Student funds degree by working as a real life mermaid
If you think you know the coolest way to make money, think again. Now you can get a decent pay packet by becoming a mermaid!
A Medicine student at the University of Sheffield has found a novel way to fund her studies – becoming a part-time mermaid.
Yasmin Awan, 22, gets paid up to £100 an hour to wear a mermaid tail and swim underwater without any diving equipment.
She calls herself Mermaid Athena Storm and works at children’s parties, usually in the Wirral and Merseyside areas. They're often children’s pool parties, but she has made an appearance at land parties as well.
Parties involve her donning her mermaid costume, playing games with the children, and even teaching them about marine conservation.
As Yasmin explained, her fascinating venture started when she saw an advert for a mermaid camp:
It really intrigued me and I thought it could be a lot of fun.
We were taught to free dive, which is underwater diving that relies on the diver’s ability to hold their breath, rather than the use of any equipment like scuba.
To me, it’s so much more than a job. I love working with children, and seeing me dressed up as a ‘real-life’ mermaid makes them so happy.
What about the mermaid money?
At the end of the mermaid course, Yasmin and other mermaids were asked by the ‘head mermaid’ to join her party business. All the mermaids had to do was buy tails, which can cost anywhere between £100 and £3,000 depending on the material.
Yasmin explained that “it all started off as a bit of fun, but blossomed into a business opportunity”.
Hiring a mermaid for a party costs around £100 for the first hour, and then £30 for every half hour after that. We don’t blame you if your restaurant job feels a bit rubbish in comparison!
However, there are downsides to the job. Yasmin says that the company she works for has to be careful who they host parties for.
The job does attract some weird types that are known as ‘merverts’, who see mermaids as a sexual fantasy.
We also get some backlash that we are buying into the fantasy, but really we all just love entertaining at kids' parties.
More unusual ways to make money while studying
If mermaids aren’t your thing, don’t worry – there are plenty of other ways to get creative with cash at university.
You might like the idea of getting a part-time job in a pub or shop, but if this isn’t possible with your timetable, why not try something else?
From taking online surveys, reviewing websites, and becoming a delivery driver, to writing your own kindle e-book, selling your textbooks, and tutoring, there are so many ways to make money without sacrificing too much study time.
There are also, Yasmin and her mermaid job, the more obscure options. For instance, teenager Beau Jessop makes £48,000 a year from her website that helps Chinese parents choose English names for their children.
If you’re not too fussy about where you live and how much space you have, you could opt to do what this student did and live on an £800 yacht to save on rent.
Really the take-home message is: there's huge potential for making a reasonable amount of money while you study for a degree, even if you initially feel like you don’t have enough time for a typical part-time job!
Do you know any more unusual ways to make extra money alongside studying? If so, let us know in the comments below!