that's painting, music, reading, or some other random hobby.

It's okay to be multi-passionate, and you never know how important the talents you are developing right now will be later on.

Hopefully you can balance your passion as both a career and a creative outlet, but if you can't know there is no shame in picking up something new.





About Today's Look

Today I am styling this amaze dress from JustFab called the Ruffle Off Shoulder Dress. This particular color gave me total Beyonce vibes, but it also comes in a pink and green color. This dress comes in sizes XS through 3XL and it seriously looks amazing on all body types.

I ended up pairing the shoes with a pair of Lorica Heeled Mules from JustFab, although I don't think you could see the shoes in any shot because of the grass we shot this look in.

To finish off the look I added a few of my favorite Metal Marvels bangles. Did you know I have a coupon code that saves you 15% off any Metal Marvels purchase? If you use the code THA15 you can save and I will get a commission from your order. I truly appreciate you supporting the businesses that support me.

Conclusion

Being creative is spectacular, especially when you get to be creative for a living. I hope that today's article has given you some food for thought if you are lucky enough to do what you love for a living.

What's your best advice for being a creative full-time?
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Some companies are notorious for being difficult to work with. After you have a bad experience, it can be difficult to actually get a resolution that you can work with. Today's blog is going to be all about getting the refunds that companies promise you, but often don't actually want to give out.

The Incident That Sparked This Blog Post

Last week I ordered flowers for my mother for Mother's Day with my sister at From You Flowers. We picked their A Fine Day For Mom bouquet, and when it arrived, it looked nothing like what we paid for, as you can see by the tweet I sent on Twitter.

When you order it versus when it arrives. @FromYouFlowers I feel like your florist didn’t follow the picture at all and just shoved some leftover flowers in my mommas Mother’s Day gift. Wtf?! This is premium? pic.twitter.com/N8zAShnm3l

— Amanda Cross (@happyarkansan) May 13, 2018

I already had a number of issues with From Your Flowers, and we had issues in the past with them when we got a Valentine's Day candy basket from them once (the local florist messed up yet again and gave her far less candy than what we paid for.)

Calling them wasn't helpful, so I @'d them. #sorrynotsorry

They tweeted me to DM them with the order number, which I did. They gave me a 100% refund on the order.

Later when I checked out their Facebook page, someone commented that the best their customer service had offered them was a 40% discount. To which I commented, they offer a 100% customer service satisfaction guarantee, don't let them lowball you. Somehow that comment thread ended up deleted...

It's not in a companies best interest for everyone to know about their customer satisfaction guarantees, even though they have it. SO, today's blog is going to help you stand up for yourself in this modern, information age. 

Know Your Rights (And The Language To Convey Your Rights)

Before you make a decision to call and get a refund, know the rights the company says you have. Understand their refund policy and how they describe it. Use that language on the calls or emails with them so you can be sure that you are getting the money you deserve. Don't step down until they give you the resolution you deserve according to their policy.

Did you know if your products are late on Amazon Prime, you can get a free month of Amazon Prime? Most people don't know this, you can literally get a free month of Prime every time a Prime order takes longer than two days! That can save you so much money, so don't hesitate to use that to your advantage. You can learn more about their shipping guarantees here.

Did you also know that Amazon has an A-Z Guarantee that gives you money back up to $2,500 if you have a negative shipping or purchasing experience with a third party seller or while using Amazon Pay on another site? It's true! Click here to learn more about that guarantee.

Using their language back at them is important, otherwise it's easy for them to slip around you and decide not to give your money back. So. check out their policies and make sure that you are letting them know that you know what you are entitled to.

Avoid The Phone

My momma is a genius at getting her money back over the phone. Me, not so much.

I can hear someone telling me something I know is bullshit, but I either get to flustered to make coherent sense, or I am just not great at conveying my displeasure over the phone. In a lot of ways, I am too nice on the phone. I will give up right before I know I can make a break through.

So, I don't use the phone to call companies, and I don't think that most millennials should. We aren't exactly the pinnacle of having an actual conversation, so we should use that to our advantage.

Stop trying to make customer service phone calls happen, they aren't going to happen. Instead...

Create A Paper Trail Using Emails & Chats

I LOVE LOVE LOVE when companies offer email and chat customer service. I know that I can always create a paper trail and know exactly what's going on at any minute. It also gives me some time to collect myself and give out the perfect response each time.

Most customer service chats allow you to send yourself a copy of the transcript after the conversation ends, make sure that you turn that feature on.

Use the language we talked about earlier to get the refunds you deserve. Study the language they use and mimic it in your own way when you chat with them. Don't be so robotic, digest the information in your own way so that the customer service rep knows you understand what you are entitled to in the situation.

Use A Social Media Site That You Control

If you decide to go the social media route, use a social media site that you can control. Companies are notorious for deleting Facebook comments. Instead of a Facebook comment, leave a review if they have those available on their Facebook page.

All in all, a site like Twitter would be a great site to go to because you can @ the company and they can't delete your comment. They can report it as spam, but that likely won't happen.

Be sure to include the appropriate accounts. Some sites have two Twitter accounts, one for general social media usage and one for support. If I find both usernames, I like to include them both.

Usually you will get a reply that's pretty copy/pasted, but you can DM them for a more unique to you response after they tell you to direct message them.

Once you get you intended resolution, you can decide to delete the tweet. I do, depending on the website. For From You Flowers, I decided to keep the tweet up because what I got was so dramatically different from what I paid for. I wanted other potential customers to continue to see my post on Twitter.

Follow-Up

No matter how you got customer service attention, you need to follow up with whatever they happened to say your resolution was.

Let the company rest a few days after you chat with a customer service agent, then make sure that whatever resolution you agreed upon actually happened. Check your bank statements and be sure that you got the money back. Check the company website to make sure that you got that free credit.

In general, just be on top of it.

It's easy to say, "yes, you have earned your discount, here you go," and not follow through on any promises. You need to be ready to remind the customer service department and check up on promised updates.

Conclusion

So, there you have it. My definitive guide to actually getting the discounts and refunds you deserve. Company policies are there for a reason. Don't let companies run over you and treat you with disrespect. Stand up for yourself by knowing your rights and the proper channels to take to get to those results. Don't be a an asshat, but don't let companies walk over you either. Be rational, use facts, and you will be good to go!

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Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GladeFineFragranceMist #CollectiveBias

Keeping your apartment fresh can be a hassle. When you are a student or a young adult who has a million things to do every day, keeping your apartment in tip top condition can fall to the bottom of your to-do list. Today on The Happy Arkansan I am going to walk through some stuff that you can do to keep your apartment smelling and looking good so when you come home you can relax instead of worry.

1. Create A Cleaning Schedule

First things first, create a cleaning schedule for yourself. Put it somewhere that you will check often like your fridge or right above your desk. Create a simple schedule of things that need to be done weekly and do a little bit every single day. Don’t overload yourself! It’s hard to go from not cleaning often to doing it all at once.

When you have your cleaning to-do list created, strive to check off one or two things each day. Do a task while you are listening to a podcast or while you are waiting for your hair to dry after a shower. Find those little pockets of unused time where you can multitask to clean up a little.

Depend On Your Roommates

If you have a roommate, they can probably help you out a lot with this. For the common areas like the kitchen, living room, and bathroom (if you share one) come up with a shared cleaning schedule. Hold each other accountable for cleaning up those common areas. Or you could use it as a bonding experience and work with each other once a week to clean those areas if you feel close enough to them!

