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Teens and Summer

Stageoflife.com Teens and summer trend reportStageofLife.com Trend Report:  "Summer Reinvention" - How will you make this summer one you'll always remember?

School is ending for the year.  Summer is beginning.  How are you going to do something this summer that will make it special...one you'll always remember?

Students and StageofLife.com bloggers submitted their essays that captured the essence of their feelings as they answered the question,

"How will you make this summer one you'll never forget?"

Teens and Summer - Trend Report Overview:

VISITS:  Over 6,200 teens and college students visited the StageofLife.com student poll and writing contest during the month's writing prompt (June 2013) from across the US (all 50 states) and dozens of international countries.
  • TEENS and SURVEY DATA:  434 students fully completed the national survey sharing their plans to have an unforgettable summer. 
  • ESSAY THEMES:  Dozens of topics were discussed, but four major themes were collectively revealed by teens in their summer essays. 
  • STUDENT ESSAYS Over 120 student bloggers submitted a qualifying essay to the Teens and Summer national writing contest answering the question, "How will you make this summer one you'll never forget?"  
  • ESSAY WINNER:  First, second, and third place winners, 4 Runners Up, and 16 Semi-Finalists were selected. 

Background - With summer beginning, we wanted to hear how students will make their summer one they will always remember. We asked students to creatively describe their summer plans in an essay.

Read what teens said in their essay submissions below.

PART I - TEENS AND SUMMER STATISTICS - SURVEY RESULTS

Before submitting their StageofLife.com writing contest essay, teens were asked to complete the Stage of Life monthly national survey about their summer plans. Here are the teen statistics from the survey...

  • More students finishing 11th grade responded to our national survey than any other grade. 28.3% of respondents just finished 11th grade
  • 59% of students plan to take a vacation with their parents this summer
  • 74.9% of students will volunteer this summer
  • 38% of students plan to read 9 or more books this summer
  • 60.4% of students plan to spend more time outdoors than indoors
  • 56.2% of students will not have a summer job
  • 46.2% of students will sleep til 9:00am or later during their summer off
  • Only 19.1% of students feel that getting a tan is important during the summer
  • 90.3% of students spend more time with their family in the summer
  • Only 5.8% of students don't plan on seeing any movies in the theater while 62.9% plan to see 1 to 4 moviesteens and summer survey results
  • 53.5% of students don't plan on attending any concerts
To read the full national survey results, click the PDF icon to save the free download.

PART II - TEENS AND SUMMER ESSAY THEMES

Students submitted their writing contest essays to StageofLife.com.  From the 100+ qualifying teen essay submissions, several themes and trends emerged about how students planned to make their summer unforgettable:

Themes and Trends from the Summer Reinvention Essays...

  • teens and summer trend report Myself: Most teens look to summer as a time for transformation. They want to be better, more confident, and more in shape. Essentially, these teens are looking to become their ideal selves—and three months of down time is the perfect time to do this.
  • Relaxing & Hobbies: Summer is a time for relaxation and doing nothing. Or, for some teens, strengthening their interest in a fun hobby, like sports, writing, or entrepreneurship.
  • Working: With college coming up quickly for a lot of teens, many admitted to getting a job to earn some cash this summer. Working is a great way to develop a sense of responsibility and meet new people, which many of these teens are looking forward to.
  • School: A surprising number of teens said that they would spend the summer doing something most teens like reprieve from: studying! These teens were eager to crack open SAT books, or do exciting summer programs at local colleges.

PART III - READ THE TEENS AND SUMMER  ESSAYS

Teens Blog on StageofLife.comImmediately below, you'll find links to the StageofLife.com winning essay, our runners-up, semi-finalists, and 120+ essays from college students and teenagers about their summer plans.

Please take a few moments to read an essay or two, especially our winners, runners-up, and finalists.

If you have the time, make a comment on the responses you enjoyed the most.  We know the student writers will love hearing your positive input (they'll get an email notifying them if you comment on their writing contest entry).


