Motivational: Don’t let the fear of failure or success, pull you down

So many people let their fears get the better of them. Especially when it comes to the fear of failure or success. Yes, you read correctly. I wrote the fear of failure, or SUCCESS.

It is still a little known fact that just as many people (if not more) fear success, as those who fear failure. But why would anyone fear success?

The answer is actually quite simple. Many people fear success because we as human beings fear change as well as the unknown, and as we all know, with success comes both (change and the unknown). The trick however to beating this fear, is to tell yourself that nothing can stay constant (the same) forever. Change is inevitable, and even though the huge changes that success brings might be daunting, do you really want your life to stay the same forever? Exactly, no you don’t. Then why fear your own success?

Think about it. I know I would much rather live an interesting life full of change, than a bland one in which everything stays the same for an eternity. Can you imagine doing what you are doing now forever? Since most of you reading this are students, can you picture being a student for the rest of your life? No of course not. You want to be a doctor, lawyer, teacher or whatever it is you are studying towards. So don’t fear your ultimate goal, which is exactly what you are doing when you give into fears of your own success.

As for the fear of failure. Failure was something that I feared so much that I let it ruin everything for me. All I had to do was realise that I hadn’t failed yet. And even if I did (fail), why on earth would it have been the end of the world for me? Exactly, it wouldn’t have. I would have just tried and tried again until I succeeded.

Remember failure is not absolute. If we fail, we can always try again. Yet we tend to live as if failing once would be the end of us, as if it would mean game over without the option to respawn ourselves. Failure cannot kill you! So don’t fear it so much! We can’t always be perfect at everything and do everything perfectly all the time. Failure is part of being human. Think of it (failure) as going to the loo or farting – annoying and embarrassing, yet part of being human.

As I have said so many times before, we control our own destiny, and that means that you control your own future (and attitude towards it), so don’t let fear pull you down and prevent you from reaching the heights you were meant to.

Keep positive and reach for the stars
Academics Can Kill Your Sanity 2016


Struggling student? Ways to earn money (part-time)

Many students wish they had more money in a month, to actually buy the things they want (and not have to stare at people who are holding the latest gadget, droolingly). Others simply need more money in order to survive or pay for their studies.

Don’t despair. If you can make the time, and put in the effort, there are many ways of earning some extra cash whilst you are still studying (that DON’T involve selling any parts of your body).

Below I will be giving you a list of things/jobs you can do for extra dough, but just a word of warning first:- Try and do your own thing independently and stay away from so called “student employment agencies” or “student job providers”, as many of these are out to exploit or scam students (by placing them in jobs that pay peanuts and taking a cut of the proceeds, and/or by selling them (students) products or services they don’t really need). Please note I stated that SOME and not ALL agencies/providers are out to do this, so do your homework before making use of one of them (if you still so wish).

Okay, now for the list of jobs/things students can do for extra cash:

1. Waitering – This one is a classic! Even in my early days of studying (in the 1990’s), part-time waitering was a big earner for students. Just make sure you don’t take on more hours than you can handle and that you work by a restaurant/establishment that gives you a share of your daily profits/sales and not just your (earned) tips as an income. I remember working at a restaurant that only let us keep our tips. Many nights I would only earn two rand (as in seriously, there are many cheapskate tippers out there) and then I was still made to do some dishes in the back after my shift ended (hardly worth if for two rand).

2. Recycling – Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Recycling is actually a great way of earning some extra cash if you pursue it seriously and collect many varied items. Cans, glass, paper and plastic can all be recycled which is great for students, since all of these items can be found on campus (and it dorms) in abundance. Few people know that all forms of cans are recyclable (aluminium and steel etc.) so collect all forms of these (soft drink cans, beer cans, paint cans, food cans, aerosol cans etc.). Once you have a good collection going, you can just surf the internet for a list of local places you can drop your stash at, in exchange for cash. All in all recycling is really worthwhile (the cash part and the fact you are doing your bit to save the planet). The only down side to recycling is the fact that you will need quite a lot of space to store all the items collected.

3. Child minding – You can call it babysitting or au-pairing (even though this term is traditionally used for those child minders who have come from a foreign country to work for host families), however, whatever you wish to call it, part-time child minding is another great job for students. Again I wish to add that you must be careful not to take on more hours doing this than you can handle. Also, make sure that you know your rights as a child minder (as well as the rights of the parents) and any other legalities concerning child minding (such as safety laws, responsibilities etc.), before taking on any jobs. Note: You should only attempt doing this (as a job) if you have tons of patience and a love for children.

4. Weekend car wash – Definitely a job I recommend for the summer only (unless you are super brave and like to play “Fear Factor” with icy cold water). How this works is you get a bunch of your friends to join in on the idea, then you go and visit local premises (such as shop parking lots, petrol/gas garages etc.) and ask their permission to set up your own small car wash on weekends. Alternatively you could also just apply for part time work at an existing car wash (on weekends only since this job can get very messy and exhausting).

