Parenting

Schoolies – I slept with my phone last night

I had thought I was going to avoid the whole Surfers Paradise ‘Schoolies’ thing.  MissM and her friends (there are 8 of them) were going to a beachside northern NSW locale.  One of her friends parents owns a duplex there.  However, it was sprung on us only just recently that they were going to spend two nights staying at Burleigh Heads (Gold Coast) and would go into one of the renowned organised schoolies beach parties at Surfers Paradise on one of those nights.  This worried me as these things have thousands upon thousands of teenagers going crazy partying and you hear stories of spiked drinks, drugs and of course the ‘toolies’ (not school leavers – older young people) preying on the young and vulnerable girls.   And though they say these things are alcohol free – those kids still somehow manage to get alcohol.  MissM is sensible so I knew I would have to trust her and let her see for herself that this whole schoolies thing is not as great as she might think.

They arrived in Burleigh yesterday  morning and MissM dutifully reported in to me that they had safely arrived.  All was well.  Later that day I got a message from her from Surfers Paradise:

“Hey Mum, I want to get my ear pierced. A helix, which is near the top of the ear. It’s not expensive and it can be taken out if need be. Do you have any serious objections to this?”

What!!  She had never mentioned an interest in a ‘helix’ before!  A series of messages followed.  To cut the story short – I was not in favour at all.  She has her ears pierced once in each earlobe and that is all she needs as far as I’m concerned.  I also pointed out to her that I did not know where she was and had she even considered whether they have safe hygiene practices and did she want to spend her schoolies week with an infection.  Anyway – she didn’t get it done.  Phew!  Her friend (lets call her FriendA) did.

I think she will thank me later!  She has never had an interest in a helix piercing before.  This is a spur of the moment thing brought on by the euphoria of freedom!

So moving on to the evening.  Last night I slept with my phone.  Yep, I had it clutched against my chest just like a child would a teddy bear.  I had it on silent and held it against my chest so that I would feel it vibrate when a message came through from my daughter.

MissM and her friends went into the thick of Surfers Paradise schoolies beach celebrations last night.  I had messaged her to check she was safe and she confirmed she was.  She told me that she would send me a message when they got home to Burleigh where they were staying a couple of nights before returning to their beachside northern NSW locale.  MissM is over her texting limit so we have been keeping in touch via Facebook Messenger.  She later sent me a message saying her phone battery was about to die and that she would have to charge it before she could message me again.  It was getting late.  My eyes could barely stay open…so I went to bed with the phone.

At 1:25am I got a text message from her friend’s phone saying they were home and all was well.  I read it, relief washed over me and then I dissolved back into sleep – still with the phone clutched to me.  At 1:41am I got another message from MissM via her Facebook Messenger confirming they were home safe and that she had texted me earlier from her friend’s phone.  I didn’t see this message until 7:24am when I replied and said thank you yes I had seen the message but was too tired to reply and that I was glad they were safe.

THEN…at 7:54am…I receive another Facebook Message from her saying that yes they were safe but last night FriendA drank too much for her body to cope with.  MissM said that she tried to stop her but she wouldn’t listen.  MissM confirmed that she herself had not drunk any alcohol at all.  It reached a point where they were concerned for FriendA and MissM took her to the schoolies Medical Wing but they were about to shut so they called an ambulance.  MissM was not allowed to go with FriendA in the ambulance, so she rejoined her other friends. FriendA spent the night in hospital.  She is now back with the girls at their Burleigh accommodation and is ok – thank God!  Now it’s important to note that MissM’s beautiful FriendA has been battling an eating disorder for a couple of years.  She is very lean, and as a result of the eating disorder has many food intolerances and allergies.  She should have known better.  This could very well have had a far more sinister outcome.  I feel sick to think what could have happened.

Another of MissM’s friends (FriendB) is also sick today – though apparently she did not drink.  The girls have had a huge reality check and this has frightened them.  Now all girls want to return to their beachside northern NSW locale – if they can change their bus tickets.  They will lose money because they have paid for two nights accommodation at Burleigh.  This has been a huge wake up call to them.  I don’t think any of them slept well last night.  They would have been worried about FriendA.

As I pointed out to MissM, this is why schoolies can be so dangerous.  Young people who are euphoric about finishing school, mixed with the thrill of being free of parents and rules and who think they can do whatever they want, not considering consequences……a dangerous cocktail.

I hope all young people down there at schoolies can try to think before they act …. and keep safe.   This mum will be very glad when it is over and my daughter is back home safe with me.

Linking up with Jess of Essentially Jess for #IBOT

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23 replies »

  1. Oh Min, what a story. How lucky your daughter is keeping you informed – you must have a great relationship. Glad to hear both friends are ok today, and although it would have been awful night for them hopefully this will be a lesson learned. Fingers crossed for the rest of the trip.

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    • I am a bit tired today! Trying to get myself together and go to gym. I’m lucky that my daughter is pretty sensible and she is being very considerate in keeping me informed. Very big lesson learned by the girls last night. I am so glad that FriendA and FriendB are ok. Hopefully the rest of the week will be drama free! *fingers and toes crossed*!!

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  2. Good grief Min. What a worry. I said to my daughter last night that I didn’t think going to schoolies was a good idea and that I would prefer if I took her and maybe a friend on a nice holiday. She agreed. She’s only 8 and she’ll probably change her mind but I can live in hope. No such thing as schoolies when I went to school. You signed each others shirts, had a water fight and went home and looked for a job. that was it. Hopefully it will be banned by the time my kids finish high school.