Stage of Life writing contest winnerTeen & College Essay Contest Winner and Place Finishers:


4 Runners-Up (in no particular order):
StageofLife.com student essay writers - Runners Up
  1. Summer Reinvention: Running by timeflieswhenyoureplayingmusic (This teen plans on replacing bad body habits with running)

  2. Summer Reinvention: Debauchery by potterchild (This teen wants to take advantage of their remaining youth)
  3. Summer Reinvention: Making Pancakes and More by serasays729 (A lengthy metaphor for pancakes)
  4. Summer Reinvention: Going Home, Giving Back by Chocolatebunny (She will volunteer to teach English in a poverty-stricken area in Sri Lanka) 
StageofLife.com teen essay writers - Semi-Finalists16 Semi-Finalists (in no particular order):
  1. Summer Reinvention: A Seed for the Future by watermelon123 (This teen will be studying with an ecology lab this summer)
  2. Summer Reinvention: The Five-Star Summer by samanthaelise (This teen’s summer might not be life-changing, but it is fun)
  3. Summer Reinvention: Chasing My Dream of Owning a T-Shirt Brand by Eva Ren (This teen will explore owning and operating a t-shirt company)
  4. Summer Reinvention: Doing Things Bit (and Only by) Bit by Nies (This teen isn’t sure what she’ll do to reinvent herself)
  5. Summer Reinvention: Pursuing My Interests by barnesy96 (This teen will discover new things that she’ll love to do)
  6. Summer Reinvention: Discovering Myself by RxNZXP (This teen will spend time away from toxic relationships)
  7. Summer Reinvention: Finding My Identity by jordangormaly (She wants to be set “free”)
  8. Summer Reinvention: There’s Something New Under the Sun by chewbaccacat (This is a summer for adventure)
  9. Summer Reinvention: The Unexpected by garizzy (This military brat has had their fair share of strange/outrageous summers)
  10. Summer Reinvention: Reality is Overrated by rin_kunag (This teen will spend the summer with books, movies, and TV)
  11. Summer Reinvention: A Turning Point by lookingforanswers (This teen will attend summer camp at a medical school)
  12. Summer Reinvention: The Road to Independence by amandapanda640 (She will be traveling solo to Atlanta for summer classes)
  13. Summer Reinvention: To Europe, For Science! by Papples (He’ll be exploring Europe first thing this summer)
  14. Summer Reinvention: Eradicating my ignorance and naiveté by Julieshiozaki (She longs to travel)
  15. Summer Reinvention: Making a New Friend by keb33 (This teen will help out at a camp for physically and mentally disabled children)
  16. Summer Reinvention: Serving Those Who Serve by eatsleepbasketball16 (This teen wants to gather donations for soldiers serving overseas)
    WINNERS  NON-STUDENT ENTRIES

    We received submissions on this writing prompt from many of the life stages and generations on StageofLife.com.  Here are the Summer Reinvention Essay Contest Winners from our non-student categories...


    StageofLIfe.com writing contest submissions

    Read All Qualifying Teen & College Essays for the National StageofLife.com Writing Contest
    - "How will you make this summer one you'll never forget?"

    The essays below were written by Stage of Life teen writers for the monthly writing contest

    Camping/The Great Outdoors

    1. Summer Reinvention: Born to be (in the) Wild by pupcake4832 (Summer homework and the great outdoors… what’s better?)
    2. Summer Reinvention: Reacquainting Myself with the Embrace of the Outdoors and the Journey Towards New Heights by MrAudaciousPastryMan (This teen will spend time in nature, improving his pole vault skills)
    3. Summer Reinvention: Looking to the future while holding onto the past by vbobba (This teen will spend time doing things he won’t be able to do next summer)
    4. Summer Reinvention: Finding a Balance by aznxo (This teen will play club water polo)
    5. Summer Reinvention: Getting Everyone to Get Active Outdoors by Jacinette (This teen wants to see her family do outdoor acitivities)
    6. Summer Reinvention: A Seed for the Future by watermelon123 (This teen will be studying with an ecology lab this summer)

    Family/Friends/Love

    1. Summer Reinvention: Who? by Cassysshot (People make memories, not places)
    2. Summer Reinvention: Beautifully Independent by hootie248482 (She plans to avoid summer relationships)
    3. Summer Reinvention: Sailing Through Life by LWRQ (This teen won’t let work get in the way of fun)
    4. Summer Reinvention: Reconnecting, Preparing, Reminiscing by reedpiper33 (She and some friends formed a classical music playing quartet)
    5. Summer Reinvention: Enjoy the Moment by Linnea Bell (She will spend time with family)
    6. Summer Reinvention by davidmoristb (This teen will spend more time with friends)
    7. Summer Reinvention: Family and morals by vannahXiris (This teen wants to repair their relationship with their mother and step-father)
    8. Summer Reinvention: Boycott social networking and adopt face-to-face conversing by Sania Ghani (This teen wants to drop social networks)
    9. Summer Reinvention by alana.hofstede (Summer is a time to bond with friends and family)
    10. Summer Reinvention: Let’s Clear the Skies by aisyahlyana (Singapore’s PSI was recently over 400--hazardous)
    11. Summer Reinvention: The Five-Star Summer by samanthaelise (This teen’s summer might not be life-changing, but it is fun)
    12. Summer Reinvention: Getting closer to friends and finding more by CupcakeryQueen (This teen wants to make more friends)
    13. Summer Reinvention: Hoping for Heartbreak by ashiling13 (This teen wants to fall in love… for real)

