The Mum Network

Let’s Face It, Schoolies Will Never Change









I am hungover today and I rarely drink during the week so it’s twice as painful sitting here with bright light, trying to be witty and write entertaining content.

I went out for a drink with a colleague last night to catch up on all work related stuff and after four, or maybe it was five, Sav Blancs, I’m feeling really dusty today. I just can’t drink like I used to. Four drinks is hardly hitting it hard but I’m a cheap drunk these days. The one thing I can say about my drinking prowess is that I’ve downed enough vinos in my time to have trained self to avoid any cringe worthy  ‘why did I say that?’ or why did I do that?’ moments. I’m fully in control and can always remember what I say and do when I’ve had a few too many.

The same can’t be said of teens.

The same news story pops up year in year out, yesterday there was a story relating to schools who are thinking of banning their students from going to schoolies week in Queensland because it’s got ‘out of control’. I’m not so sure about that though. It’s always been out of control hasn’t it?

I was watching the latest episode of Mamamia’s show on Sky News (front page of Mamamia) where 42 year old social commentator Sam deBrito explained that his Schoolies experience could have changed his life. With a few too many beers in his bonnet he threw a coffee table from the 36th floor of his hotel room narrowly missing a security guard by about 8 feet. By his own admission, he was lucky it didn’t change his life in the worst possible way. By my calculations this event at schoolies was about 24 years ago. Not 5 years ago, 24 YEARS AGO.

The same type of immature and irresponsible behavior happened during my time on the Gold Coast and I can only say thanks to News Limited for calling me back early for a job interview or I too could have been in trouble. It was messy, we were irresponsible and it was the first big trip away en masse with everyone we knew where we could let loose and no one cared what time we got home.

15 years after we did schoolies, this is the same type of behavior that’s been reported year in, year out. Teens laying on the beach half clothed the morning after, others not being able to handle how much alcohol they’ve consumed and a plethora of teens from different backgrounds all in one place. It’s always been a recipe for disaster, it was dangerous then and it’s dangerous now. Letting young men and women run loose on the Gold Coast where they say goodbye to study, the confines of essays, parents, boarding school and hello to a culture of devil may care, picking up the opposite sex, dress ups and irresponsible drinking is part of the journey of life. Not always a good one though, apparently 7 out of 10 teens describe their Schoolies experience as a bad one.

As I myself was drinking too much last night, I quizzed my colleague on all things to do with work, life and the universe, we came to the topic of kids. He has an 18 year old who’s at schoolies. I asked him if he was concerned or beside himself with worry that his eldest child was attending biggest post high school event in Australia with the worst reputation. His answer was simple. It’s all about trust. He trusts her. They have an amazing open relationship with their daughter, she’s a good egg with strong values and she has a great foundation. She knows the difference between right and wrong and is with a great group of friends. I admired his philosophy and made a note to ensure that I didn’t umbrella parent my kids to a point where they were banned from the event but more aware of their responsibilities when they are on tour.

You have to let them go at some stage and if it wasn’t schoolies on the Gold Coast, it would be kids running wild at Bondi. It’s a right of passage, good or bad, it’s been going for many, many years and it’s just unfortunate that some destroy what should be a fabulous experience for others.



One comment

  1. Sherelle

    I currently have an 18 year old at schoolies. “Trust” is the only way you can stop yourself from being hysterical every time you see the Gold Coast in the news. I spoke to said son last night and asked him if he had seen anything bad. His reply was “Nah, you just don’t put yourself in those situations”. Inwardly congratulated myself and husband for having this delicious child who knows how to party, but also knows right from wrong. An open, honest relationship is what gets you through the teenage years.

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