Posts Tagged ‘side hustle’

Why College Is the Time to Start Your Small Business

Wednesday, June 29th, 2022

My freshman year of college, I had a picture in my mind: a tiara that spelled out MORON. Maybe I have a weird sense of humor, but I thought it would be funny for parties or my birthday. I searched the dusty corners of the internet but came up with nothing. There were only tiaras announcing it was your birthday and how old you were turning—generic, and only useful for one day of your whole life. I took things into my own hands. With a pair of pliers and the strongest glue I could find, I made my first custom tiara.

The tiara pronouncing me a moron was a hit. The customizable aspect seemed to draw people in—who doesn’t want something handmade, not to mention glittery, to make them feel special? My friends on campus wanted their own versions with their own choice words. After a month, it dawned on me that with a wider audience, my tiaras could be a viable small business. I set up an online storefront, cut up cardstock for business cards, and Kiss & Tell Tiaras was born.

One sale can turn into a thousand—the first step is taking the leap.
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Growing up, I dabbled in entrepreneurship. I had role models around me: my mother ran her office and my father always ran around looking for investors for his business ideas. This manifested as lemonade stands, of course, plus the occasional craft sale. However, no business venture stuck until college. It may seem intimidating to run a business and pass your classes at the same time, but I believe college is actually the perfect time to start a side hustle or small business. Here are a few reasons why:

Most obviously, the financial benefits. Selling a couple of tiaras pays for my groceries for the week—a big help. Working for yourself allows for flexibility that I find ideal as a student. I can take on more orders when my classes are less demanding. During midterms or finals, I accept fewer orders so I can focus on studying. I make my small business schedule, and my sleep schedule thanks me for it.

Another reason to start your small business in college: it’s a financial crash course. Operating my small business has shaped my understanding of finances. I’d worked for a wage but never before had to set my own. Balancing expenses, labor, and profit margins helped me understand the value of my own time—and once I knew what my time was worth, I was less inclined to waste it. The budgeting skills I developed for my small business also translated into personal budgeting, which has aided me in every aspect of college living.

Besides developing financial skills while making a buck, college is the best time to start your own business or side hustle because the resources at your disposal are unparalleled. In some ways, my small business came to me by accident—but that never would have happened had my college peers’ interest in my tiaras not shown me their potential. Your fellow students are, in many cases, your biggest cheerleaders. Everyone talks: have them spread the word. Support other students’ efforts and let them support you. As your social life expands, so do your potential collaborators and customers. 

Make sure to take advantage of your school’s entrepreneurship resources. Many schools offer startup development classes or labs. Depending on your endeavor, there may be faculty to guide you. Be on the lookout for grants aimed at entrepreneurs. Consider taking internships at startup companies rather than at corporations, as people working from the ground up likely have something to teach you about the process.

We hear it all the time: college is the chance to try new things and figure out our futures. Why not give your own small business or side hustle a try?


  • Starting a small business can deepen your understanding of finance
  • Take advantage of growth opportunities from your school including grants, classes, internships, faculty, and your peers

Just made your first small business sale and ready to treat yourself? Use this student discount on some delicious gelato!

By: Kelsie Lynn

Kelsie Lynn is a rising junior at New York University studying communications and creative writing. She is probably in a coffee shop right now working on her latest short story draft.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.