When you’re in college, life is great. You have all this extra free time (let’s face it, most students are slackers) and all this expendable income. When I was in college, I spent a lot of my money it on stupid crap and a lot of my time doing pretty much nothing besides wasting it.
Looking back now, there are a lot of things I should have done while I was in college.
If you’re thinking about potentially being an entrepreneur or even starting a business online after school then you will find this post really useful. Even if you’re not, there’s so much you should be doing right now with all that free time and money that could be invested into your future. I’m not talking about stocks, bonds or any of that stuff. I talking about real, useful things that you should be doing while you’re in school.
Learn Practical Skills
I know the last thing you want to do after spending hours learning some fluid mechanics or ancient history, is to go home and learn some more. But there are things you should consider learning outside of school that your school will likely not teach you depending on your major.
With all that free time, why not learn how to program? Develop an Android app? Use Photoshop? Learn basic SEO?
Especially with the resources available today, there’s absolutely no reason you shouldn’t or couldn’t learn something really quickly. There are sites like Udemy with a vast amount of courses that are both free and paid. Many courses can be completed within a day depending on the complexity of what you’re trying to learn.
Those theories and dates you’re spending hours on learning in school will not directly translate into something you can monetize. But learning how to code an app for the Google Play store? That can be monetized.
Start A Blog or YouTube Channel
Whatever you’re passionate about or have a lot of interest in can be turned into a blog or YouTube channel and either is really easy to start.
Start now while you’re still in school and slowly build an authority blog or channel. It can take years to grow a blog or channel and get a good amount of organic traffic, that’s why it’s a good idea to start now so that when you graduate, you’ll have a nice blog or channel that can be monetized.
You don’t have to be a writer or a personality to do either. Even if it sucks in the very beginning, your blog or channel will grow with you through your studies in school. It will also force you to learn really important things about SEO, creating content, marketing and social media which can apply to any sort of career you pursue after school.
Freelance During Your Free Time
If you have a particular skill that you can freelance, I highly recommend doing some freelancing than working a crummy part-time job that’s likely completely unrelated to what you’re actually studying in school and is not teaching anything useful (besides how to make a burger).
Freelancing will teach you to be independent, grow your skillset, and build up a base of clients over the years, throughout your years in school.
The great thing is you can freelance anything you have some kind of skill in. Writing, web development, graphic design, SEO, hell even voiceovers or video testimonials if you use a site like Fiverr. You don’t even have to use Fiverr if you don’t want to either. There are numerous sites out there for any kind of freelancing including Odesk, Elance and Freelancer. You could even simply use a site like Craigslist and post an ad for your area if your freelancing requires you to be physically present such as photography.
Build Relationships With Gurus/Websites/Clients
During your time in school, you should start connecting and networking with everyone and anyone you can. Your professors, peers and anyone else you come across during your studies. But college is a great time to build relationships with people online, too.
Start becoming a regular on the largest forums and blogs that are relevant to what you’re studying or planning to do after school. Help other people and they’ll want to help you. You will start to network with people and websites online and who knows what those kinds of relationships can lead to down the road when you finish school.
If you freelance, maintain a relationship with all your clients, no matter how brief or small their project was. The easiest person to sell to is someone who already did business with you.
What do you think? For the people who are presently in school, what do you think is an important thing to do while still in school now? With some of the richest and most successful internet entrepreneurs being younger and younger, I think it’s important to take advantage of your time in your prime and do things that will set you up for success later.