Rideshare: An Unexpected Lesson
Through college many students have the opportunity pick up part time jobs to help pay the bills. You might want to choose something with flexible hours and reasonable pay. I want to share with you my personal experience as a rideshare driver.
A seasoned driver
Before going back to school, I was a seasoned Uber/Lyft driver for about 15 months. By seasoned, I don’t mean a full-time driver. More accurately, I was behind the wheel an average of 80 hours a week. A ten-hour shift would have been a short day for me. Between the two platforms, I have racked up almost eight thousand rides (7,626, to be exact). Which is not really that much, considering other drivers hit 10,000+ milestones just on a single platform! One can still say that I have pretty much seen it all and experienced both ends of the spectrum.
Why did I decide to do it?
I figured since I had a car that I was already paying so much for in insurance, I might as well start monetising it. Initially it worked out well. I’d drive whenever I’d want get paid. My earnings were pretty good, and I really enjoy driving. But, of course, nothing that is worth it is that easy! The more I drove, the more dependent on it I had become. And as rates in the market kept decreasing, I found myself working more and more just to pick up the difference. It was good, and I didn’t complain, pocketing steadily $200 a day (or at least, that’s what I thought I was making). Poor me had never taken an accounting class. I did not know the difference between revenue and net income, or even better, accumulated depreciation. CarMax recently gave me a quote on my 2011 model-year car for $500. This was when I realized I needed to start doing the math.
Learning the hard way
Well, it didn’t take me an Accounting Course to realise the difference, as much as it did filing for taxes. Let’s just say I am too ashamed to even quantify how much in taxes I had to pay. The number hit me so hard, that I had to set up a payment arrangement with Uncle Sam. But it did help pay my bills and pay an outstanding college balance that I had left unpaid after dropping out initially. It helped me get back on my feet. But most importantly, the majority of the gain was implicit, rather than monetarily explicit. You meet all kinds of people through long driving shifts. As much as I thought I had people skills, that thought was tested on a daily basis.
An eye-opening experience
Along with experience, being a rideshare driver has its own brand of stress. I dealt with self-entitled people, miserably long hours, wear and tear on my car, plus so much more. It helped me feel especially thankful to have gone back to school. A better option is probably an on-campus gig that lets you do your homework in the downtime, especially if the car you currently own holds any sentimental value to you at all! Being a driver taught me many of things, including the value of money and the significance of finding a job you are passionate about. I am thankful for the experiences this has taught me.
Pearson Students: Ever learn an unexpected valuable lesson?! Share with students by commenting below!
Fadi Egho is a student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas studying economics. He is an aspiring data scientist. In his free time he enjoys volunteering at school functions, tutoring classmates, reading Milton Friedman, and high-altitude ziplining… not necessarily in that order.
Fadi is a Pearson Student Insider. To learn more about the program and apply, click here.