Summer is the perfect time for Tribes to re-evaluate life goals and get up to speed with all the fun stuff they’ve missed out on during the year. While they look forward to catching up with friends, it’s also a good time to travel and prepare themselves for the future as they brush up their CVs and find the means to fund student living (and pay off loans)! Although school and university is closed for summer, some Tribes are still studying to stay on track and ensure they achieve the grades they want. That said our Tribes do still prioritise having fun with their friends, and making the most of the summer months as a time to relax and spend time with their loved ones.
Over the first three weeks of August we spoke to a group of 75 of our Tribes about what they’re getting up to over the long summer months this year.
“I am starting my PGCE course in September therefore over the summer I have been doing a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) course designed to prepare me for teaching science.” – Female, 20
We asked our Tribes to write a journal entry describing their typical summer day. Most made reference to their simple summer highlights, such as watching sunsets, nature, good food, special moments with friends and family, and just enjoying having the extra time to relax and laze about.
“Wake up, have some fresh fruit, head to the gym and do a workout class. Then walk home and sunbathe a bit. Have a light lunch in the sun, then walk the dog. Have a nice barbeque for dinner – typical very chilled summer weekend day.” – Female, 16
“I’d go to work in the morning and then in the evening I’d go to the park with my friends or play some Badminton or go to the gym and at night I’d catch up on some TV or play some games online with my friends” – Male, 20, Urban, VOD:Bingers
“There’s nothing better than lying in the roasting sun with a cat purring by your side. I’d listen to some music or a podcast and try to get a decent tan. Later, once all the children and families have gone home, it’s the perfect time to go drive to the beach with friends. Even better if you get a McDonalds to eat on the way and a McFlurry for sitting by the sea and chatting for hours. Maybe even going for a paddle if it’s warm enough. Then you can all drive home while belting out songs on the radio.” – Female, 22, Leading edge, Short:Snaps
“What a beautiful sunset! Took the dogs for a long walk earlier. Drying off from an evening dip in the sea. Having fish later with my mum.” – Female, 16
“My dog being lazy and sleeping all day, because I am also being lazy and sleeping a lot this summer haha” – 17
“We’re going to have a very very bad winter because the UK has been granted another week of sun. Suspicious but grateful, we went to the park to lie in the sun…because that’s what we’re expected to do, right? Stretched out on our picnic blanket, my sister and I lie on our back, squinting up at the sunny sky. We were silent, not because we were relaxed. We were trying not to be typically British and complain about the heat. Instead, we pretended our skin wasn’t melting and tried to enjoy the sweltering hot sun because tomorrow, it’d probably be raining.” – Female, 20
“A usual summer day for me includes waking up far earlier than I hoped. I spend the morning listening to music and playing on my Xbox instead of going outside. In the afternoon and evenings, I try to be more sociable and meet up with my group of friends. These nights either include drinking too much and getting emo together, or drinking nothing and playing video games together or making fun of films!” – Female, 16
“Today I met up with my friends and we went to the green. We bought some snacks for a picnic and sat chatting and playing games in the sunshine” – Female, 16, Mainstream, VOD:Socials
“I woke up fairly early for a day off because the sun was coming through my bedroom curtains. I had a chilled breakfast outside listening to the birds. I met with my friend for a nice dog walk but we stuck to the woods so the dogs didn’t get too hot in the sun! I also went out with my sister to a local market where we got food and had a picnic in the park. We then met the rest of the family and went out on some rowing boats on a river to test out possible hen party ideas! After a busy day we just had a chilled dinner in the garden and chatted and played games.” – Female, 23, Mainstream, Short:Snaps
We asked our Tribes to rank their summer priorities on a scale of 1-5, (1 being of low importance and 5 being high importance). We found that a top priority for our Tribes this summer is spending quality time with loved ones as well as relaxing. Summer is one of the rare times of the year where they can truly focus on themselves and wind down. The main goal of their summer is filling their time with fun and adventures before they enter back into the realm of responsibilities.
“I went to Edinburgh for a city break a couple of weeks ago, and went with my girlfriend.” – Male, 19, Leading edge, Pop:Socials
Summer is an exciting time for our Tribes, with over half of our 75 respondents going away on summer holidays this year. Our Tribes relish the chance to go on holiday with friends or partners, either to celebrate the end of studies, or just to enjoy the taste of freedom and go off on an adventure.
Holidays with the family are also favoured by Tribes who want to spend quality time with loved ones recuperating on a city trip or long vacation. In our ever-globalising world, Tribes are taking advantage of more opportunities to visit family and friends who live abroad as increasing connections allows them to explore different parts of the world more easily.
