Why Babysitting is the Perfect Summer Side Gig in College

By Elise Nelson on June 30, 2017

Summers in college are all about making as much money as possible in three months. You can have more than one job, but you still can never seem to live off of bi-weekly paychecks. Before you resort to selling your belongings for cash in an impromptu garage sale, consider this perfect summer side hustle: babysitting. Here’s why.

Become a kid again

Being an adult can really stink sometimes. Between internships, part-time jobs, staying fit, and going to appointments before the school year begins, there isn’t much time for college students to relax during summer. On top of all that there are budgets to be made, taxes to be paid, and probably some drama to be handled.

Babysitting offers you a chance to get away from all the adulting and release your own inner child. Go on scavenger hunts, paint outside the lines, watch kids’ shows, and eat copious amounts of fruit snacks. Let the kids teach you how to have some fun.

Believe it or not, some kids offer the greatest advice. They’ll tell you how they really feel with no regrets. If you vent to a child about some drama, I guarantee they’ll give you an answer that will make you say, “why didn’t I think of that?”

Spend some time away from people your own age. Think like a kid for a little while. By the end of the day, your adult-life stress will be gone.

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Sometimes you get paid to sit

It’s not always an easy job. The children’s ages will definitely determine how you spend your day. You might be changing diapers or chasing hyper toddlers up and down the hallway. Or you might end up arguing with a cranky 8-year-old. However, there is one glorious activity that most children take part in: naps.

In some instances, parents might ask you to put their kids down for a nap while you’re on babysitting duty. Getting them to sleep can be tricky, but once they’re asleep, you get some free time.

“It’s a job that takes a lot out of you, but it also innately understands that even the most gung-ho babysitter needs a break from time to time,” according to Thought Catalog writer Ella Ceron.

Keep an eye on them, and don’t take a nap yourself, but relax a little bit. If you’re allowed, you can watch some quiet T.V. Read a book. Sometimes even just sitting there is a nice, well-deserved break.

There may be times when the kids just want to play on their own, too. As long as you keep checking on them, you have more chances to take a breather for a little while.

You’ll never be short on references

Have you ever filled out a job application and found yourself at a loss for references? You already wrote down your old coach’s name, your part-time boss’s name, and maybe even a friend’s name. Who else can fill that last spot? It can’t be your own parent’s name. But, it can certainly be someone else’s parent.

Image via Pixabay.com

Every time you babysit for a new family, you have one more person who can confirm that you’re a responsible worker. This is why it’s so important that you take the job seriously. Be nice to the children and be respectful to their guardians.

Babysitting is a wonderful way to network in general. If you’re a medical student sitting for a doctor, then you can probably bet they’ll be willing to talk you up at the hospital. Parents will be happy to help you out in exchange for good child care.

If anything, you’ll at least be able to network within the babysitting world. Parents will tell their friends how much their kids love you. Before you know it, you’ll have more families asking you to babysit, and a much larger network of professional contacts for later on.

Skills, skills, and more skills

Babysitting will teach you how to do so many new things, from everyday tasks to creative projects. If you have long shifts, you’ll probably need to know how to cook some basic meals. You’ll also need to keep the kids entertained, so you’ll have opportunities to get crafty (Pinterest has tons of ideas for fun activities).

You can also develop skills on a professional level from babysitting. You’re probably thinking, “How professional can it get when I’m hanging out with a 5-year-old?” Well, as a babysitter, you have a huge sense of responsibility. You also show a great deal of time management skills and trustworthiness. Employers look for these skills.

Image via Pixabay.com

If you think you might want a future career working with children, babysitting is definitely the place to start building your resume. For example, you can take CPR classes to better yourself as a babysitter, and it’ll help to list CPR as a skill down the road. The American Red Cross offers babysitting classes to help you improve.

Become a role model

The children you babysit look up to you (literally and figuratively). Their parents will appreciate you setting a good example for them, and your job will be a whole lot easier if you get along well with the kids.

Always encourage your kids to do the right thing and follow their dreams. You should let them see that you’re doing the same. Hearing a little kid say, “I want to be just like you when I grow up” is such a confidence booster. Plus, it’s a definite win if they tell you you’re their favorite babysitter.

Babysitting is the best way to make some extra cash this summer and build your character. Are you considering babysitting for your side gig? Here are 7 ways to get the job.

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