Don’t Let Things Pile Up

Doing anything be it laundry or dishes is so much better when you only have to do a little bit of it. No one likes to be knee deep in cleaning activities! So, do things a little at a time instead. Do a little laundry every week instead of waiting until you have three loads of laundry to do, wash a couple of dishes after every meal instead of waiting until you can’t see your sink anymore, etc. While cleaning isn’t always fun, it’s a lot more fun when you don’t have to do it all!

This is easier said than done, I realize, this is where your cleaning schedule really comes in handy. If you have a cleaning schedule that you follow to a T it will become a lot easier to stop things from piling up on you!



2. Use Glade® Atmosphere Collection™ Fine Fragrance Mist Products

I recently learned about this amazing new product from the makers of the Glade® brand and I knew I had to showcase it on the blog. When I lived in an apartment I could never have candles and I love them to create a lasting scent. These Glade® Atmosphere Collection™ Fine Fragrance Mist are everything you need to create a beautifully smelling home and they are cost-effective and are conveniently!

The No. 1 Enraptured™ scent is bright and light for your home that will whisk you away. This fine fragrance has notes of jasmine, cedar wood, apples, and rose petals that invites you to linger in your home a little while longer. 

The No. 2 Bright™ fragrance is my second favorite scent from this collection and it’s such a beautiful and light scent. A touch of sweet pea and pear notes dance across the room when you spray this fine fragrance mist. If you have a playful personality, I feel that this scent would be your go-to scent!

The No. 3 Free™ mist is definitely my favorite scent of all four scents available in this collection. I am a sucker for anything with hints of coconut and am instantly transported to a tropical paradise when I spray this fine fragrance mist. No. 3 Free™ scent has notes of white pineapple, citrus, and beachside florals that will match your beachy and breezy personality.

I feel that the No. 4 Tempted™ scent has notes of warm spices, freesia, and golden amber as well as cedarwood, brown sugar, and patchouli. It is a wonderful scent to go with any warm personality. I feel this scent would work wonders in a beautiful library or a den.

Setting The Mood

What I love about this fragrance collection is that they each stand out on their own and create a unique mood for you and your friends/family to enjoy. You can get a scent that matches your personality &/or atmosphere of your apartment. This will help you create the best fresh and/or cozy apartment on the block!

4. Have A Space For All Your Items

One of the easiest ways to have a messy room is to have things that don’t have a place. If you don’t have a space for them, it’s easy to toss things anywhere. So, when you add things to your room, create a space for those products. Don’t just shove them somewhere. Give them an actual home. Even if you have to grab that item and assign it a space in your brain, you have to do what you have to do!

Get Items That Function As Storage & Something Else

Your apartment is likely tiny so your items need to pull double duty! Get some items that have multiple functions--storage doesn’t even have to be one of the functions. Your functions can be storage and seating (an ottoman) or maybe decoration and organization (pretty gold wire baskets). When you have these items that pull double duty, you can have less items while also having cute and practical items around.

Go As Paperless As Possible

Paper causes clutter and clutter causes your room to look like a mess. Often we get a lot of clutter from the mail that we get. So here are some things that will help:

  • Go for paperless billing whenever possible: You can pay so many bills online now so there is really no need for paper bills anymore if the company you are paying allows it. It may be more difficult because you don’t have any reminders coming to you anymore, but paying bills has become easier to do online.
  • Don’t Bring Spam Mail In The House: If you know you won’t use that credit card application or those coupon mailers, don’t even let them enter the house. Recycle or throw them away right away.
  • Recycle: Go through your house or apartment frequently to clean things up to recycle. You may want to get a bin or a bag that you put all your recyclable material in so that you can take it to a recycling center at the end of the week or month. Keep your recyclables contained to one space in your apartment, don’t just put them anywhere and say, “I’ll recycle that at the end of the month.”


Thanks again to the makers of the Glade® brand for sponsoring today’s post. I am genuinely in love with their new Atmosphere Collection™ Fine Fragrance Mist. I knew that I wanted to show them to y’all because they are cost-effective and the scents are so distinct. Check them out at your local Walmart!

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A few weeks ago I was dealing with a major creative slump, y'all! I was trying to get myself together after a death in my family and dealing with all the freelance work I was fortunate enough to do, and The Happy Arkansan honestly fell by the wayside. It took a while for me to feel comfortable getting back into regularly scheduled blog events.

I have been posting regularly for the past few weeks, even though I recently decided only to promise two posts a week. I have been feeling more inspired lately, and I wanted to share some ways to get realigned after you have fallen into a slump.

Related Reading: How To Chase Your Creative Dreams With Diet Coke®

1. Pray About It

Sometimes you just gotta spend some time with God (however you choose to address Him/Her.)

I know that praying isn't for everyone, but it helps me to spend some time praying and thinking about my next move.

Often we worry so much about things, but that doesn't help in the long haul. Work hard, pray, and then let it go.

Pray about it and wait for a response.

When God answers, don't ask for a different answer. Often we get a million signs pointing us in one direction, but we still choose to defy it.

If you are gonna pray about it, don't fight about it later.

2. Journal

Another thing I love to do when I am in a slump is journal.

I am not all woo-woo, but I do believe what you put out there, you get back.

With that being said, don't forget to journal about the positive things happening in your life.

At the end of the day, I am all about putting out more positive energy than you do negative energy. You can journal about your problems, but don't forget to journal about your not problems.

3. Get Outside

A few weeks ago I started sitting outside in the afternoon.

I am usually one to spend all day cooped up inside, but a few times a week I like to spend about an hour and just sit outside in a lawn chair close to sunset.

Part of the time I just sit with my own thoughts and sing songs to myself.

The other part of that time I take my laptop outside, and I write.

Sometimes when you are getting out of a slump, you just need to do whatever you do in a different location.

That might be outside, that might be in a coffee shop, that might be in a different country, etc. 

Changing up your scenery does wonders for your realignment.

It may not be the most permanent solution, of course, but some new scenery never hurt anyone.

4. Take Your Time

Life is dandy when the stars all align, and you can walk confidently in your purpose, but sometimes that takes time.

You can't force yourself back into alignment, so don't be afraid to take your time.

Now, this doesn't mean that you sit around, do nothing, and mope around all day.

Quite the opposite.

It means you take your time while doing.

All these activities can be done over time.

Don't rush or try to force alignment. You will know when you are properly aligned.

Do something to get you closer to that alignment every day, and give those activities time to work.

5. Think About The Bigger Picture

So often, we are out of alignment with our purpose because we get stuck in the day to day grind.

You need to give yourself some inspiration.

Create a mood board or poster board with your why on it.

Then you can make sure that at least some of the activities you do every day get you to that why.

Also, think about your activities in a different way.

Yes, babysitting in and of itself might not get you closer to your why. BUT: babysitting leads to income that you can save that will allow you to feel comfortable pursuing your why later on.

So, those small tasks that you find yourself doing may not be directly related to your purpose and passion, but they will make walking in your purpose that much easier.

6. Seek Some Guidance

Sometimes, you just need some help.

Whether that's hiring someone to coach you, listening to a podcast, crying to your sister, or anything in between––that's up to you.

We cannot go through this world alone.

It's okay to lean on and get help from others.

Humans are social creatures, and God made us this way for a reason.

So, instead of holding all your thoughts in and suffering through this time alone, reach out to other people who are here to help you.

See that counselor, hire that coach, reach out to friends online and in person.

7. Read Motivational Books

No, I am not talking about the sappy motivational books.

I am talking about the ones that will make you feel like a total badass.

