With the elongated winter break, I took up a new hobby. For quite some time now, I’ve wanted a new car. There’s nothing wrong with Sasha, my 1995 Chevrolet, black Corsica, but technically, she’s not mine. The car is under my sister’s name, and I just pay her the car insurance. Now, though, I think it’s time to start looking for something new to help me save up.

I started looking at DoorDash when the pandemic began way back when. I had heard by word of mouth that it pays superbly well, and that people love the job. Once my parents pulled me from working at the retirement home in March, I didn’t have a job for a while. Though I was looking for other opportunities, it was a challenge to find suitable jobs for a minor since I was only 17 at the time. When I researched DoorDash, I saw that it, too, didn’t allow underaged workers. With that, I set it to the back burner for the time being. 

I didn’t think about it again until Christmas. I was working a job at Wawa, and life was good. The pandemic was in full effect, and everyone was living life the best that they could. As we got closer to Christmas, I reopened my application, and to my surprise, I got in! 

The way DoorDashing works is straightforward in some ways and a bit complex in others. As a Dasher, the way you get paid is simple: DoorDash gives you a base pay per order, tips, and peak pay.  Another plus is getting paid on a weekly basis. Even if people don’t tip and it’s not busy when you Dash, you receive a set amount, ranging from $3 to $5. Any tips that customers give go straight to the Dasher. For me, tips make or break whether or not I’ll take the order. 

I’ve learned that the busy times are the times to Dash for sure because peak pay is when there are so many orders lined up that DoorDash gives you between $1 to $4 extra per order as an incentive. When you open the app, it will show which locations near you are busy at that time. I can choose to stay in New Castle, or go to Newport, or even Newark and continue to Dash in that area. I try to accept orders that are roughly $1 per mile. When an order pops up on my phone, I see the distance and the guaranteed amount, and if those two numbers aren’t near each other, I normally decline the order. 

Along with these, there are a couple of other contingencies to consider before becoming a Dasher. First, DoorDash doesn’t take taxes out. You will definitely have to put money aside for taxes if you make over a certain amount in a year. I take this into consideration every time I accept an order. Something else to be aware of is the mileage on your vehicle. Sasha has been great for DoorDashing, but man, have I put some miles on her. Longer days add up to well over a hundred miles, so that is something to keep in mind. Finally, there will be days that are hard on you and your time, and that comes with any job. The bright side is that the really good days make up for it!

In general, this is a great way for Honors students to make a couple of bucks a week. Staying around Newark is fun and unique because the restaurants on Main Street are super close to campus, and I get to deliver to fellow University students. If you are looking to make a couple of extra dollars a week, jump on the DoorDash bandwagon, make a few deliveries, cash out, and go buy that video game you saw at Target. It doesn’t interrupt the studies and workload of an Honors student because employees choose their own hours. You get to hop on whenever you like and hop off when you’re done procrastinating watching that lecture. And if you are one of the people who order DoorDash to campus, my biggest request is please tip! It may be me, and you may be helping me to save up for a new car.

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