Sidney Wang was making minimum wage at a milk-tea company in August 2020 when she decided to open her own jewelry business. That same month, she opened an online Etsy shop called GemsbySidney.Business started booming in January 2022, when one of her TikTok videos promoting the Etsy shop went viral and accumulated almost 600,000 views. Before that, the shop's success primarily came from word of mouth; Wang's family and friends told other people about her shop. She also posted consistently on Instagram and TikTok, but said that her accounts gained many more followers after her video went viral. From January to June of this year, she booked $35,488 in sales, Insider verified with documentation. By the end of 2022, she expects to earn $47,000 — $14,000 more than last year. I didn't think my business was going to blow up the way it did, she said. Wang said a lot of the money she makes from her Etsy shop goes towards paying her current college expenses: Her tuition is usually $3,900 a semester and rent is $550 a month. She also recently bought a car with her earnings.It's all 100% from my business, she said.When Declan Black graduated high school in May 2020, he was concerned about the pandemic's impact on hiring in the user-experience (UX) design industry.We were all kind of thrown into an unfortunate circumstance in the hiring market, he said. Because of that, we had to find different opportunities than full-time jobs to continue building our portfolios. Black, who enrolled at Butler University in Indiana, set up a profile on Fiverr — a marketplace for freelance services — last year as a way to build his experience in UX design and generate income for college expenses. As an incoming sophomore, he expects his costs to increase as he moves off of campus. I'm trying to build up funds to be ready for that, he said. I won't be earning as much during the school year, so I'm trying to make up for that now.In the past four months, he's earned $3,956 through Fiverr, which Insider verified with documentation. Black said he's used 85% of the money he's made from sales on expenses like books, fees for campus activities, and other costs that his financial aid doesn't cover. Today, he typically completes two to 10 projects a week, but the income varies: one week it might be $200, and another week it might be $2,000.It gives a great sense of security, he said.Ali Dieguez always enjoyed thrift shopping while she was in college: On her way home from the gym, she'd stop by the thrift store next door to find pre-owned brand-name athletic wear. When she'd find a few pairs of Lululemon leggings that weren't her size, she'd post them on Poshmark, a resale platform. But it wasn't until she returned from her semester abroad that she realized resale could provide viable income and flexibility around her busy schedule. She started selling activewear on Poshmark in January 2020.Months later, demand for casual clothes picked up during the pandemic. The one thing that people were trying to do was work out in quarantine, she said. As governments lifted restrictions, Dieguez broadened her inventory to other clothing like dresses and denim. She also lists items on other resale platforms such as eBay, Mercari, Depop, and Curtsy to tap the wide scope of customers.In 2021, Dieguez made $13,740 in sales on Poshmark, which Insider verified with documentation. The 23-year-old put $3,668 of her earnings toward her tuition at San Diego State University last year. To manage both school and her business, Dieguez meticulously scheduled her classes, gym time, homework, Muay Thai training, and resale work. Typically, she woke up at 5 a.m. and went to bed around 7 p.m. I was kind of boring, she said. I had the same schedule basically every day, but it worked.She finished her last semester at San Diego State University in May 2022 and plans to complete her bachelor's degree in kinesiology after one more summer course. To continue her career in wellness, she's saved much of her resale earnings to enroll in a one-year massage-therapy program in the fall.I wouldn't be eligible for any financial aid, she said. But I'm able to pay all my tuition upfront because of the money I've saved from reselling.