Flagler College students get creative for their money

By Gabrielle Garay gargoyle@flagler.edu

How much is your skin worth to you? To some, the body and skin are a temple and should be treated with the utmost respect, to others it can be a canvas for a beautiful work of art, and to some, a way to make quick cash.

“Red Sun was doing a promotion and a friend of mine that I work with told me about it,” Flagler College senior Ryan Garcia recalls. The promotion? A tattoo of the the cigarette company’s logo. “I already have a bunch of tattoos and I figured I might as well get it if it was somewhere hidden and for money. I don’t smoke cigarettes, so its kind of just a funny story,” Ryan said.

The price, you might be wondering, for a lifetime representation of a cigarette company? A whopping $1,500.

“I got that money just around when I got my tax return so it went toward paying off my tuition,” Ryan said.

While in college it’s no secret that you’ve got a lot on your plate at one time. Between balancing the world on your shoulders and trying to stop yourself from having a mental breakdown it isn’t always easy to find the time to get and maintain a job in order to get some extra money in your pocket. That money may be a couple hundred extra dollars to pay the gap that your student loan didn’t cover, extra cash to pay for the 20 books you need for classes, or maybe you just need money to eat out because the dining hall is only serving mystery meat again.

With a full schedule, not everyone can dedicate eight hours to a work day or maybe you need a large sum of money in a short amount of time. To achieve these things, working a 9-5 job and getting bi-weekly check may not cover it. College, after all, is a time to exercise your brain.
Sometimes when you have to make ends meet you get creative, and some Flagler College students did just that.

“Strangest thing I did for money was donate my blood plasma to buy my college books the summer before my freshman year,” laughs Elise Kolmer, a Flagler college junior. “I heard about it from a friend of a friend who would donate her blood plasma for some extra cash. She told me about it and how easy it was to just sign a piece of paper and sit in a chair for 30 minutes and get paid for it so it sounded good enough too since my parents weren’t helping me out with the price of my books, which ended up being something crazy like $350.”

Donating something as vital as blood plasma may be extreme, and although it may seem so personal it wasn’t a decision to be regretted.

“I would totally do it again and again if I found a place here in St. Augustine. Easiest $70 I’ve ever made. Plus I know it’s helping people who need the blood plasma more than me so its a win-win,” Kolmer said.

“During certain nights like Nights of Lights I would make the most. The most I made in one night was $700,” Flagler graduate Julian Zaragoza said.

By riding a pedicab around St. Augustine, taking tourists and locals around the downtown area, he was sometimes able to make more in one night then some would in one paycheck. Riding a bike to transport pedestrians around town was a simple solution to get into a business quick.

“I saw a sign outside of the St. Augustine bike rentals saying ‘earn cash daily’ so I signed up, got my cab license and I was a pedicab driver ever since,” Zaragoza recalled. “I used it to pay tuition at the end of each semester. When I had a leftover balance I used that money to cover that and sometimes it went to expenses like rent, books, food and groceries as well.”

Although riding a bike for hours on end may seem like drudgery or a lot of work for little pay, Zaragoza thinks differently.

“I would do it in a heartbeat, it was a lot of fun. I met a lot of interesting people and it was just a nice little way to get used to your town and make some fast cash.”

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