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19yo college student in Germany - figure it out or go home

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metko

New Contributor
Apr 11, 2018
2
2
16
Hi everyone,

I've never been active on the forum, although I've been lurking for the last 2-3 years. As of today I'm a 1st year college student in Germany at the country's best business school.
My problem is that I'm still not able to pay for myself. As a younger kid I always worked somewhere and was almost completely financially independent from my mother.

However, this changed when I moved to Germany (I'm Bulgarian). She always insisted that I go to college and honestly I don't regret it. But right now she's the one paying for my life here and I probably don't need to tell you that the salaries in Bulgaria are about three to four times lower than here. So she's struggling.

Right now I have about 2 months' worth of money in my account. I can't go back home after all it's taken me to get here. But I have to figure things out.

I'm currently working a part-time job which pays for about half of my monthly expenses. I've been thinking about what other alternatives I have:
  • I can write well - I've won a couple of writing competitions in my home country and I went to a high-school for foreign languages where I had to write essays everyday, but I don't have any experience as a freelance writer. I don't even know where to start and honestly I'm a little scared to do it (wrong mindset, I know, but it's human)
  • I've been taking a graphic design course - this is a freelance career that I'd be more interested in pursuing, but building the skills I need will probably take me at least 4 more months of intensive work to get where I need to be in order to work as a freelancer. I don't know if I have that time.
  • Finding a second job - this one is probably the safest one, but I've no idea if I'll still be able to spend enough time studying and pursuing my "side-hustles". I feel like I'll be trapped. But then again, I'm trapped now anyway.
What do I do? I don't want to leave college, because it's probably the most transformative experience I've had in my life. It showed me how unprepared I was for the real world and I've been working hard on changing that. But it's also really competitive and I need to keep that in mind.

I'm open to any advice you guys might have. Just to add a little context - My goal for the next 2-3 years (besides getting my Bachelor's) is to start a marketing company which focuses on design identity. This might be another reason to keep pursuing this design thing.
 

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Bobby_italy

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jan 19, 2016
184
310
168
Hey man, start by calling companies with bad graphics and offer them a nice package as a freelancer for a good price.
Usual stuff website/ads/logos/whatever and then outsource everything to professionals for cheap, initially you can try fiverr and slowly find someone to cooperate with.
Most "boomer" businesses don't have the knowdledge to get this stuff done themselves and here's where you step into.
IF you want to provide extra value, prepare some sketchups beforehand and tell them how that will help their company being seen as more professional.

There goes your design identity on a budget.
 

alexkuzmov

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Sep 20, 2019
251
332
163
Bulgaria
Hi everyone,

I've never been active on the forum, although I've been lurking for the last 2-3 years. As of today I'm a 1st year college student in Germany at the country's best business school.
My problem is that I'm still not able to pay for myself. As a younger kid I always worked somewhere and was almost completely financially independent from my mother.

However, this changed when I moved to Germany (I'm Bulgarian). She always insisted that I go to college and honestly I don't regret it. But right now she's the one paying for my life here and I probably don't need to tell you that the salaries in Bulgaria are about three to four times lower than here. So she's struggling.

Right now I have about 2 months' worth of money in my account. I can't go back home after all it's taken me to get here. But I have to figure things out.

I'm currently working a part-time job which pays for about half of my monthly expenses. I've been thinking about what other alternatives I have:
  • I can write well - I've won a couple of writing competitions in my home country and I went to a high-school for foreign languages where I had to write essays everyday, but I don't have any experience as a freelance writer. I don't even know where to start and honestly I'm a little scared to do it (wrong mindset, I know, but it's human)
  • I've been taking a graphic design course - this is a freelance career that I'd be more interested in pursuing, but building the skills I need will probably take me at least 4 more months of intensive work to get where I need to be in order to work as a freelancer. I don't know if I have that time.
  • Finding a second job - this one is probably the safest one, but I've no idea if I'll still be able to spend enough time studying and pursuing my "side-hustles". I feel like I'll be trapped. But then again, I'm trapped now anyway.
What do I do? I don't want to leave college, because it's probably the most transformative experience I've had in my life. It showed me how unprepared I was for the real world and I've been working hard on changing that. But it's also really competitive and I need to keep that in mind.

