Instead of dollhouses or toys, when I was three, I asked for a piggy bank for Christmas. Even at this small age, I was planning for the concept of ‘the future’ that I still didn’t even completely understand yet.
By the time I was in fifth grade, I had already decided on my career and college choice and had been setting money aside specifically for it for years. Of course, those choices would change in my later years but my financial mindset has remained the same.
I am currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Lamar University in social work with two minors in Spanish and psychology. This life choice is an immense financial burden that I have been preparing for since I was just three, but it’s one that I still need help with today.
Starting Work At Sixteen
College in itself is an expensive investment and my career field is not a financially promising one, but it’s the one I was made to do. So, the moment that I turned sixteen, I began filling out job applications to help with this burden. My parents had not required me to work, but I knew that both my résumé and my bank account needed me to. I was soon asked to be an after-school caretaker for three young boys in my town and I happily accepted the job.
Each day I would pick the boys off of the bus, help them with their homework, tutor them in their subjects, and then we would end our days with lots of games, laughter, and fun. Our routine would stay as such for the next year until they moved.
The Children's Museum
While working there, I also began working at Beaumont Children’s Museum, a local non-profit. I knew that it was crucial to begin building my résumé for a future in social services and this was the perfect place to do it. At BCM, we taught children STEM concepts through fun activities, experiments, and camps.
I worked here for almost four months but was forced to resign when transportation issues prevented me from being able to drive to work. It was an unfortunate circumstance, but I am still grateful for my time there and learned many things through this amazing organization.
Working As A Cook And More
After this, there was a month-long pause in my work as I struggled to find a job, until I came upon a place named FreshPrep, LLC. Here, I currently work as a cook, preparing meals each and every week. I am happy to say that I love my job and will continue to work here throughout my college experience.
Still, however, that same voice that inspired my three-year-old self to ask for a piggy bank wanted to prepare for college even more. Within a month of being hired onto the FreshPrep team, I was offered two more jobs that I am also still holding to this day.
First, I was hired as a content writer at Americommerce. I write articles pertaining to e-commerce for the company to post to their blog. Through this job, I have learned so much and have enjoyed my growth as a writer.
Second, I began working at Savage Custom Acrylics creating acrylic blanks made for duck calls, knife handles, pens, and more.
Side Hustles Making A Difference
Altogether, I am a cook at FreshPrep, a content writer at Americommerce, and a craftsman at Savage Custom Acrylics. I have juggled these three jobs for almost six months now and they have each been a wonderful experience.
These jobs have taught me time, stress, and money management as I continue to save up for my college experience. Unfortunately, even with my scholarships and savings combined, I will still be paying tens of thousands of dollars to obtain my bachelor’s degree.
My side hustles have definitely helped me to grow both metaphorically and financially, but I am applying for this scholarship because there is still a long way to go. Thank you for your consideration for this scholarship or, let’s call it, Side Hustle #4.
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Check out the other finalists here: 2019 Side Hustlin’ Student Scholarship Results Page.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here and here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.