The ones that will tell you the truth instead of sugarcoating it and giving you awful advice.

Get an Audible subscription and listen to some audiobooks. Or simply take some time to read a chapter a night.

I really enjoyed "The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck" by Mark Manson and "You're A Badass" by Jen Sincero.

8. Start Before You Get Aligned

As I talked about in the Take Your Time section, I want you to take the time, but I want you to do so actively.

Sometimes you just need to dive head first into your work.

Even when the ground is shaky.

Even when you aren't sure what your next move should be.

Even when taking the next step feels like it might actually make you vomit.

Sometimes you just need to do something that will take your life to the next level.

Take it from Nike and Just Do It!

9. Rethink What Aligned Means To You

We often get so caught up in what aligned means to other people that we don't think about what aligned means to us.

Maybe you are aligned, just not the cookie cutter definition of what aligned usually looks like.

This doesn't mean that you can't work to better yourself or work to focus your life.

It does mean that you may want to reconsider where you got your definition of aligned from.

Determine if this definition is serving or hurting you.

10. Refocus On What's Important

It's so easy to get out of whack with what's actually important in your life.

Think back to your bigger picture, then look at what you are currently spending your time on.

If those don't align, get back to the basics.

For me, this required that I scale back the promised blogs on The Happy Arkansan and my other site Amanda Cross Co. I wanted to offer both audiences the best of me, and I couldn't do that while posting 5 times a week.

Look at your personal commitments. What fat could you trim? Likely, quite a bit of random responsibilities you have gathered over the years.

11. Support Yourself

You gotta support yourself because no one else is gonna support you like you.

This means:

  • Updating your sleeping routine
  • Eating right on a daily basis
  • Getting a bit of outside and/or exercise time in
  • Investing in your mental health

These are things I am working on the most as I try to make sure that I am more aligned and in tune with myself.

Don't be afraid to take all aspects of yourself more seriously.

12. Get Your Space Together

It's the perfect time for a little spring cleaning.

I have been slowly cleaning the random spaces in my life. I gotta lot to do because I am a messy person by nature.

Mess clogs up your natural alignment, though, as much as I think most creatives would hate to admit it.

Don't be afraid to throw some stuff away so you can get back in alignment!

Conclusion

A slump (creative or otherwise) is never fun, but you don't have to wallow in it.

I hope that today's article helped you think of slumps differently.

You don't have to be helpless when a slump heads in your direction!

Have you ever experienced a slump? How did you get out of it?
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Happy Saturday lovelies!

I know that I said I would likely only be posting on Tuesday/Thursday for the foreseeable future, but I love surprising y'all with some interesting post ideas. So many people are graduating high school and college this week, so I figured I would give you a gift guide for any incoming freshman you know who will be living in dorms.

I want to do other gift guides throughout the summer so you can give your friends and family the perfect going away gift!

I have seven themes listed below. Feel free to buy them as sets, or just get individual pieces. I am sharing a ton of ideas below, and I hope you like these. Let me know in the comments below which idea is your favorite!

*This post contains affiliate links, y'all!

1. The Laundry Starter Kit

Hear me out. Laundry is expensive AF, and not all dorms have free laundry. I was so fortunate my freshman year that my dorm didn't make us pay for laundry, but your incoming freshman may not be as lucky. Seeing as how NO ONE has cash on them, get them a:

  • Jar full of quarters
  • Tide Pods (or another laundry detergent)
  • Dryer sheets
  • Laundry basket with handles
  • Tide To Go Pen (because sometimes, you just need some easy stain removal, y'all)

You can get as creative as you want with this starter kit. Just make sure that you are wary of the space that college students have in their dorm room. Don't go too overboard!

Here is some inspiration for the Laundry Starter Kit Set:

2. The Drown Out The Dorm Life Set

What I learned while living in the dorms: dorm life is loud AF and a tad bit smelly. I decided to create this set so your incoming freshman can drown out dorm life and act as though they are living at home, even if they aren't. In this set you should get them a:

  • Pair of headphones
  • Sleeping mask
  • White noise machine
  • Small dehumidifier
  • Fan
  • Essential oil diffuser
  • Essential oil starter kit

All in all, you just want to make dorm living as comfortable for them as possible through the use of items that make them feel at home.

Here is some inspiration for the Drown Out The Dorm Life Set:

3. The I need Coffee, Or I'll Die Set

Coffee on any college campus is expensive. Most college campuses have Starbucks or some other large coffee chains and daily visits can add up. When I was in college/graduate school, I always went to Starbucks or Einstein Bros Bagels for my coffee fix, and I don't even want to look at what a bill for all that would look like! Here are some ideas to help your college student out. Get them a:

  • Keurig K15 Brewer
  • Good set of starter K-Cups
  • Reusable KCup Pod
  • Cute coffee mug (or six)
  • Creamer/sugar set

This set will help them drink more coffee at home. They may still go out for those specialty coffees they can't brew in their dorm. Overall, though, they will be happy with what they can save when they don't have to go to Starbucks for everything.

Here is some inspiration for the I Need Coffee Or I'll Die Set:

4. The Dorm Room Makeover Set

My favorite part of the dorm room process was deciding what to bring to decorate it. If the incoming freshman in your life is really picky, you may want to skip this set and just them a gift card to a place like Pottery Barn. If they are less picky, you know their style, or at least their color palette you could consider getting them stuff like:

  • Wall Tapestries
  • Canvas Paintings
  • Throw Pillows
  • Curtains
  • Posters
  • Loctite Fun-Tak Mounting Putty (sounds boring, hella helpful for adding decor to dorm walls without damage)
  • String Lights
  • Felt Letter Board

All these excellent decor pieces combined will give them a Tumblr/Pinterest dorm room for sure! Make sure everything matches, though!

Here is some inspiration for the Dorm Room Makeover Set:

5. The Get Your Academic Shit together Set

Your incoming freshman will likely spend a ton of time burning the midnight oil at their desk. Get them some items to help them make their desk feel more comfortable and easy to use such as a:

  • Laptop cooling pad
  • Desk organizers
  • Notebooks
  • Pencils, pens, markers, etc
  • Planner (We love Erin Condren in these happy parts)
  • Seat cushions
  • Ergonomic keyboards/mouse pads

Your incoming freshman will likely already have a desk and chair on campus, but they might not be the most comfortable. Purchase some extra goodies to help them feel better while studying.

Here is some inspiration for the Get Your Academic Shit Together Set:

6. The I Don't Want To Use the Dorm Bathroom Set

Dorm bathrooms are kinda icky AF. Your incoming freshman needs to be prepared for dorm life, and I hope that this set of products will help them be prepared for the shared dorm bathroom life. It's really not that bad, I promise, as long as your dorm-dwelling freshman has some essentials like a:

  • Bathrobe
  • Shower caddy
  • Dorm shoes aka flip flops aka flippity flops (You can likely get these cheaper at Old Navy or Walmart, but adding some links to Amazon in case you want to get them there.)
  • Soap/Body Wash
  • Shaving supplies
  • Towel Set

Dorm bathroom life is so much better when you have the supplies to survive it. If your freshman doesn't share a bathroom with an entire floor, make sure they have some bathroom cleaning supplies. They don't want to be the suitemate who never cleans up!

