Being a student is not an easy thing. This statement has apparently been proven by all that have endeavored to walk through the streets of campus in a quest to attain a degree or diploma in whatever field. As if it is not enough to have academic pressure from assignments, tests and usually due dates, students must face the troubles of going through all of this usually on a hungry stomach or while seriously worrying about what their next meal may be. It’s a struggle! While some have managed to juggle the jungles of university life depending solely on one source of income that comes usually a few days past month end and mostly in insufficient amounts. Some students have taken the onus on themselves and begun to make ends meet in the most legal ways they can. These are techniques that only require discipline and the obvious sacrifice of time and extra commitment to achieve the estimated profits from the various efforts to raise an extra buck.
The printing business is one that requires discipline, seeing as the profits do not come in large sums and the investment on ink and papers may seem a large amount. Returns from this field are usually aimed at enhancing the livelihoods of the proprietor as they allow for one to afford the basics of life such as transport costs, a loaf of bread, phone recharge and the like. Every student needs, at one point or another to print something. This guarantees a continuous influx of clients once the business is established. One other cost that one has to pay to thrive in this business is to almost always be available. People print at strange hours all the time. Muhammad Alpha says “some have assignments due at 07h30 and thus print as soon as they are convinced they have put together a good paper – this is usually around or between midnight and 02h00. Others will come right before class with a paper that needs to be presented and thus needs to be printed.”
Given the busy schedule of students, cooking doesn’t completely occur in their vocabulary. Whatever alternative they have is opposed to standing in front of a stove and wasting beloved dear time. This industry, just like its macro sister is an ever selling industry. It also allows for students leaving in the hostels to ridiculously price their products inline with the demand. “I don’t regret trying this out; people are hungry all the time. As long as they know that you have food for sale, they will be on your neck,” says Johannes Tobias. Some students have however confirmed that many people have caught up with the profits deduced from this sector leading the serious ones to come up with various incentives to entice their prospective clients such as ‘free delivery within 10 minutes, if you order more than 3 hot dogs at once’. The only other challenge in this venture is the non-stop knocks on your door.
This field is especially left to those that are familiar with the linguistic and philological studies. Their task is arguably simple, to counter check the content and grammatical correctness of a piece of work before it is handed in for marking. “I have gone through quite a number of assignments and papers before they are handed in just to make sure that the content is correct. It is not up to me to change the data, but only to counter check the wording” said one Copy Writer who preferred to remain anonymous. They act as some form of first round marking phase, making sure that assignments are well written, sentences are correctly structured and words are properly spelled. This is a common field for media personnel and prospective teachers of English and other languages.
Especially useful for first years, estate agents know their way about the city and have very good contacts as to who has what. They are the go to guys for any accommodation problems. One client attested to how he was in need of accommodation immediately and he somehow got hold of an agent’s number. By dusk, he was accommodated at least until he could find a permanent place. The high housing prices around Windhoek have proven breeding ground for this style of business among students who may be asked to vacate premises due to deferred payments or misunderstandings with landlords. It is important though in this industry to build a name for oneself, as like in any other money making field, there are people that may seek to take advantage of the needs of others. Administrators of the Facebook page ‘Buying and Selling’ that host an array of agents around Windhoek say “A good agent is usually only recommended, not introduced by themselves… This one is a space of reputation and thus requires quite some input before it begins to pay off”.
Left particularly for the academic gurus, it is always helpful to offer a helping hand to people that may be going through the same struggles that one has already encountered. Tutors offer lessons on specific programmes to students that may need a more personal learning environment than that gotten in class. Tutors are often highly flexible with their time and seeing as they are also still pursuing academic accreditation, they are able to go the long hours with their students; answering any pending questions and going through question papers together. Michelle Kuera a senior student said “I have tutored for a year now and it is more beneficial to me also, seeing as I have to keep my mind alert in order to help my colleagues best. Most people may find it hard to do this but then the idea is to only attempt in modules where you have good strength and always to have a mentor yourself, from whom you can ask when you are unaware.” This is often a by the hour arrangement between lessor – tutor, and lessee – student.
There are many other modus operandi by which students can try their luck at the entrepreneurial life. These money making methods are not a promising route to one’s riches. They are simply a way by which students can get by with accessing their day to day needs.