I'm open to any advice you guys might have. Just to add a little context - My goal for the next 2-3 years (besides getting my Bachelor's) is to start a marketing company which focuses on design identity. This might be another reason to keep pursuing this design thing.
So lets break this down.
You have 2 months of cash in your account.
You are working a part-time job which pays for about half of your monthly expenses.
Combine that with your current cash and you have 3 and a half months.
Cut your expenses, no drinking, no drugs, dont waste your time and money.
I bet you can stretch your cash for 3 months which combined with your job can give you 5 months total.
Add 1 more month from your mom and you got 6.

You got 6 months to make a buck.

First of all a second job will only get in your way. Your time is more valuable then the extra income.
If you havent, read MJs books.

Secondly: "My goal for the next 2-3 years (besides getting my Bachelor's) is to start a marketing company which focuses on design identity."
Having goals is great and all, but what about other peoples`goals?
You make money by serving other people and your goals should align with that.
Are you saying that you cant offer anything to anyone right now?
What can you do right now for someone that will save them time and money, or increase their comfort?
If the answer is nothing, then your goal should be to gain more skills and be on the lookout for other peoples` needs.
Since your are in college, are you telling me that none of the students need something?
There are no projects to make? Presentations to make?
This may sound a bit crude, but your lazy colleagues are your immediate source of income.

Thirdly, you are saying that you can write well.
Then learn to write copy. Make a habit.
Read about writting and write at least 4 hours everyday.
No phones, no social media, no youtube, no games. Read and write.

If you write well enough you`ll have many ways to make money.
Not just on Upwork or Fiverr.

Keep reading the forum and you`ll read about aaaall the ways with which you can make money with writing as a main skill.

Ще успееш само с яко бачкане и мислене, иначе ще робуваш на работодатели до края на живота си. Без значение какви умения имаш или какви университети завършиш.
 

Venn

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Aug 22, 2019
10
9
15
Rome
Hey metko,

I was/am basically in a simillar situation. Let me explain I am a Polish guy studying in Rome and had 50-100 euro in my pocket and no language skill when I've arrived to Italy. My situation was abit different though because my girlfriend is italian and she helped me alot. Anyways now that I am finishing my masters I have few conclusions. If u want to make extra euro to pay for yourself you can:

Find fulltime job as a barman/waitress - Basically you study during the day, working during the night and dying during the exams. I am doing my masters this way, and I can tell that on the positive I have learnted alot about this "industry" and I have learned Italian which is pretty nice since now I can really start to make business in Italy. There are alot of negatives through, you won't have social life, so it won't be so "transformative experience" since you always work during the weekends. In order to find a job in this industry go to the tourist zones and ask there in pubs/bar/restaurants/ or irish pubs.

Here are another options that I haven't used but I would consider if i would have to start over:

* Giving English tutoring. (You just put some flyers on your University and other school like elementary etc.) Since we're in countries with different language alot of people don't speak english, you can charge solid money and arrange working hours. Apart from English you can of course give private lessons in your mother language. There are for sure some people in Germany that have Bulgarian origins or have mixed families and would like to pass the language to their children.

* Find a delivery service company in your city like eataly, glovoo, delivery and sign up on their up for delivery. You will have to buy some used bike and just deliver food. You can work when you want, and if you work smart (rainy&football matches days) you can earn enough ( My friend was making sometimes 80 euro in 3-4 hours) so that pretty nice.

*This one is pretty important, since we're in Europe we have alot of programs (My university had one called Laziodisu) that provides free grant for decent students with the lowest income. Since we are living almost in 3rd world countries (no offence) our and our families income is insanely low, and after comparision with local students you can win the grant prettly easly. In that way i have won 5,000 euro for one year, that was basically life saving. The only requirement was low income and enough credits from passed exams.

Well that's it for now, if you need any other help regarding studying abroad feel free to ask. All the best in your journey!
 

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