Here is some inspiration for the I Don't Want To Use The Dorm Bathroom set:

7. The What Is Cooking And How Do I Do It Set

Sometimes you won't feel like going to the cafeteria or going out to eat. For the times your incoming freshmen just wants to stay in, get them a few items to keep around their dorm for easy cooking such as a:

  • Mini-fridge (if they can, rent this from campus or share this cost with their roommate)
  • Tupperware set
  • Set of cookware (if they have room for it, otherwise, get individual pieces like a skillet and a pot)
  • Plastic dish set (don't think these are automatically microwave safe, not all plastic dishes are!)
  • Metal cutlery (don't go plastic on cutlery)
  • Kitchen utensils

To finish out this set add some ramen noodles, pasta, mug cakes (did you know Duncan Hines sells mug cake mix?!), and other goodies for the perfect gift set. You could also add a gift card to Walmart or another grocery store as well.

Here is some inspiration for the What Is Cooking And How Do I Do It set:

Conclusion

Dorm life can be fun again with all the products I showed you today! These gifts may not make your incoming freshman squeal like money or a new car, BUT they are super practical.

One of the best gifts I ever received when I was headed to college was a laundry basket and a bunch of supplies I could use in my dorm! At the time when I was getting gifts I was most excited about the monetary ones, but over time I realized I needed all the stuff I got in that basket.

You should strive to get your incoming freshman gifts that keep on giving. A lot of those gifts I got my freshman year followed me all throughout college. So, choose gifts wisely and make them practical, y'all.

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Note: This post is not sponsored by AncestryDNA. I spent my own money to get my own test in 2016, but I never shared my results with y'all.

Are you curious about ancestry tests? Well, have I got a post for you today. I was curious about my DNA because I have no roots at all to Africa, but I knew that I would have a lot of African DNA inside my bones. I picked AncestryDNA when I did my test in fall of 2016. I wanted to share the process of ordering, taking, and getting back my test results with y'all from what I remember.

Today's post will cover:

  • Why I picked AncestryDNA
  • What the test process was like
  • What my results were

...and so much more! I can't wait to dive into this with y'all today.

Why I Wanted To Get My DNA Results

When I finally bit the bullet and got my results in 2016, getting tested had been on my brain for years. I had heard stories about Native American ancestors and I was just completely in the dark about my African roots. I wanted a test to clear things up and share my DNA makeup.

Most Americans are mutts of various countries of origin with no ties to their home countries. It was nice to dig deep and find all my roots and it turns out I am a pretty big hodge podge of DNA from all over.



Why I Picked AncestryDNA

I had looked a number of tests before I decided on AncestryDNA. Overall, I just didn't like how vague the other tests were at  the time. AncestryDNA has a huge database of DNA now so their test results are super freaking rich and detailed. I felt like with the other sites all you got was "you're __% African," and to that I was like, "no duh! give me some exact numbers!" I like that AncestryDNA gets more in depth.

There are far more in-depth tests for African DNA, but these specialized test can be quite expensive compared to AncestryDNA. I feel like AncestryDNA gets specific enough for me to feel confident sharing it and supporting it.

There are a few more test options out there like 23andMe and a National Geographic DNA test.

Ultimately, you need to pick the test that's gonna give you the detailed results you want at a price you are willing to pay.

I encourage you to go to YouTube and look up other people's test results. It's a great way to see how detailed people's results were and get their reaction to them. It also prepared me for my DNA test results and what I could potentially find in them.

Ancestry also has a great blog full of information about DNA testing and a pretty awesome YouTube channel as well if you are wondering if getting tested is right for you.

What The AncestryDNA Testing Process Is Like

Getting your DNA tested is pretty easy.

First, you order a kit from the AncestryDNA website.

After you receive your kit, you read through the materials and get prepped to take your test when you can.

Taking the test requires that you don't eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum or tobacco for 30 minutes before you put your saliva in the tube.

You spit into a tube until you have enough saliva to fill it up to a black line on the tube.

Then you combine the saliva with a blue liquid they give you by combining the spit tube and the blue liquid tube tightly and shaking them together for a few seconds.

They give you a storage bag to put the tube in as well as a box for you to put the DNA sample in along with a return label so you don't have to pay shipping or anything, Drop this off in your mailbox or at the post office.

Note: Be sure to activate your test before you send it off. You can find your test activation numbers in various locations including your test tube. This is how AncestryDNA knows which sample goes with which person.

My AncestryDNA Results

A few weeks after I sent my test results to Ancestry, I received my results. I ordered my kit on September 13th, 2016, finally shipped it after procrastinating on September 22nd, 2016, and got my results by October 19th, 2016. Keep in mind, this was almost two years ago. I am not aware of their current testing situation although getting my parents tested has been on my mind lately.

Here are my results:

High Confidence Regions
  • Ivory Coast/Ghana — 33%
  • Nigeria — 17%
  • Cameroon/Congo — 15%
  • Benin/Togo — 5%
 Low Confidence Regions
  • Europe West — 7%
  • Senegal — 5%
  • Africa Southeastern Bantu — 4%
  • Ireland/Scotland/Wales — 4%
  • Africa South-Central Hunter-Gatherers — 2%
  • Finland/Northwest Russia — 1%
  • Great Britain — 1%
  • Asia Central — <1%
  • Mali — <1%
  • Asia East — <1%
  • Native American — <1%
  • Caucasus — <1%
  • Scandinavia — <1%
A Visual Representation Of my Ancestry This chart isn't super accurate because for all the
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Today's blog post is taking a slight turn in comparison to my usual blog topics. Today I am chatting about about content marketing and how to make it work for you.

When most people think about content marketing, they think of bloggers or people in the marketing department of corporations. I am here to tell you, though, that content marketing can work for EVERYONE. Today, I am going to break down a few things:

  • What is content marketing
  • Why millennials need to master content marketing
  • How to make content marketing work for you (no matter what your industry is)

If you are ready to tackle those three topics, and more, keep reading!

What Is Content Marketing?

Simply put, content marketing is creating content (blogs, YouTube videos, podcast episodes, etc.) and marketing it to your ideal audience. Understanding content marketing and copywriting obviously takes more skill than that, but it is something that you can learn over time.

The purpose of content marketing: to persuade your ideal audience to do something.

That something may be to hire you, keep reading more of your content, sign up for your email list, or something else entirely. You put out content to get your name out there and get noticed by the people you want attention from.

A big part of content marketing that people often miss, though, is marketing. It's not enough to just put content out there. The internet is vast, and things often get lost. It's crucial for you to buckle down and market any article that you put on the internet. Otherwise, you will just be screaming into an empty void.

Why Millennials Need To Master Content Marketing

Employment is not what it used to be.

In the past (one that is far, far away) you could quickly graduate high school, get a full-time job with your education, and support a large family.

This is not possible anymore.

Now you need to, at a minimum, get a college degree (and some people don't even find a job with that.) It's honestly more about how connected you are versus what skills you have acquired. Skills are excellent, but you can go your entire life with skills and never get noticed based on your merit alone.

Well-marketed content can change your life. Here's why:

  • Great content can get you on the radar of excellent companies.
  • Companies are always looking for people who can write and persuade well.
  • Employers are looking for people who can contribute to their company; content proves that you can word your thoughts in an eloquent way that add to the broader conversation.
  • Employee content can reflect well on the company, so if you are producing content that your employees love, they will like you.
  • Content resonates with customers as well, so if you can produce stellar content for yourself, your employers will know you can deliver stellar content for them.
5 Thought Starters For Making Content Marketing Work In Your Industry

Now that we have covered what content marketing is and why millennials should care about it., here are some thought starters for making content marketing work in your industry.

Do You Have A Differing Opinion?

There is likely a normalized opinion floating around in your industry. Do you have a differing idea that you can eloquently explain through content? Get to work on it!