    Hobbies

    1. Summer Reinvention: My Pooch, My Championship, and My Book by owalakoala (Her grandmother bought her a laptop specifically for writing)
    2. Summer Reinvention: Giving up my free time to show my little sister how to play tennis by Justine (She will teach her sister the basics of tennis)
    3. Summer Reinvention: Last minute touch by MichaelKhorram (He will spend this summer writing a book)
    4. Summer Reinvention: Chasing My Dream of Owning a T-Shirt Brand by Eva Ren (This teen will explore owning and operating a t-shirt company)
    5. Summer Reinvention: A New Beginning by sunraisin (This teen will become one of two captains for color guard)
    6. Summer Reinvention: Doing Things Bit (and Only by) Bit by Nies (This teen isn’t sure what she’ll do to reinvent herself)
    7. Summer Reinvention: Making a Dream Become Reality by violinfreak8 (She will practice for an important, upcoming, 15 minute audition)
    8. Summer Reinvention: 3.1 Miles to Victory by lauradrama (She will overcome a previous title of slowest kid in class to become a runner)
    9. Summer Reinvention: Running by timeflieswhenyoureplayingmusic (This teen plans on replacing bad body habits with running)
    10. Summer Reinvention: My plans are to become an all-rounder this summer and excel in everything by Kanika Garg (This teen will master a little bit of everything)
    11. Summer Reinvention: Astral Times by Cinque17 (This teen will practice Astral Projection)
    12. Summer Reinvention: Here Comes the Sun by 1032raymaker (This teen plans on taking up running)
    13. Summer Reinvention: Pursuing My Interests by barnesy96 (This teen will discover new things that she’ll love to do)
    14. Summer Reinvention: Accomplishment by Orange.you.glad (She hopes to design her own fashion line)
    15. Summer Reinvention: Painting is a Passion by LaurenAmber10 (She will practice painting her summer memories)
    16. Summer Reinvention: Exploring by pahlmaggie (She will explore her surroundings)
    17. Summer Reinvention: The Return Marching Band by Mickirose72 (She vows to become a better marcher)
    18. Summer Reinvention: Becoming a Religiously Tolerant Atheist by Dash (This teen will read the Bible)
    19. Summer Reinvention: Doing something for myself by adeliemelon (She will reach level 3 in cheerleading)
    20. Summer Reinvention: To Become a River Rock by LuckyStar101 (She will immerse herself in her community)
    21. Summer Reinvention: Worming my Way into Writing by sindhu madhuri (This teen has been bitten by the writing bug)
    22. Summer Reinvention: I’m going for my dreams  and a new start to my life by anna5cherry (This teen gave someone a love letter—and ran)

    Myself

    1. Summer Reinvention: Forgetting Passion and Finding Myself by Inspired (It is now time to zone out and soul-search)
    2. Summer Reinvention: Project Manic Pixie Dream Girl by elisabeth19 (She wants to set weekly goals for herself to become her ideal self)
    3. Summer Reinvention: I am throwing out junk food and eating healthy by courness (She has a summer weight goal)
    4. Summer Reinvention: Changing my view of Life by koukou2 (Focus on bettering yourself)
    5. Summer Reinvention: How will you make this summer one you’ll always remember? by BubblyMisaki (This teen will enjoy doing community service events)
    6. Summer Reinvention: Finding Myself by mkaypour851 (This teen will spend her summer working and preparing for adulthood)
    7. Summer Reinvention: The Final Countdown by ikuiku (This teen will be working and preparing for the future)
    8. Summer Reinvention: Discovering Myself by RxNZXP (This teen will spend time away from toxic relationships)
    9. Summer Reinvention: Day by Day by nguyner (This teen will shift their focus on life)
    10. Summer Reinvention: Becoming “That Girl” by juliapugliese (She will become the person she wants to be)
    11. Summer Reinvention: Finding My Identity by jordangormaly (She wants to be set “free”)
    12. Summer Reinvention: I Don’t Have Time For Waiting—I Want to Change Now by mylifemystory14 (She will stop pursuing the scale and start loving her body)
    13. Summer Reinvention: Learning to Love and Accept My Body by care.durrans (She structured a safe and healthy diet plan with her mom)
    14. Summer Reinvention: Making My Own Decisions by tikiturbo (He will be more assertive about what he wants)
    15. Summer Reinvention: To Be Me by pinkunicorns12 (She has resolved to try to get along with her stepmom)
    16. Summer Reinvention: A different kind of change by salma (She has stopped being afraid of change)
    17. Summer Reinvention: Learning to Live as I Breathe by annacflowers (This teen will take some time to focus on herself and learn to balance life)
    18. Summer Reinvention: Voila! Here comes the new and improved Ewaq by Ewaq (This teen will try to react positively to other peoples’ criticism)
    19. Summer Reinvention: A Brick Wall by KSP (This teen wants a whole new answer to “Who am I?")
    20. Summer Reinvention: Dear Future Self by IRR1996 (This teen wants to transform this summer)
    21. Summer Reinvention: Living Past My Boundaries by LexiFos (Summer isn’t fun when you have depression)
    22. Summer Reinvention: Defining Me Without Her by alaska13 (Her best friendship turned sour in eighth grade)
    23. Summer Reinvention by jessica.frexo (A diary entry that promises to work hard)
    24. Summer Reinvention: Growing Up by Mandy (She will discover what she wants to do in ten years)
    25. Summer Reinvention: A New Way of Living by ElizabethYW (This teen wants to see the world as she’s never seen it)
    26. Summer Reinvention: Me, Myself, and I by Jenny Jeon (She will become a happier and more confident version of herself)

