How To Freelance As A Student

Freelancing is a great way to get experience while juggling other responsibilities.

Izzie Ramirez
5 min readDec 31, 2020


2020 was my first full year freelancing. During this hell year, I’ve been published in Bitch Media, VICE, Apartment Therapy, NBC Think, Refinery29, The Guardian, and, of course, GENall while juggling a full class schedule.

It’s no small feat: freelancing while writing two theses and taking 20 credits in undergrad during a pandemic was nightmarish. Freelancing now as I trudge through a science journalism program proves to be arduous and a test in time management. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother, given the stress. But freelancing is the one thing in my life that brings me comfort and relative financial stability. (I have yet to freelance full time.)

I began freelance reporting during the summer of 2019 after I quit my part-time social media job, which had me working weekends starting at 4 a.m. The job was spectacular, but it was incompatible with my class load at the time. So I left and went down the freelance route with very little help or assistance. I needed a way to report and write essays without necessarily succumbing to lower pay. (Why I would I go from $22/hr to an unpaid internship?) I also desperately wanted to be the arbiter of my own time so I could recover from the workload burnout. Freelancing seemed like the right move. For me, it was.

In the past year and a half, I’ve learned that, yes, freelancing as a student can be done. For my fellow student reporters and essayists, here’s how I managed it all and with finesse.

Get to know the publications you want to be in

Nothing is worse than pitching a story that’s not a good fit. You spent all that time thinking up your idea, crafting the perfect email, and then bam! Rejection. That’s not to say that rejection isn’t a normal part of the process. You should get comfortable with rejection. However, you’re a busy person! 30 minutes wasted on a bad email could’ve been spent on organic chemistry homework. Your emails need to be going to the right place and the right person. Understanding the difference between publications like Into the Gloss versus, say, The Strategist is key. While they have similar beats and…



Izzie Ramirez

Writing about climate, culture & comida wherever I go. Work in: GEN, Bitch Media, VICE, Jezebel, and then some. Medium’s resident Gen Z kid.

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