How Can You Help Your Industry Appeal To The Masses?

Likely professionals in your industry have lost sight of how to appeal to ordinary people. Make a splash by sharing some insights on how you have explained your industry to average people or how you think the industry can.

Has Your Industry Taught You A Different Way Of Looking At Things?

Think about your before and after. Has your opinion changed drastically during your time at college or in graduate school? Use that knowledge to explain how your industry has changed you.

What Changes Do You Wish Your Industry Made?

No industry or person is perfect. Explain the changes you wish to see in your industry. Be specific and give examples of how these failures or quirks have impacted your day-to-day life in the industry.

How Can Your Industry Explain Modern Life?

Times are rapidly changing. Often academics don't keep up with modern things, or they can't keep up with them quickly due to the peer review process. Content marketing pieces don't necessarily need to be peer-reviewed, so using your industry to explain recent occurrences can be a great use of content marketing time.

Here Is An Example

I graduated with a Master's in Sociology. If I were still chasing this discipline, here are some content marketing blog post ideas that I might try.

  • 5 Things _____ (famous theorist) Got Wrong About Society
  • 10 Life Lessons I Learned From _____ (any Sociology class)
  • How The Sociological Imagination Taught Me To View ______ (poverty, racism, classism, crime, etc.) Differently
  • Explaining ______ (something modern like sexting, online dating, Facebook, cryptocurrency, etc.) Through A Sociological Lens
  • 5 Ways I Would Change The Discipline Of Sociology For The Better
  • 4 Books That Changed The Way I Think Of The Sociological Discipline
Apply This!

Take these ideas and the content starters to brainstorm blog post ideas in your own industry! Dig deep and try to steer clear of basic concepts. You may not want to use the first ones you think of and go with the 5th or even 10th idea you brainstorm, instead.

Miscellaneous Content Marketing Questions

To wrap this up, let's talk about some miscellaneous content marketing questions you may be asking me right now.

What Content Marketing Avenue Should I Use?

There are many ways to get content out there: you could do articles, videos, podcasts, ezines, books, and so much more. Honestly, it's whatever you think you could do well. If you want to write a blog, write a blog but if you want to start a podcast, start a podcast.

How Do I Get Over The Fear Of Lack Of Knowledge?

If you don't have a Ph.D., it may be difficult to approach some topics. At the same time, though, content marketing isn't always about having all the answers. It depends on the audience you are trying to impress and what you are hoping to get out of an article. Don't be afraid to jump into the conversation as long as you do your research--which we will talk about next.

What Research Goes Into Content Marketing, And How Do You Do It?

Content marketing research changes depending on the content you are creating. You should be trying to do as much research as possible, though. That may require you going to Google Scholar or other research databases to uncover studies that you can cite.

The research that you must do varies greatly depending on the topic you are creating content around. You likely won't have to do much research if you are talking about how the industry has impacted your life, but if you are talking about how your industry can explain modern life, you'll need to do some research to explain yourself.

You do your research like you would do any research paper you have written for college or graduate school.

What Is The Process Of Understanding My Ideal Audience?

There are many audiences you may want to reach:

  • Employers
  • Colleagues
  • Students

Before you create any piece of content, you have to understand who that ideal audience is and what you have to offer them.

For example, if you are trying to reach employers, you have to understand their:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Hangout Spots
  • Location
  • Values
  • Personality Traits

You will also need to understand the kind of jobs that you are looking for. Where do you see yourself in five years? This will determine the type of content you produce for them.

In the end, you will attract people by the content that you put out there. So, if your content has a laidback vibe, you will often draw in laidback people.

How Can I Get Over Constructive Criticism Or Haters?

You have to know that you will always have those people who ask questions, critique your work, or straight up hate on it. You have to learn how to take the constructive criticism to improve your work and shake off the hateful comments. You will be able to tell a distinct difference between the two, even if it doesn't feel like you can.

And, just for laughs, one of my favorite comics ever by Steve Macone that I am sure you will understand if you have ever presented at a conference or even seen the comments section of an academic article.

Where Should I Publish My Content Marketing Pieces?

Once you have created content, where should you publish it? Here are a few places:

  • Your Blog
  • LinkedIn
  • Medium
  • Slideshare
  • Apple Podcasts
  • Soundcloud
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo

Wherever you share it, make sure to promote it!

Conclusion

Content marketing is a skill that millennials need to learn in this economy. Millennials aren't as loyal to employers as they used to be, and employers are no longer as loyal to us. If you want to continue to thrive and create great opportunities, you must build your own brands online and in person. Creating content allows you to do just that.

I hope that today's blog gave you some food for thought.

How will you create content in your industry?

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Disclaimer: Thanks so much to Dinnerly for sending me a box to review for y'all! This post contains some affiliate banners throughout.

Recently I was browsing the internet looking at some meal subscription boxes that I could potentially review here on the blog and I came across a service touting $5 per serving. I was pretty freaking shocked, $5? That's a cheap meal from the dollar menu? Where do I learn more about this magical box?

As I delved deeper into this website, I realized that I had to review this on the blog so I contacted the website and quickly we created a collab, and y'all, I am so excited to show y'all this box. But first--let's chat about why this box is so freaking awesome!

Why Is Dinnerly The Best Meal Delivery Service For Millennials?

I mean, I could go on an on about this, but let's just break down a few of the reasons you need Dinnerly in your life:

It's Amazingly Cheap

When you compare this box to other similar boxes, it's very cheap. $5 per serving? Competitor boxes usually start at around $8-$10 per serving. Yes, their boxes start at Dinnerly prices, but they will inevitably go up and you will be stuck paying $60-$70 for two people and $100+ for four people. With Dinnerly you can get three meals for $38.99 for 2 people and $68.99 for 4 people!

Less Ingredients, More Fun

Dinnerly recipes only have about 6 ingredients per meal! That's amazing because it cuts down on the amount of prep that you have to do. You will need some basic ingredients like salt, pepper, oil, and the occasional egg but you will never need anything more complicated than that.

Lots Of Fun Menu Options

Dinnerly includes a ton of fun menu options each week. You get to chose 3 of 6 options and there are some seriously fun meals like: Cheesy Black Beans with Crispy Rice and Tomatoes, BBQ Chicken Skillet Pizza with Peppers & Onions, and Beef and Broccoli Noodles with Teriyaki-Peanut Sauce--just to name a few!

Lots Of Advanced Notice

You get recipes for like a month out on the Dinnerly website. You always know what weeks have meals you want and which weeks have meals you would rather skip.

Some Dinnerly Frequently Asked Questions

You may be wondering a few things. I grabbed these FAQs from the Dinnerly website for convience.

Where Does Dinnerly deliver?

Dinnerly currently ships to most of California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Texas, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Georgia, Colorado, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, New York, Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, D.C., and Florida! Dinnerly is expanding rapidly, so always check their website to see if they are delivering to your city!

Why does Dinnerly cost less than all of the other recipe kits?

Dinnerly uses the same quality ingredients as the other kits but they take a simpler approach: digital recipe cards instead of paper, fewer ingredients per dish (which means less chopping and cleaning), simple packaging, and no fancy marketing campaigns.

Dinnerly is cool because they give you different recipe options, but you still aren't paying an arm and a leg!

Can I Skip Weeks?

Absolutely. No one likes being locked into something, so Dinnerly designed their plans to let you choose exactly when you do—or don’t—want a box.

Where Does Dinnerly Source Their Ingredients From?

Only the best! Dinnerly works with folks they trust so you’re always cooking with the freshest fruits and veggies, plus proteins like grass-fed ground beef, antibiotic-free chicken, American-caught shrimp, etc.

