Schoolies Week

 

If you happen to be in any of the more popular tourist destinations in Australia in late November or early December, watch out for the high school kids out celebrating Schoolies Week. You may end up running across some of them. Schoolies is an informal Australian tradition not unlike Spring Break in the United States where recent high school graduates hit up the party spots to let off a little steam. Usually, they find places to hit the beach by day and party like rock stars by night. So, there are a few places that you might want to either avoid or seek out, depending on your opinion of being within close proximity of a bunch of 18 year old kids with loose morals, many of whom consuming copious amounts of alcohol and engaging in compulsive fornication.

Without a doubt, the most popular place to find the Schoolies crowd is Surfers Paradise in the Gold Coast. Tens of thousands of the little bastards instinctively flock to the Queensland coast like the salmon of Capistrano. Airlie Beach in the Whitsunday Islands of Queensland and Byron Bay in New South Wales are also common destinations. Some other destinations include Rottnest Island just off Perth in Western Australia, Magnetic Island in Townsville, the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Victor Harbour in South Australia, the Surf Coast in Victoria, and even Port Macquarie, to a lesser degree. In Western Australia, the towns of Busselton and Dunsborough have also been popular destinations, especially for those who can’t or don’t want to go to Rottnest Island. Residents are trying to outlaw the tradition, though, so Schoolies in these areas may be coming to a close. Get it while you can… so to speak!!

While the official Schoolies events in these areas, like concerts and dances, are traditionally drug and alcohol free, most of the unofficial ones are not. As a result, Schoolies week is almost always a source of controversy. Local media and residents alike criticize the acts of binge drinking and promiscuity by the young adults, fights are somewhat common, and sexual assault is a phenomenon that happens all too often. Efforts have been made in many areas to suppress or even eliminate the tradition. Obviously, this creates a conflict of interest and often leads to clashes between authority figures and the students who view the event as a rite of passage of sorts.

One of the big problems with Schoolies is that the extravaganza is often infiltrated by predators who have long since gotten beyond school age. These people are often referred to as “toolies” and often see drunken teenagers as an easy ride. Usually, toolies are men, but not exclusively. As a result, many of the official Schoolies events are limited to only those who are of a certain age. Areas are often fenced off and in certain instances wristbands are given out and required for entry. That’s not the case at the bars and clubs, though. Bar- and club-hopping is not an official Schoolies event. Also, watch out for another group, often referred to as “foolies. These are adolescents who are too young to have graduated, but still partake in various activities during Schoolies week. Some of these people aren’t even of age!! So, if you’re going to stoop so low as to pick up on some schoolies, make sure you don’t end up with one of the foolies!!

So, anyway, Schoolies is a fun time with the youth, but if you’re not a youth, watch your ass. Don’t be a predator, or you’re likely to find yourself on the radar of the authorities or a victim of an asswhipping at the hands of a bunch of pissed of 18 year-olds. If you want to party with ‘em, party with ‘em. Just don’t victimize ‘em or you’re a piece of shit.

By the way… did you catch my Dumb & Dumber reference in this write up?