“Usually, I would go abroad with a group of friends, but this year, I’ve just graduated from uni so I’m trying to save money and get my life in order! Instead, I’m going to Cornwall with my family, and up to Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival with a couple of friends–Female, 20, Leading Edge, Short:Snaps
“Some family members and I are going away to Berlin for a short break to celebrate my 18th birthday!” – Female, 17
“Ibiza with the boys” – Male, 20
Over the summer our Tribes are travelling to destinations all over the world on holiday with their friends and family. Most of our Tribes are enjoying what Europe has to offer, mainly soaking up the sun in Spain and Greece. Whilst a lucky few are venturing further afield to places in USA or Asia. Others are making the most of an uncharacteristically warm British summer by going on trips to the seaside or a variety of local festivals.
“I took an end-of-exams trip to Galway with my roommates, I went to Lyon for a month to do a French course, I’m currently in Spain with my family, and I’ll be travelling around England/Wales in August for a week with my friends” – Female, 19, Mainstream, Pop:Socials
“I’m going travelling around North America with my brother, to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Texas, Vegas and San Diego! Can’t wait.” – Female, 20, Aspirant, VOD:Bingers
“Never really go abroad, every year I go to Wales with my family to our caravan. It’s nice as you don’t have to worry about travel or holiday money. Weather’s not too hot and not too cold either” – Female, 19, Mainstream, Solo:Selectvies
Given the UK’s hotter-than-average summer, many of our Tribes have been spending their time chilling out in their local areas catching up with friends and relatives, checking out the latest events nearby or going to festivals and gigs. Spending your holiday in the UK can either mean a visit to the seaside or going to the theatre depending on which part of the UK you’re from. It’s also a great chance for Tribes to walk down memory lane and take part in activities they enjoyed as children as well.
“I love hanging out in the park with my friends, a few drinks and good music” – Female, 23
“During the summer in the UK I like to take trips to the seaside as I don’t live near the sea so it’s a great day out. It also reminds me of when I was younger and went to the seaside so I’m always eating candy floss and ice cream” – Female, 18, Mainstream, Pop:Socials
“There’s so much to do; Alton Towers, days out at the beach (Brighton is my fave!), we always head into the city to do some shopping too. Hiking, camping and having summer BBQs are also some of the best things to do” – Female, 17
“I’m not a traveller so I remained in my city – good old Newcastle. Me and my friends go out most weekends and that’s it really. I’m going to Edinburgh for 2 days in September for the first time ever so that’ll be cool” – Female, 19
Local summer fun also involved spontaneous activities where a minority of members got involved in TV auditions or jumped on stage. They enjoyed doing something new with friends as it gave them something to look back on; food festivals, a trip to Pride, having fun on a boat or a going to a political march! As long as they were making memories, that’s all that really mattered.
And when they’re not socialising or spending time in the great outdoors, summer fun can simply be catching up on the your favourite TV series or podcasts, especially among our VOD:Bingers.
“I’ve been gone this summer but usually we go to the cinema, beach, city shopping trips and camping. We also often go to literature or food festivals” – Female, 20, Mainstream, Short:Snaps
“Going to film festivals is a personal tradition of mine (since last year). I’m a massive cinephile and I love spending the summer going to exclusive screenings and Q&A’s” – Female, 21, Leading Edge, Short:Snaps
“This summer I have been to the XFactor audition with my mum, took my 2 year-old cousin on his first train ride and spent some time with my friends and family” –Anonymous
“Festivals, picnics (since we actually have the weather for it!), theme parks, short breaks in the UK, see as many films in the cinema, water fights (you’re never too old) and many more” – Female, 20
Of the 75 Tribes we had take part in this task, 43% said they have a summer job, predominantly working flexibly within the hospitality or retail industries. The main motivation for these Tribes is to earn some money, which is no surprise given that many of them are still in education or at the early stages of their career.
However, money isn’t the sole reason they choose to work. Many Tribes see it as way to discover new industries, build new contacts, complement their studies and become independent. They view these experiences as providing valuable additions to their personal statements and CVs, whilst also helping them curb the boredom of a long summer.