    Relaxing

    1. Summer Reinvention: There’s Something New Under the Sun by chewbaccacat (This is a summer for adventure)
    2. Summer Reinvention: The Great Outdoors by ann33095 (This teen plays to write and “do the summer thing”)
    3. Summer Reinvention: The Unexpected by garizzy (This military brat has had their fair share of strange/outrageous summers)
    4. Summer Reinvention: Debauchery by potterchild (This teen wants to take advantage of their remaining youth)
    5. Summer Reinvention: Reality is Overrated by rin_kunag (This teen will spend the summer with books, movies, and TV)
    6. Summer Reinvention: Letting Go by nisha_soma (She isn’t sure what summer will bring, but she’s ready for it)
    7. Summer Reinvention: Everything in a Summer I Want by emilynielsen (This teen wants to capture and remember every memory)
    8. Summer Reinvention: Busy, On My Own Terms by jacobUgalde (This teen will be busy, but only with fun)
    9. Summer Reinvention: Prepare, Venture, Serve by Brigham (This teen will take advantage of free time)
    10. Summer Reinvention: Unforgettable Summer by jawatkins18 (Summer is about bursting out from your comfort zone)
    11. Summer Reinvention: A Summer to Remember! by Cardellichio (This teen plans on getting a license and car)
    12. Summer Reinvention: Laughter by differentascanbe (This teen’s simple goal is to find more time to laugh)
    13. Summer Reinvention: Change of Plans by sydbuc14 (This teen’s summer plans were dashed after a devastating knee injury)
    14. Summer Reinvention: Loving Life by futurejournalist (This teen is eager to start the summer)
    15. Summer Reinvention: The reinvention of a small town girl by jennybeann (This summer promises to be freeing)
    16. Summer Reinvention: A Mystery in the Morning by StavNachum (Make everyday an adventure)
    17. Summer Reinvention: Making Pancakes and More by serasays729 (A lengthy metaphor for pancakes)

    School

    1. Summer Reinvention: I am zipping my mouth and learning ASL by courness (This teen wants to do something good)
    2. Summer Reinvention: A Turning Point by lookingforanswers (This teen will attend summer camp at a medical school)
    3. Summer Reinvention: Summer School is Cool by pgarudadri (She will take classes on biotechnology at UCSD)
    4. Summer Reinvention: Planning my future by Sarah F (This teen will research colleges to possibly attend)
    5. Summer Reinvention: SAT Studying in Paradise by kaylindee (She will be attending an intense SAT study class, in addition to a trip to Asia) 
    6. Summer Reinvention: The Road to Independence by amandapanda640 (She will be traveling solo to Atlanta for summer classes)
    7. Summer Reinvention: Farewell Rhummy and Rhubarb Pie by whaleslikebaroque15 (She will be attending a creative writing program)
    8. Summer Reinvention by raneanoreen (This teen is doing industrial training in the chemistry field)
    9. Summer Reinvention: The Traveling Prep Course by Gody14 (This teen will prepare for the SATs)
    10. Summer Reinvention: Can I get a second chance in life? by thecutephoenix (This Indian teen wishes she had spent her summer getting to know herself instead of studying)
    11. Summer Reinvention: It’s time for changes by Natalija (This Serbian teen will be studying languages and hosting an American exchange student)
    12.  Summer Reinvention: Becoming a Better Me by DanBuhBye (This teen wants to learn new languages and pursue writing)

