Side Hustles in College: Learn from Self-Made Celebrities Who Started Young

Juggling textbooks, exams, and a vibrant social life can be exhilarating, but it can also leave your wallet feeling a little thin. Sound familiar? College students often face the reality of balancing academic ambition with financial needs. There’s only one solution: the side hustle.

This article delves into exciting side hustle ideas inspired by celebrity journeys. From assembling computers to creating YouTube channels in their dorm rooms, these celebrities knew the grind well before the spotlight found them. Now, you might be sitting there, buried under a pile of textbooks, thinking, “What does this have to do with me trying to write my philosophy paper due tomorrow?”

It’s about playing to your strengths and finding support where you need it. By exploring their early ventures, you’ll find inspiration and practical tips for balancing your studies with your entrepreneurial spirit, turning your side hustle into more than just pocket money.

Oprah Winfrey: From Radio to Media Magnate

Long before she became a household name, Oprah Winfrey began her broadcasting career while still in college. Working at a local radio station, Winfrey honed her media skills, which laid the foundation for her future empire.

This illustrates the value of pursuing internships and part-time jobs in your field of interest. For students, Oprah’s story underscores the importance of gaining practical experience alongside academic studies, showing that early career-related endeavors can pave the way to monumental success.

Steve Jobs: The Garage Startup

Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, started his tech journey working on electronics in his garage with Steve Wozniak. Although Jobs dropped out of Reed College, his early experiments with technology while he was a student were crucial to his later success.

Jobs’ story teaches students the significance of exploring their passions and collaborating with like-minded individuals. Students can learn from Jobs’ curiosity and innovative spirit, understanding that education isn’t just about formal schooling but also about exploring and doing.

Tyler Oakley: YouTube Stardom

Tyler Oakley began his YouTube channel in college as a hobby and a way to keep in touch with friends. He grew his channel into a full-fledged career, becoming one of the platform’s biggest stars.

Oakley’s path shows students the potential of using social media and online platforms to build a personal brand and connect with a global audience.

It emphasizes the importance of consistency, authenticity, and engaging content, offering a blueprint for students interested in digital media and influencer careers.

Sophia Amoruso: From eBay to Nasty Gal

Sophia Amoruso launched her career by selling vintage clothes on eBay, which eventually led to the creation of her retail empire, Nasty Gal. While not a traditional college-to-career path, Amoruso’s journey from side hustle to CEO exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit.

Students can learn the importance of niche markets, the power of e-commerce, and the value of personal branding from her story. It’s a lesson in starting small, understanding your audience, and scaling up.

Michael Dell: Computers in the Dorm Room

Michael Dell started assembling and selling computers from his college dorm room, eventually dropping out to found Dell Technologies. Dell’s story is a testament to the power of spotting market needs and acting on them.

For students, this narrative is an encouragement to pursue entrepreneurial ventures, even while in school. It shows that practical skills, combined with a clear vision and risk-taking, can lead to significant achievements.

Sean “Diddy” Combs: The Music Mogul

Before he was a music mogul, Sean “Diddy” Combs was a business major at Howard University, where he promoted parties and ran an airport shuttle service.

Combs’ early ventures into entrepreneurship and his passion for music eventually led him to drop out and pursue a career in music production, leading to the founding of Bad Boy Entertainment.

His story demonstrates the importance of leveraging college networks, the value of diverse income streams, and the power of pursuing one’s passions relentlessly.

Emma Chamberlain: Podcasting and YouTube Fame

Emma Chamberlain started her YouTube channel as a high school student and quickly rose to fame with her unique editing style and relatable content.

While not a traditional college student, Emma’s journey into the world of content creation during her teenage years is a modern tale of how leveraging digital platforms can lead to significant opportunities.

Her expansion into podcasting and fashion underscores the importance of diversifying one’s interests and revenue streams. For students, Emma’s story highlights the potential of using social media and the internet to carve out a niche and build a personal brand that resonates with a broad audience.

Ben Francis: Gymshark’s Beginnings

Ben Francis founded Gymshark, a fitness apparel and accessories brand, while he was a university student. Starting with a sewing machine in his garage, Francis grew Gymshark into a billion-dollar company by leveraging social media marketing and influencer partnerships.

His story is a powerful example for students about the potential of e-commerce and the importance of understanding digital marketing trends. It teaches that with a clear vision, commitment, and savvy use of online platforms, students can create and grow a global brand from the ground up.


The stories of these self-made celebrities underscore a powerful message for students everywhere: with the right mindset and support, it’s possible to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams.

Starting a side hustle while juggling academic responsibilities requires not just passion and determination but also smart management of time and resources. This is where the support of the best coursework writing service can be a game-changer for students.

Whether it’s through leveraging digital platforms, finding your niche, or utilizing services that help manage academic workload, the path to turning a side hustle into a successful career is more accessible than ever. The key takeaway is clear: the experiences and skills you gain now can lay the groundwork for future success.

Lisa has been covering Netflix since 2014, and has spent up to 10 years covering the comings and goings of the Streaming library. Currently resides in the United Kingdom. Outer Banks, Ozark, Black, and On My Block, and Stranger Things are among my favourite Netflix series.