“I am a camp counsellor. I have a job because I didn’t want to be bored for three months and I wanted to meet new people and challenge myself” – Female, 19
“I’m working at Next to make some money. I need to pay off my student overdraft – I spent too much after exams!” – Male, 20, Mainstream, Short:Snaps
“The past two summers I have worked, but now that I’ve graduated I’m trying to find a proper job! When I’m not working I like to just chill at home catching up on tv/movies/podcasts, go shopping, or hang out with friends I haven’t seen in ages.” – Female, 21, Aspirant, VOD:Bingers
“I am a waitress, I work to earn money to fund my summer adventures, and also to have some structure in my life over the summer and so I don’t get bored” – Female, 20
“I have a bar job, so I can earn money, but it is very irregular. I’ve just graduated and need income” – Female, 20
“I work in two different pharmacies to get experience for my degree as well as some money” – Male, 20, Urban, VOD:Bingers
Our Tribes mentioned a range of summer jobs that they are involved in, including:
“I work at Holland and Barrett as an associate, which I have done for a while now but have picked up lots more shifts over the summer. I work to earn money for myself, and to keep myself busy over summer, whilst gaining experience and building my CV” – Female, 20, Aspirant, VOD:Bingers
“I work in a coffee shop, I need money to contribute to my university costs and otherwise I’d be super bored over the summer. I have a job because it’s a way of becoming more social and independent” – Female, 17
“Tutoring, it’s big money for a few hours of work a day” – Female, 21, Aspirant, VOD:Socials
“I am currently in my final week as a Durham Student Ambassador. During the summer I have been travelling to a number of UCAS and Higher Education fairs, and working at a summer school for aspiring students. I have a summer job to pay for holidays and uni expenses” – Male, 19, Leading Edge, Pop:Socials
Being financially savvy has become a crucial survival skill among this generation as they seek ways to finance their trips and be in a secure position to fund their education. The cuts made to student living means that Tribes have to be more conscious of how they spend their allowances and would rather alleviate any potential anxiety before the start of a new term. A new survey from Save The Student suggests that 78% of students are concerned about making ends meet as their maintenance loan is not enough to get them through student living.
“I have worked 4 different jobs this summer but I have 2 main ones. One is at a local attraction/farm and shopping village place where I mostly work in the various catering outlets however I am quitting that one in favour of my other job which is at a small campsite where I just generally help out with cleaning and greeting campers. I have worked these various jobs so that ideally I don’t have to work whilst I’m at uni/don’t have to work more than one or two days a week at uni since my loan is so low. Also I am going to Amsterdam and a couple of weekends away over summer so to do this I need money.” – Female, 18, Aspirant, VOD:Bingers
“I work at McDonald’s and I work here because as a student for me it’s the most flexible job out there. I’m able to take time off when I want and still get 5 weeks 6 days paid holiday which is great during summer as I can take a couple of weeks off and still get money.” – Female, 18
Nearly 30% of our Tribes also spend their time volunteering over the summer. Despite not getting paid they consider this work to be equally important in building their life experiences and contributing positively towards their future. These Tribes speak of the importance of giving something back to the community, and enjoy spending their free time helping a cause that is close to their hearts.
A range of volunteering activities were mentioned by our Tribes, including:
“Art festival volunteer, it provides me a chance to discover the industry that I’m studying towards at uni” – Female, 18, Leading Edge, VOD:Bingers
“I worked at a music festival to earn my ticket for free and have summer allowance” – Female, 18, Leading edge, VOD:Bingers
“Just community service to help people for their well-being. I try to do some volunteer work in community help and do my part“ – Male, 24
“I’m a youth mentor for Tower Hamlets and I decided to become one because I wanted to make use of my summer holidays and have something to add to my personal statement for university” – Female, 16
“I’m volunteering for Oxfam at Boomtown festival. It was a good opportunity to get together with my friends again as they’re volunteering too. It’ll be a great event and will look good on my CV… also, it’s just something to do as I am BORED” – Female, 20
“I have just started volunteering at my local animal rescue centre. I do it because I love animals and I have free time, so I can’t think of anything better than helping a cause which is really important to me” – Female, 19, Mainstream, VOD:Socials
Tribes shared their summer songs with great enthusiasm; frequent mentions of Drake, artists they saw at festivals and classic oldies with the likes of Bob Marley.
“Dean – Put My Hands On You. I think it’s a refreshing tune for the heat and his voice makes me forget the summer trouble, instead I focus on enjoying myself” – Female, 18, Leading edge, VOD:Bingers
“It’s ‘Pictures of Girls’ by Wallows atm. It makes me feel happy and nostalgic and kind of motivated all at the same time” – Female, 17, Mainstream, Pop:Socials
“I think I’d have to say Shotgun by George Ezra. It has a melody which just embodies summer for me and the lyrics and music video are summery too :)” – Mainstream, VOD:Socials
“Liebe by Moop Mama – I heard this song every morning at 7am because it was our camp song and it just sums up my time at camp.” – Female, 19
“Bob Marley – Sun Is Shining. It just has the feelgood spirit, it’s relaxed and vibrant too.” – Female, 23, Alternative, Pop:Socials
“I’m loving a bit of Katy Perry (because it’s my little cousin’s favourite it’s always on in my car) and I absolutely love P!nk, I saw her a Vfest last year and it reminds me of fun times” – Female, 23, Alternative, Pop:Socials
“My song of the summer (even though it’s like 10 years old) is Champion by Kayne West. It’s a real confidence booster, which is needed when you’re travelling alone” – Female, 21, Leading Edge, Short:Snaps