How Long Will The Ingredients Stay Fresh After Delivery?

Everything will be chilling in a cold box when it arrives at your door. Meat, fish, and dairy products can hang in your fridge for up to 4 days.

The Dinnerly Box

Dinnerly sent over a family plan so that I could cook dinner for my parents and I. Your box would include the products for a two people if you get the $38.99 box and four people if you get the $68.99 box. 



The above is a look inside the box. As you can tell, it wasn't separated. It didn't take long for me to separate the ingredients on my own though. If keeping it like that cuts down on waste, I am all for it.

Underneath all the vegetables, milk, and dry ingredients, there was a bit of separation and then the meat for the two dishes that included meat was packed there.

Overall, it was packed well, and I had all the ingredients they promised so I could make the meals.

Recipe #1: Sesame Crusted Chicken & Salad With Lemon-Butter Pan Sauce

Difficulty: Easy

This recipe was quite easy to make! There was a bit of chopping involved (mostly with the radishes and a lemon that I had to cut in half.) Everything else was so easy.

The arugula for the salad was already torn up, I just washed it a bit and put it directly in the bowl. The radishes were easy to chop up and put in the salad as well. The lemon gave me a bit of difficulty because I had to split it between the chicken and the salad. Overall, I was able to make a pretty decent light dressing for the salad with lemon, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

For the chicken, I was a little concerned at first about making it. It was lightly fried in some olive oil, and I don't fry things at all. It was rather easy to adhere the toasted sesame seeds to the chicken, top it with flour and cook it in the stove top.

Taste: Yummy

My family and I really loved this dish from Dinnerly. It was yummy and I definitely would recreate this again since it required so few ingredients. The salad had a lovely lemon-y taste, and the chicken did too thanks to the lemon-butter sauce I made for it. So good!

Recipe #2: Tandoori Lentils With Yogurt And Garlicky Pita

Difficulty: Medium

This dish was probably the most time consuming to make. I also feel like this dish looked the most different from the picture once I was finished with it. I had never made lentils before so I was a little out of my elements with this dish.

I did like the yogurt sauce I made and creating the pitas.

There was just too much chopping and cooking in this dish to love love love it. 

Taste: Meh

I wasn't a huge fan of this dish, mainly because I am not a huge fan of eating dishes that include no meat. It was filling, but it just wasn't my favorite meal of the bunch.

Recipe #3: Grass-fed beef Stew With Black Pepper Dumplings

Difficulty: Medium

Prepping and cooking for this dish was a bit difficult. The chopping wasn't as bad as the Tandoori Lentils dish, but it was not awesome.

I think the hardest part of this recipe, though, was all the elements. It was technically all put in one pot, but there was a lot of moving parts. Creating the base, prepping the dumplings, and putting it all together so it could be put in the oven.

Overall, once the dough and veggies were prepped--the entire meal came together and in the oven pretty quickly.



Taste: Good

This was my second favorite dish behind the sesame crusted chicken with salad. This recipe had a super home-y taste to it, and since I made this earlier in the year, it was the perfect time for some comfort food. 



My Final Review Of Dinnerly

I really liked my Dinnerly box. I liked getting out of my comfort zone, experimenting with new foods, and getting to share that experience with my family.

Overall, if Dinnerly delivers to your state, I encourage you to at least try one box. It's not that expensive, and you get some seriously quality ingredients with your purchase.

I feel like Dinnerly will save you a lot of time and even some money, especially if you live alone or with one other roommate. The box is just $5 per serving which makes it one of the most affordable dinner boxes to try, so you might as well take the leap!

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Having a creative side hustle during the summer can allow you to create some much-needed income and give you experience as a business owner. Today we are going to continue our series about side hustles and part-time jobs that college students can benefit from. If you haven't seen Monday's post yet, check it out using the button below. Once you finish checking out Monday's post, keep reading for more side hustle ideas.

Click here to read part one 28. Start An Etsy Shop

Do you love everything handmade? Consider opening up an Etsy shop (or some other site like Shopify.) Creating a homemade boutique will help you generate some much-needed side hustle income as a college student. Running your shop can be a bit daunting once orders pick up, but you can make significant money on Etsy which helps offset all the hours you might be spending creating.

29. Sell Items Using A Drop Shipper

If you don't want to go the handmade selling route, you can use a drop shipper like Printful, Printed Mint, or Teespring. With these companies, you put your designs on their items, bring customers to your website, and they handle all the rest! It's a great way to sell things without creating an inventory that takes over your house and destroys your relationship with sleep.

30. Get A Job As A Telemarketer

Not gonna lie, my time as a telemarketer was hard, but as far as jobs are concerned, it's not the worst job in the world. Telemarketers spend their days scrolling down a long call list, reading scripts, and entering data about the calls they make. It might be an exhausting day if you are super introverted, but it's usually an office job with decent enough pay.

31. Work On A tV Show As An extra

Do you want to get some acting experience and you don't mind being cast as Woman #5? Sites like Backstage allow you to search for paid casting gigs in big cities like New York City and Chicago. Some of these roles pay, and you can potentially find your face in some pretty neat shows. Not all parts are for extras on Backstage either; you may even see yourself playing a lead role if your acting chops are up to it!

32. Invest In the Stock Market

The stock market is never a completely stable investment, but depending on when you buy and when you sell, it can be a lucrative one. You can invest in the stock market using simple websites like Acorns, or you can get a bit more in-depth with the process of investing. Either way, there is money to be made if you are great at investing.

33. Become An Uber/Lyft Driver

Do you have a car and some time to kill? Consider becoming a driver for Uber or Lyft. This is extremely helpful if you live in a bigger city with airports, a lot of bars, etc. The summer is the perfect time to start using these services to make some extra cash. Often these services even have sign-on bonuses which allow you to make some extra money just for being a driver.

34. Work With Postmates, Instacart, or Uber Eats

If you want to be a driver who is a little more involved, consider driving for a delivery service like Postmates, Instacart, or Uber Eats. These services are like Uber/Lyft, but they require you to pick up food and other miscellaneous items to for delivery to random people across your city. The positive thing, though, is that you don't have to have random people in your car, just random food.

35. Babysit Area Children

Do you like children? Why not babysit them? Babysitting is probably the oldest college side hustle in the book, but it can make some pretty decent money (especially if you love kids or you are an elementary education major.) 

36. Help Businesses Work The Floor At Trade Shows

Working trade shows can be exhausting and businesses often need help to man their booths. If you have any area trade shows, see if they need some helping hands to run the show (or if they know of specific businesses who do.) Likely the business owners will be grateful for your help during such a busy time when they have a million things to keep their eyes on.

37. Write & Publish An Ebook

With the onslaught of self-publishing, writing and publishing an ebook has become easier than ever. You don't need a publisher on your side anymore, all you need is sheer will and a lot of late nights drinking coffee and writing. You may not be able to finish your ebook over the course of a few months, but you can get a nice running start by putting pen to paper this summer.

38. Become A Professional Photographer

Do you have amazing photography skills? It's time that you put those to the test and start a photography side hustle. You can book all sorts of campus events, weddings, senior sessions, lifestyle shoots, and more. There are so many possibilities, and there is no set fee you have to charge so you can charge what feels comfortable for you. The great thing about photography? You can pile a bunch of shoots back-to-back and sell some mini-sessions, or you can do one session a week and still make a decent amount of money.

