College life is stressful! Of course. Balancing assignments, exams, and maintaining a social life while also looking out for internships to fill the “Experience” column in your resume. And most importantly, managing finance. In this case, you get only one chance – freelancing as a college student.
While this never-ending struggle of college life continues, Freelancing comes as a game-changer.
But why freelance? In this article, I’ll break down 5 major reasons why college students should try out freelancing.
Why College Students Should Do Freelancing
Freelancing offers you a magic box of benefits that can help you in ways you have never imagined, some of which are:
1. Time for Skills and Hobbies
Freelancing allows you to make money while doing what you love- that is, follow your hobbies and make income.
For example, if you’re an Engineering student who loves content writing or graphic designing. You can work as a freelance content writer or graphic designer. In this way, you do what you enjoy doing- writing/designing while also making money.
Freelancing is also the ideal platform for skill development. As you start working on different projects, you tend to learn different skills/technologies as per the project’s requirements.
You’ll have the opportunity to refine your technical skills. You also learn time management, communication, and problem-solving. These skills are not only vital in your freelancing journey but will also serve you well in your future career.
2. Flexibility and Freedom
As a college student, you must be stuck in a hectic schedule. So, you cannot even think about committing to a traditional 9-to-5 job.
This is where freelancing comes in as a game-changer. You become the master of your own time. You have the power to decide when you work and where you work and the freedom to choose the hours that align with your most productive times. If you’re a night owl, you can burn the midnight oil. If you’re at your best during the early morning, you can start your workday then.
Imagine the ability to adjust your working hours to match your class timetable. Need to attend a midday lecture? No problem. You can simply rearrange your work hours to accommodate your academic commitments. Want to take a spontaneous weekend trip with friends? With freelancing, you have the flexibility to do so without seeking approval from a boss.
This flexibility helps you build a harmonious balance between your academic life, social life, and freelancing gigs. You’re no longer tied to rigid schedules or overcommitting.
3. Real-World Working Experience
While a college education is undeniably valuable, without real-world working experience, your degree is just a piece of paper. Theoretical concepts and classroom lectures provide a foundation, but they only come to life when applied in real-world scenarios.
Moreover, “Experience” is now a must if you aim to work in any software/tech company.
Freelancing offers college students a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between theoretical learning and practical experience. Whether you’re studying web development, graphic design, content writing, or any other tech-related field, freelancing enables you to engage in actual projects for real clients.
Think about it: you’re not just completing assignments for grades; you’re working on projects with tangible outcomes. These projects are not solely academic exercises; they are real, and they have real consequences. Your clients, often entrepreneurs or business owners, are looking for results, and they rely on your skills and expertise to achieve their goals.
These freelance works not only fill up the “Experience” column of your resume but also equip you with practical skills that can set you apart from your peers.
It’s one thing to excel in theory, but it’s an entirely different level of accomplishment when you can demonstrate your ability to deliver results in the real world. This kind of experience speaks volumes to potential employers and can be the differentiator when it comes to securing internships, part-time jobs, or even full-time positions after graduation.
4. Financial Independence
Let’s be honest – college can be expensive. Tuition fees, textbooks, accommodation, and daily living costs can take a toll on your finances. This is where freelancing steps in as a financial saviour.
By freelancing, you gain the power to earn extra cash and reduce the financial burden on your shoulders. You won’t need to depend solely on your parents or student loans. With freelancing, you can generate a decent income.
The beauty of it is that your earning potential grows as you continue to build your freelancing career. It’s a win-win situation, allowing you to cover your college costs while also having some extra money for leisure and savings.
5. Networking and Contacts
In the tech world, networking is of paramount importance. Building a professional network is often the key to unlocking opportunities and advancing your career.
Freelancing introduces you to a diverse range of clients, fellow freelancers, and professionals in your field. These connections aren’t just casual acquaintances; they’re potential bridges to future job opportunities, collaborations, or even mentorship.
The relationships you establish through freelancing can open doors you didn’t even know existed. It’s like building your personal fan club of people who believe in your skills and can vouch for your work.
Networking is often underestimated, but it’s one of the most invaluable assets you can develop during your college years, and freelancing is an excellent way to start building those connections. Whether you aspire to work for a renowned tech company or start your own business someday, these connections can be a game-changer.
Some advices to students starting out freelancing
- Start with small, manageable projects that align with your skills and abilities.
- Remember, quality is more important than quantity. Aim for a few excellent pieces rather than trying to take on too much too soon.
- Set realistic goals for your freelancing career and be patient with yourself. It’s normal to face challenges, experience rejection, and learn from your mistakes.
- Effective communication is key in freelancing. Be prompt and clear in your responses to clients. Ask questions when needed to understand their requirements fully.
- Create a schedule that allocates specific hours for freelancing work and stick to it. This will help prevent burnout and ensure that you meet your academic commitments.
- Don’t hesitate to ask your clients for feedback on your work. Constructive feedback can help you grow and improve.
- Keep track of your earnings and expenses. Consider setting aside a portion of your freelance income for taxes and emergencies.
- Stick to trustworthy and legit websites/platforms for finding freelance work. Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr are some of the best options.
- Last but not least, be aware of scams. Be cautious of clients who ask for upfront fees or personal information. Always research potential clients and freelancing platforms to ensure they are legitimate. Trust your instincts; if something seems too good to be true, it might be. Don’t be disheartened if you encounter a scam; learn from the experience and move on.
Now that you know the 5 major reasons why college students should try out freelancing, are you excited to give it a try?
The flexibility, real-world experience, financial independence, skill development, and networking opportunities that freelancing offers can enrich your college journey in unimaginable ways. So why not use this opportunity to grow, both personally and professionally, while you’re still in college?
No, freelancing offers opportunities in various fields, not just tech. You can find freelance work in writing, design, marketing, and more.
Begin by identifying your skills and strengths, create a portfolio, and join freelancing platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer.
Yes, freelancing allows you to set your own schedule, making it manageable to balance with your studies.
Use secure payment platforms on freelancing websites and establish clear payment terms with your clients.
Many clients are open to hiring freelancers with limited experience, especially for smaller projects. Focus on building your portfolio and gaining practical skills.