5. Dog walking – Now this is something many students never even think of doing. Why dog walkers have started dying out is beyond me because they are needed now more than ever! Think of it. More and more people are working extended hours and on weekends and have way less time to spend with their children, nevermind their animals! You could even extend your services to dog/house sitting when people go on holiday or away for the weekend. All you need are some good references (written by your family, neighbours and church back home, in order to prove you are not a psychopathical maniac out to ransack, pillage and burn the house down), some flyers advertising your services (which you can put up and/or hand out at local shops) and you are good to go.

Note: References such as the ones mentioned are a very good idea if you are considering other jobs dealing with children, properties or animals as well (such as child minding mentioned above).

6. Dog bathing/grooming – Only attempt this if you know how to cut/groom a dogs hair without hurting it! Alternatively you could just offer a dog washing service on weekends, where people can bring their dogs to you and you give them a bath and gentle towel dry (with NO haircut). Note that you will need a bathtub, towels and warm water source in order to offer this service. Tip: Many South African houses have back rooms/ maid quarters built in their backyards, therefore students who still live with their parents can make use of these rooms in order to run a weekend business of this sort (provided these rooms are used for no other current purpose of course).

7. Flea markets – Lets face it, most people will buy the biggest load of junk just for the sake of shopping, so why not turn the shopping addictions of others into some cash for yourself? In a previous post, “Fun things to do on a student’s budget (outside of drinking)”, I mentioned how students can host craft evening for fun, now you can turn those craft evenings for fun, into craft evenings for profit! Collect all the crafts you make independently and on craft evenings until you have enough of them to sell at a flea market, or other sale venues. Alternatively you could bottle/can your own preserves or bake some goods for sale (and also make evenings out of these activities with your friends). Note: As mentioned before in my “Fun things to do on a student’s budget” post, only the craft items made with bought goods/crafting materials or “quality” junk items such as glass, should be put up for sale – (think of it for a minute, would you want to buy a cow ornament made out of eggshells and a milk carton? Exactly! Hell no, you wouldn’t. On the contrary you would just burst out laughing and give the person who tried to sell the item a bad name, and who wants to walk around for the next four years being called “carton cowgirl” for example?).

And that is that. If you can think of any other jobs/activities I have left out please share them with us (as long as they are not dangerous or vulgar).

Have fun and happy earning!


Academics Can Kill Your Sanity 2016

Fun things to do on a student’s budget (outside of drinking)

The problem with the world these days is that everyone seems to have forgotten how to have fun without money (or technology for that matter).

You don’t need a fortune to have a good time. The amount of free activities (and cheap activities) available is actually quite astounding. All you need is an open mind and a willingness to try out new things.

Here are a few examples of such (free/cheap) activities.

(Free) Activities

1. Bird-watching / viewing in the park. Why not visit the park with a few of your friends and see how many different species of birds you can see and identify? Does this sound boring to you? Well you will be surprised how good the fresh air makes you feel and just how relaxing bird viewing can be. I liken this activity to a day at a health spa (almost the same effect at a free price).

2. Old fashioned games nights. Phone your mom and ask her to send you all your old board games (monopoly, pictionary, scrabble etc.) or even your old t.v game consoles. Then invite all your friends over and have a blast. This is really lots of fun, probably because it is so “old school” in nature (and it brings back fond childhood memories too).

3. Craft evenings. Keep and collect old egg cartons, milk cartons, cold drink bottles, and cold drink can tabs (et cetera), and use these to host craft evenings with your friends. Each evening, you could pick an animal or object to be made/built out of the items and then have a little competition to see whose animal/object came out the best. You could also try doing crafts with bought items (such as beads, wool, glass, glitter, paint and wood, for example). These items can then be kept and sold at flea markets to earn extra cash (I don’t advise you to try and sell the crafts made out of junk items though).

4. Reading. Since most movies are based on books, why not read the books that your favourite movies were based on? You will find that the original writings contain much more details and events than the movies do (because movies are hardly ever longer than an hour and a half). Try reading in a relaxing area (such as on your bed or in the bath tub).

(Cheap) Activities:

1. Have a picnic. Make a few sandwiches, boil a few eggs, buy a 2 litre soft drink, grab a blanket and head to a relaxing spot with your friends. You could even have the picnic on the floor of your apartment/house.

2. Rent/watch a few old movies. We all have a few old favourite movies. Why not make an evening out of watching a few of these with your friends? Just add popcorn and you’re good to go.

3. Visit second hand stores or church bazaars. Who doesn’t love “vintage” clothing and “bargain” furnishings for their dorm room/flat/house? Second hand stores and/or church bazaars are great places to find both these types of items and so much more. You will have a total ball rummaging through all the items and an even better time haggling prices.

4. Host a dinner party. You and your friends can each take turns playing host. If you plan smartly you can prepare the meals cheaply. The bonus of doing an activity like this, and getting your friends to follow suit, is that you only need to fork out money once (when you are the host). The rest of the parties will be hosted by your friends and so that means you get to have fun (and eat) for free.

Again, these are just a few activities you can do for free or cheaply. Be creative and use your brain to come up with some of your own ideas.

Remember, you don’t need a lot of money to have a good time!

Have fun

Academics Can Kill Your Sanity 2016
Edit: Tip – Be sure to check online if there aren’t maybe any Groupon vouchers/discounts for any activities you are planning. This way you can save even more valuable dough.