Summer Is for Special Projects

Barry the Study Dog refuses to go to summer school, but he’s all about Shark Week.

I went to summer school. Every year. From kindergarten through my third year of college. Sixteen years of summer school.

When I told my mom that I had made the bold decision take the summer off before my fifth year of college – which was my eighth year of undergraduate courses – she was aghast, and thought my brain would fall out of my head.

For my mom, summer school counts as a “special project”. And I suppose it can be, particularly if you’re going to summer school to fill any gaps in your skills, get ahead in your favorite subjects, or take elective classes that aren’t available at your school. But for lots of students, summer school is just more school.

For those students, or for the hard-drivin’ kids out there who are committed to doing cool stuff even though their mom is also making them go to summer school, below are five ideas for summer projects.

  1. Get back into all the healthy habits you fell out of over the course of this school year. How many hours per day do you want to sleep, exercise, read, chill, practice, create, do chores, or hang out with your family? Schedule yourself an awesomely healthy life, and verily it shall come to pass.
  2. Learn to type at least 60 words per minute. If you’re still a hunt-and-peck typer, start with a goal of typing 30 wpm properly by the end of this summer.
  3. Read Don Quixote, or any long book with lots of characters requiring sustained attention that you’ve been wanting to read for years but just haven’t had the time to commit to reading yet.
  4. Work two jobs and save all the money, with the option of using the money to fund a big trip next summer.
  5. Make something, anything. And don’t try to make it good, just make it. Write a book, paint a picture, start a business, record an album, code a video game, or create a fun and practical online study skills course that will help students earn better grades in less time, so that they have more time to pursue special projects.

Any guesses how I’ll be spending my summer?

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