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September 6, 2011
Millennials in America: How They Spent Their Summer
 
High school and college students are heading back to classes, but the past two months have consisted of a lot of time off with family, a fair amount of work, and a little bit of romance, according to surveys by Ypulse, a leading authority on youth.

Vacation
Three out of five (61%) high school and college students took a trip during their summer break. For most students, vacations are family time, with 64% of those taking a trip with family, 40% traveling with friends, and 26% traveling with a significant other. Vacations change slightly as students get older; while 84% of high school students traveled with their families, 29% of college students traveled with a significant other.

Work
Despite a soft economy, two-thirds of students (66%) worked this summer. Of those who did land a job, most worked part-time (54%), full-time (34%), as a paid intern (16%), or as an unpaid intern (9%). Determined to keep their academic edge, nearly a third of students (29%) took summer classes. As is typical of this “do something” generation, nearly one in five (18%) volunteered this summer, a number matched by those who didn’t work, didn’t take classes, and didn’t volunteer (18%).

Escaping the Heat
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, July 2011 was the fourth warmest on record in the United States and students escaped the heat by hitting the water. Nearly two thirds of students hit the beach this summer (64%), while more than half of students (57%) hit the pool and more than a third (38%) visited a water park.

Healthy Skin is In
Escaping the effects of the sun are on the minds of Millennials, with one in six (17%) wearing SPF 50 or higher, a quarter (27%) wearing sunscreen at SPF levels between 30 and 50, and nearly one in five (18%) wearing sunscreen at SPF levels between 15 and 30. Slightly more than a third of students (34%) did not typically use sunscreen this summer.

Summer Lovin’
Millennials are much more conservative than the generation that preceded them, as evidenced by their tendency toward stable, long-term relationships. More than a third of students (35%) continued their long-term relationship into the summer, while less than one in ten started a relationship this summer (8%) or experienced a summer fling (7%). More than half of students (51%) are not currently in a relationship, with slightly less than a quarter wishing they were (24%) and slightly more than a quarter not interested in summer romance (27%).

Methodology
The results of this research are drawn from 1,326 interviews conducted among members of the SurveyU panel between July 14 and July 25, 2011. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have registered to participate in surveys for SurveyU, a Ypulse-owned online research panel. Quotas were established based on gender, state, class year, and race. The data have been weighted using National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) data to reflect the demographic composition of U.S. high school and college students.

Because the sample is based on those who initially self-selected for participation in the panel rather than a probability sample, no estimates of sampling error can be calculated. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sample error, coverage error, and measurement error.

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Melanie Shreffler is Editor of Ypulse, the leading authority on youth. Ypulse Insights is a full-service, data-driven consultancy and market research firm and Ypulse Media has developed a unique platform for youth media and marketing professionals, producing an award-winning website, a daily email newsletter (the Ypulse Daily Update), a Twitter feed, and the annual Youth Marketing Mega Mashup conference, produced in partnership with IIR.
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