    Travel

    1. Summer Reinvention: To Europe, For Science! by Papples (He’ll be exploring Europe first thing this summer)
    2. Summer Reinvention by janepudding (Her normally hectic life is capped with a trip to Shanghai this summer)
    3. Summer Reinvention: To enjoy every moment, fully! by Ocean (She has three big trips planned for the summer)
    4. Summer Reinvention: Changing Lives in East Asia by jeremylintastic7 (This teen is going on a mission trip to teach English and evangelize)
    5. Summer Reinvention: Going Home, Giving Back by Chocolatebunny (She will volunteer to teach English in a poverty-stricken area in Sri Lanka)
    6. Summer Reinvention: A Revelation and Reflection of Summers Throughout the Years by deadsingh (This teen’s goal is to help those with Leprosy and Hepatits in India)
    7. Summer Reinvention: Deciding my Future by kristin.edwards.13 (She will fly to Purdue and Boston U. to see colleges)
    8. Summer Reinvention: Saying goodbye to my old ways, and hello to Panama! by julianaverhage (She will be volunteering with her church group in the poorest areas of Panama)
    9. Summer Reinvention: Exploring the Possibilities by jennyzhcl (She will be travelling the east coast)
    10. Summer Reinvention: Learning German by mmantaro (This teen is traveling to Germany this summer)
    11. Summer Reinvention: Eradicating my ignorance and naiveté by Julieshiozaki (She longs to travel)

    Working/Volunteering

    1. Summer Reinvention: Too School for Cool by UndaCova_Star (She plans on getting a new summer job)
    2. Summer Reinvention: Prepared to Brace Myself for the Future by sydneydong (She has an internship at a local hospital)
    3. Summer Reinvention: My Summer Job by michaelnguyen96 (He will be helping his uncle with his uncle’s new LLC)
    4. Summer Reinvention: The working world by cats=life (She hopes to embrace the “working girl” lifestyle)
    5. Summer Reinvention: Making a New Friend by keb33 (This teen will help out at a camp for physically and mentally disabled children)
    6. Summer Reinvention: Volunteering, working, and relaxing by alliebell06 (This teen plans on volunteering with an SDSU grad student)
    7. Summer Reinvention: Time for a Change by Dubravka (This teen will teach elementary and middle school students the joys of math)
    8. Summer Reinvention: Something New by BenW (He will attempt to plan and complete his Eagle Scout project)
    9. Summer Reinvention: All by Myself in the Bay City by Leland (This teen will be living by herself and interning in San Francisco)
    10. Summer Reinvention: Giving Back by danika (This teen is involved in several volunteer opportunities, including Key Club)
    11. Summer Reinvention: Say Goodbye to Careful Days by shananaynaay11 (She will have be a teacher’s assistant this summer)
    12. Summer Reinvention: An Adventure in Entrepreneurism by Megiris (She will be opening her own one-on-one mentoring service)
    13. Summer Reinvention: The Ultimate Gift by dxiang28 (This teen is working at a camp for disabled children)
    14. Summer Reinvention by avatarnovetsky (She will speak up at her local teen center and volunteer to help other teens struggling with depression)
    15. Summer Reinvention: Community Service in Neurology by sraman195 (This teen will be volunteering at a local hospital)
    16. Summer Reinvention: Change Doesn’t Always Have to be Scary by IRR1996 (She has a busy summer ahead of her)
    17. Summer Reinvention: Serving Those Who Serve by eatsleepbasketball16 (This teen wants to gather donations for soldiers serving overseas)
    18. Summer Reinvention: Forgetting the Labels by butterflyele (This teen will try not to judge others at the New England Leadership Conference)
    19. Summer Reinvention by Baishali (She will volunteer at different organizations to see what she likes)
    20. Summer Reinvention: Baking for myself and making a meal for others by CupcakeryQueen (She will start her own bakery)
    21. Summer Reinvention: Superman’s Cookies by patpenn (This teen will volunteer at soup kitchens, just like her grandpa)


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    We welcome you to explore our writing contests, our mission and the literacy principals on which it Stage of Life was founded.

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    Below you will find all of the monthly writing contests and teen trend reports from the last five years hosted by StageofLife.com.  Our dedication to digital literacy efforts have reached over 1,000,000 students and teachers in the last half decade, received mention on TIME.com, and features in the news.  Feel free to click through and read the top essay submissions from any given month.  StageofLife.com is honored to be one of the most-visited writing contests for students in the world.  We love working with you as we celebrate the journey as life-long readers and writers...

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