39. Sell Stock Photography

I adore stock photography. I am taking more of my photos in-house lately on my lifestyle shoots, but for most of my blog posts that are academic or long (like this one), I still use stock photography. Stock photography is a way to make your photos stretch in worth and value.

For example, as a photographer, you may be shooting someone for a few hours. After the shoot is over the people you film and their families are the only people who care about paying you for the images and purchasing the rights to them.

With stock photography, you can sell the same photos to a large group of people to use on their websites, social media, etc. So, over time, each photo shoot that you create as a stock photographer could potentially be worth more than if you had one client in mind when producing a traditional lifestyle shoot.

40. Model For Photographers, For Brands, or In Fashion Shows

If you don't want to be behind the camera, you can also apply for jobs to be in front of the camera. Through finding modeling gigs for photographers, brands, and fashion shows you can pose and get paid to do it.

  • Photographers often need models to build up their portfolio and they may be willing to pay you for your time.
  • Brands often need models to wear their clothes for photo shoots. Your favorite brands may have open model calls often, so be sure to keep up with them.
  • Fashion shows potentially need people to model clothes on stage. If you have ever dreamed of being on stage and rocking the catwalk like Tyra Banks, it's time to find some fashion show modeling gigs.
41. Start A Podcast

It may seem like everyone and their momma has a podcast these days, but creating a podcast can be a great side hustle. Pick a topic that you are interested in and get to work on how you can create a podcast out of it. Podcasts get funds in various ways through sponsorships, Patreon, etc. You can also fund your podcast through using affiliate links that you showcase in your podcast and in your show notes. It may take you a while to get to podcast payment status, but the sooner you start, the better!

42. Help Other People Move

All the times that I have moved, I was flustered by the entire process from start to finish. Packing, unpacking, and everything in between. This is the perfect time to consider starting your moving service as people are moving out of dorms, apartments, and houses or into new ones as the summer is approaching. This summer you will likely have a lot of opportunities to help people around you move, so capitalize on the fact that people move so much during this time of year!

43. Become A Mystery Shopper Or Taste Tester

Do you love shopping and eating? There is a slight chance that you can get paid for it if you pick the right programs! The Penny Hoarder wrote a nice, little article about finding mystery shopping jobs that aren't complete scams, so if you are interested in shopping for money, they have all the details listed for you.

44. Bake Up Some Treats To Sell

Baked goods are the best goods. Are you amazing at creating cakes, brownies, and other desserts? Well, you should consider creating those for others. You may want to take corporate orders, ask your neighbors, or even ask members of your church/another local group. A lot of people enjoy sweets, so you are sure to find a good customer base.

45. Create A Cleaning Service

Not everyone is obsessed with cleaning. Busy entrepreneurs, stay-at-home moms who need a little extra help, and so many other types of people could be your ideal customers. If you love to play some music and clean up for a while, you will love creating a cleaning service as your side hustle.

46. Start A Laundry Service

People HATE laundry. I have never met a person who truly enjoys doing laundry, but I am confident those people exist. If you like washing, drying, folding, and hanging up a lot of clothes, consider starting a small laundry service for people in your neighborhood. Agree to go to your neighbor's house (or a laundromat) and do a couple of loads of laundry for a fee. You are sure to get some takers on this service.

47. Get A Job As A Cashier

Being a cashier is a great summer job for any college student. You are guaranteed to get at least minimum wage, and more than likely you will have a part-time position so you will have enough hours to make some money and enough free time to spend at least a little time away from home. It's the best of both worlds! 

48. Sell Blood, Plasma, Or Eggs

This is not something that you constantly do or make a complete side hustle out of. But if you are healthy enough for it, it can become an excellent way to make a bit of extra cash. I don't know about you, but when I was super broke in college, a few sell your eggs ads looked quite appealing (but I never followed through on them.) You can make quite a bit of money, especially with egg donation, so it's something to consider if you are in the right place to do it.

49. Take Part In Research Studies

This is another thing that you can't do consistently, but if you can find some research studies, you may want to consider taking part in them. Some research studies can pay a lot of money if they take place over an extended period, require overnight visits, or pose health risks. But, they can cause harm to you in some ways. So, you should only take part in a research study if you understand the full gravity of the situation. Never just sign the dotted line without understanding all the ramifications of a study you participate in.

50. Become A Brand Ambassador

Do you love a brand? See if they have a brand ambassador program that you can join starting in the summer. Brand ambassador positions allow you to make money promoting a brand that you already love! You get sales experience and if you do well in a brand ambassador position, it may lead to bigger and better positions in the company.

51. work As A Personal Stylist or Shopper

Do you have a fantastic sense of style and some time to shop for other people? Those who aren't as fashionably inclined may want to hire you as their personal stylist or shopper so you can purchase clothes for them. Some companies like Rue La La, Nordstrom and Dillard's also employee personal shoppers in-store and online. 

52. Crunch Numbers As A Bookkeeper

If you can crunch numbers, you can make some pretty decent cash as a bookkeeper. Being able to balance a company's books is a great skill to have. People hate prioritizing and keeping their stuff together for tax purposes, so share your knowledge to help businesses keep their affairs in order.

53. Create Beautiful Designs As A Graphic Designer

Graphic design is a great skill to have. You can sell your services as a graphic designer to shop owners, campus groups, and even use your skills to design stuff that you can sell. The possibilities are endless if you know how to use your graphic design skills. 

54. Deliver Healthy Pre-Made Meals

There is a significant demand for healthy meals these days. People are so busy that they find it hard to prep their meals and they are willing to pay the price for healthy meals delivered straight to their homes. If you are excellent at meal prep, you could enlist a few clients in your area to deliver great meals to their door.

Conclusion

We have officially concluded this series all about side hustles. In the last few days, we have covered 50+ side hustles and part-time jobs that are sure to make any college student some extra cash. I hope that you all loved these ideas and that you got a new money-making idea from these articles.

What Side Hustle Do you Intend To Go After This Summer?

Related Reading: 50+ Side Hustles & Part-Time Jobs For College Students (Part One)

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The school year is almost over, and it's time to start thinking about what you will be doing this summer! Set yourself up for success this year and start going after a side hustle! When I was in college, I ran this blog as my side hustle, and I loved every minute of it. Here is the first part of 50 different side hustles you can work towards while getting your education!

1. Start A Tutoring Service

You're smart, and there are a lot of people who could use your help. If you are great at STEM subjects or writing, you could be a great tutor. Find area students who need help in subjects of all difficulty and see if you can use your talents to help them succeed. You may want to target parents when selling your services because likely they will be the one paying for a tutor for their children. Look in newspapers and on sites like Craigslist for people who need tutors.

2. Become A Freelance Writer

Freelance writing is amazing! You can make serious money if you know how to put some sentences together. Start small by using sites like Upwork (where I still get my clients). Once you are ready, you can branch out and create a website. You can pitch companies and entrepreneurs who need an online presence in the form of a blog, or you can work on more significant writing projects like ebooks, white papers, product descriptions, and website copy. The possibilities are endless with the types of projects you can tackle as a freelance writer.

3. Create A Blog

Starting my blog was the best decision I have ever made. I don't know what I would do without this space to connect with young adults across the country. You can't start a blog as a cash grab because likely the money won't come right away. It's a fulfilling activity to begin during the summer, though, because you can take a while to pour into it. Hopefully by the time school starts back you can keep it consistent and continue to grow it throughout the year!

4. Start A YouTube Or Twitch Channel

This is another project that you can't just start, thinking it will be a cash grab! Online video is still growing though. The summer is the perfect opportunity to get everything up and running so you can continue to film videos during the school year. Consistency is critical when building a YouTube or Twitch channel. Find a schedule you can stick to, show up, and PROMOTE your content. You can say the same about creating a blog.

