Last year, College Essay Guy launched a summer course for students seeking to brainstorm a cool project idea to stay engaged over the summer.

A year later, we’re realizing that (pandemic or not) helping students spend their downtime thinking about their values, skills, interests—and how they might put them to work in the world—is still a pretty great idea.

So this spring, the amazing Bonnie Swift and I are excited to relaunch our four-week, pay-what-you-can course to help students get creative and productive:

Uncommon Summer

A 4-week mini-course for helping students develop their leadership capacities, then brainstorm and potentially launch a self-directed project.

July 9th – 30th

In this month-long virtual course, you’ll:

  • Identify your core values and discover how they manifest in your life
  • Learn how you lead: are you more comfortable out front (envisioning big ideas) or in a supporting role (helping others get things done)?
  • Work through an OnDemand video curriculum containing all the tools you need to create, launch, and level up your self-directed project
  • Join live weekly workshop sessions with Bonnie to brainstorm ideas, give and receive feedback on each other’s projects, and troubleshoot problems and roadblocks as a group
  • Read and watch a curated selection of fantastic articles & videos on how to grow as a self-directed learner and generally become a more thoughtful and productive person
  • Become part of a closed community of peers (on Discord) to connect, collaborate, and share ideas

Basically, by the end of this program, you’ll have many of the tools you need to develop and execute your own self-directed project. (Or you’ll discover that you don’t want to develop one at all! Which—did we mention?—is totally fine.)

The course includes weekly (optional!) homework assignments and all live sessions are recorded, so you can watch them whenever you like.
“I signed up for this course so that I didn’t spend my summer doing nothing because of quarantine, but instead I was able to start my podcast like I always dreamed of doing!”
-Linda, Uncommon Summer Student (2020)

Who is this course for? Students who:

  • Want to brainstorm a cool project idea to keep them busy over the summer
  • Have a lot of creative ideas, but need some structure in order to put them into practice
  • Are already working on a project and looking for more ideas/tools/inspiration
  • Want to make a tangible contribution to their community or the larger world
  • Don’t have an idea for a project, but simply want to learn more about who they are and how they work

… But really we’re helping to prepare the next generation of leaders who are coming of age in this highly complex and unprecedented historical moment. In that sense, if the above sounds like you, you’re welcome to join the course.

This is not for students who:

  • Already have a super busy summer planned
  • Are already stressed out by the whole college process and are reading this feeling like OMG this is one. more. thing.

Just to reiterate: You do not have to do a self-directed project in order to get into college. Summer is a great time to focus on self-care. Or do some things that don’t involve saving the world.

Interested in the course?

Learn more… 


Coach Nitardy
Advance College Counselor