5. Get To Work By Transcribing

Transcription is not for the weak, y'all. I remember having to transcribe an interview for a class in graduate school, and it was my least favorite thing in the world. On the other hand, if you have the patience to transcribe, it can be an excellent source or revenue. It can be monotonous work, but if you are great at transcribing, there are a lot of professionals who will adore you and pay you for your work. No one wants to do the job, so if you like doing it, professionals will love that you like it.

6. Fill Out Online Surveys

Online surveys can be a great source of revenue if you have the time to sit down and take a ton of them. I have never truly been able to grasp online survey taking, but the small paychecks can add up. Sometimes, you may even find yourself in a more longterm online research study which grants you access to more money. Here are some sites you may want to check out:

7. Become A DJ

Can you get the party started with the flick of your wrist across a turntable? Well, you would probably make a great DJ for all the upcoming summer barbecues and block parties. Take your show on the road and start DJing parties, weddings, and anything you can get your hands on.

8. Work As A Social Media Assistant

Do you know all the latest social media news? Can you relate to your generation, bring in customers, and get some attention for a company? Many companies don't take social media seriously enough, even though it could change their business for the better. Consider finding a job as a social media assistant so you can help take a few entrepreneurs to the next level in their business.

9. Become A Test Proctor

Do you remember the person behind the desk while you were taking the ACT or SAT? Those people are test proctors and they get paid to sit there, watch you, and make sure that you aren't cheating. Consider becoming a test proctor if you don't mind wasting a few hours making sure students are fair as they are taking necessary tests.

10. Detail & Wash Cars

It's about to be summertime, and people will want to feel the wind in their hair as they drive their cars down the highway. If you know how to give a car a good wash, consider working for other people in your surrounding area who want a good carwash without doing it themselves. You would be surprised how many people would willingly pay you some money, so they don't have to be out in the heat washing their car!

11. Become A Virtual/Personal Assistant

Another way to work with entrepreneurs this summer is by becoming a virtual or personal assistant. You can make some great money by helping someone run their business smoothly. Plus if you are an entrepreneur in training, you will get some awesome work experience seeing how someone else creates a successful business.

12. Start A Dog Walking/Sitting Service

Dogs are the best animals, aren't they? You can tell I love them because I mention dogs in my bio :). I am sure that you have seen those advertisements for Wag! and you can do something similar, especially if you live in a big city! Consider walking dogs for some extra money or becoming a pet sitter. Caring for someone else's dog would be a great way to get some puppy cuddles all while making some extra income. What's better than that?

13. Write Resumes For Other Students

Resume writing is a skill that not everyone has. If you have written excellent resumes in the past, you may want to consider learning more about the craft and helping other students by putting that information to use. A great resume can help you land jobs, internships, and so much more. So, if your resumes are fire, why would you keep that to yourself?

14. Work On Data Entry for A company

Another monotonous job that could lead to some serious side hustle cash is data entry. Companies have a ton of data that needs to be entered and processed by their company. Often they will hire students to find and create data sets or move data from one location to the next. Transcription can be a type of data entry, but I wanted to separate them because transcription can require a bit more brainpower sometimes.

15. Get Some Experience As An Event Promoter

Do you live in a city with a lot of events? People want to get butts in seats, and often they will come to event promoters to make sure that happens. If you have an outgoing personality, promoting events may be the exact thing you need to do!

16. Create Drinks As A Barista Or Bartender

Don't look down at getting someone's iced coffee or margarita. Bartenders and baristas can make a good amount of money. Some coffee shops, like Starbucks, also have fantastic compensation packages (even for part-time employees!) You could do so much worse for a job, and you may even come home smelling like coffee (if you are a barista, anyway.)

17. become An App Tester

New apps are coming out on the market every day, and many of these apps need testing. Testing apps is a great potential job choice. Sites like Tester Work allow you to work with some pretty cool companies and get paid when you report bugs and go through tests. It's a great way to earn some cash from your smartphone.

18. Work As A Bank Teller

If you like dealing with money, picking up work as a bank teller could be a potentially great job for you. Bank telling is an especially great job if you are getting a degree in finance or accounting. This will give you a headstart on dealing with money and some experience in your field. 

19. Become A Restaurant Server

Restaurant servers may not be initially paid well, but with the help of tips, you can make some pretty great money daily. You may work some long hours, but restaurants are usually helpful about working around your schedule as a student if you went to college while being a server. For those reasons, restaurants can be an excellent way to get money as a college student.

20. Get Some Work As A Translator

Do you know a few languages other than English? Well, work as a translator to translate text or translate for people. This a handy skill in many jobs today, especially if you can understand languages like Spanish and Standard/Mandarin Chinese. Getting some experience as a translator will also look amazing on your resume later on if you get a job that requires you to be bilingual.

21. Work As A Security Guard

Are you already a night owl who doesn't back down when you hear a scary noise? Well, you might be the perfect person to become a security guard. Security guards help protect essential buildings overnight, and usually, they have a lot of downtime. So, if you want to make some money this summer while working at a typically lowkey job, work security.

22. Get Cash Back On Your Purchases

Chances are you are going to be spending a bit of money this summer anyway, so why not leverage those purchases and get some cash back on them? Here are a few cash back apps you may want to consider:

I have used Swagbucks and Ibotta personally. I have never gotten into Ebates though, but I have heard great things about that site as well.

23. Become A Personal Trainer

Working out by yourself can be painfully hard. If you have a great personal trainer to whip you into shape, it can feel rough, but worth it. If you are great at motivating people to become better versions of themselves as well as exercise at the gym, becoming a personal trainer may be your calling. Help get other people in the best shape of their lives.

24. Sell Old Clothes

Chances are, you have a ton of old clothes sitting in your closet that you never wear. Instead of letting those clothes collect dust, gather them up and sell them on a site like Poshmark. This can add up fast and give you a lot of spending money for the summer.

25. Purchase Clothes From Thrift Stores To Resell

Alternatively, once you run out of clothes to sell from your closet, you can head to thrift stores to find pieces to resell online or in yard sales. If you can go to a thrift store on a cheap day, you can then turn around and sell those items for more profit online. You never know what you might find in a thrift store, so look around to see what items they have that you could resell online.

26. Create Websites For Online Stores & Blogs

Are you a great website designer/coder? Put your skills to the test and help small businesses and entrepreneurs create a web presence for themselves. Create packages and sell different types of websites. Once you get down your designing flow, you can likely finish websites quicker every time you create a new one. While the first few websites will be rough, after time, you will begin to design them quickly.

If designing websites one at a time seems daunting, consider coding a few different websites and selling them as themes. This is a great way to make income daily for just a bit of upfront work to create cute themes. You can sell these themes on sites like Etsy, Creative Market, or your very own website.

27. Become A Tour Guide

Do you like talking and explaining things to people? Well, becoming a tour guide might be the perfect job for you! Curating an excellent tour experience is such a skill, people will know when a tour experience was great. See if your town has a tour company that you can join. There are usually many different touring options in big towns such as bus tours and walking tours. The possibilities are endless, and at the very least, it could be a great way to lose some weight over the summer and explore your town.

That's A Wrap On Part One!

I hope that you all got some great ideas for side hustles. This is a wrap for part one. Join me on Wednesday as we delve into some more side hustle options for you! I cannot wait to continue this conversation, so you have some more things to consider for the summer.

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