    Anne xx

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    • Hi Anne – I seem to recall having a similar conversation with MissM when she was younger. Things change! She is sensible but was curious about schoolies and I suppose didn’t want to feel she was missing out on something. I have just amended my post because she has since advised that FriendB did not drink – she is just sick. They are heading back to the northern NSW beach locale today. There has been some more messages back and forth. I still haven’t got to gym and am so tired that I think lunch and a rest might be more beneficial. Gym bright and early tomorrow morning!! I had to laugh when I read what you wrote about when you left school – “you signed each others shirts, had a water fight and went home and looked for a job..that was it!”. You can tell we are from the same era – yep – that was my school leaving experience in a nutshell! xo

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  3. I totally understand what you are going through. We live on the GC and K went into schoolies for 2 nights I think during her schoolies week – mainly to catch up with friends. We dropped her off and picked her up when she was ready to come home – no drinking thank goodness.
    I hope that the whole piercing thing stays shut for you – unfortunately it didn’t for us and I despair of what next she is going to have pierced. But, at the end of the day, she is 20 and entitled to do what she wants – we have asked her to wait to have a tattoo though – mainly because every time she talks about a tattoo she changes her mind about what she wants done !!! We have had many an argument about her piercings until I realised that I had to accept that she had some whether they were what I would have had or not, and I either accept her with them or run the risk of chasing her away for good. I would rather accept her with her piercings than lose her because it isn’t something I would do myself.
    I hope she continues to stay safe while she is away from you and comes back home safe and sound soon !!!!
    Have the best day that you can.
    Me

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    • Hi – I hope the whole piercing thing stays shut for us too! However, she is still only 17 and I can still tell her no to things like this. Hopefully it was just an impulsive thing and will not come up again. Totally understand your situation with your older girl. Better to accept them for who they are than to lose them (that would be heartbreaking). Thankfully MissM doesnt like tattoos (same as me) so I hope that one never comes up! LOL Thank you for taking the time to comment and for wishing her a safe return home. Next Saturday can’t come quick enough for me! xo

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  4. I am so totally amazed and proud of your Daughter for being so upfront and honest with you! And for actually listening to you when you said you did not agree with the decision she was about to make.

    When I went to schoolies I was not mature!

    Good on you for raising a Daughter who trusts you and who you can trust… its a beautiful thing! Hopefully it wont be long before she is home with you again x

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    • Oh Jess – thank you so much! I am very lucky my daughter is sensible and talks & listens to me. I was not as mature or responsible as she is at her age either. She’ll be home next Saturday. I can’t wait! I miss her so much when she is away from me. xo

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  5. Oh my Min! We don’t have this schoolies thing in Canada… I heard about this the first time when I came here. I don’t like the idea but I guess, as a parent, we have to trust our children at one point and give them some freedom. But your daughter seems to be a responsable girl.

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    • Hi Rita – Lucky Canada!! Schoolies is a thing that just grew into a monster from kids deciding to celebrate their graduation from high school down the gold coast. It didn’t really exist ‘as schoolies’ when I was a teenager but then some school leavers did go down the coast. At least now there is a huge police presence and there is the Red Frogs organisation that are volunteers to help keep the kids safe. Before that it was worse I believe. I hope it eventually goes away!! We do at some point have to trust our children and give them freedom which is why it’s so important to instill good values and common sense in them as they are growing up. My daughter is a mature and sensible girl and I’m so pleased about that! xo

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  6. Your daughter’s responsible behavior is a testament to your relationship with her. It must be have been very nerve wracking!

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  7. It sounds like you have a fantastic bond with your daughter.
    My oldest is 11 so Schoolies is still a long way off for us at the moment. Something, like quite a few parents are not looking forward too!

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    • Hi Jane – we have a pretty good bond. She doesn’t always agree with me and I don’t always agree with her but we love and respect each other. Hopefully schoolies will no longer exist when your oldest gets to that stage! *fingers crossed* !!

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    • Hi Sophie, my day today didn’t exactly go to plan! I’m so tired! Heading to bed soon. They are safely back at the beach house in Northern NSW. Hopefully no further drama! I’m sure the fright they got will ensure they enjoy the rest of their time with good old fashioned safe and healthy fun at the beach, going to cafe’s and a bit of shopping. Can’t wait to have her home next Saturday! xo

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  8. wow.. First of all you have to be so proud of your daughter! She did the right thing the whole time!! Alot of schoolies don’t behave as well!

    Schoolies has completely changed from when I graduated 12 years

    Thanks for sharing your daughters experience!

    #teamIBOT

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    • Thank you!! Yes I am proud of my girl. She has been very responsible and done everything as she should have. Looking forward to when she gets home. I’ve been very slack with #teamIBOT today – not like me at all – will have to catch on some reading tomorrow!!

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  9. Hey lovely, going through the same thing here. Although said son is at Airlie Beach Schoolies and not on the Gold Coast, the same worries are still very present though on a smaller scale. I to have slept with my phone close and thankfully I have been getting regular texts to let me know that he and his friends are safe.
    I have until Saturday till he returns and believe me I am on the edge of my seat and am longing for a full nights sleep without worry.
    So glad your baby is safe, and good luck to her for her bright future.

    Beck – craftypjmum xx

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    • Hi Beck – it’s a worry isn’t it. My daughter is sensible thankfully and keeping in touch with me daily. Glad to hear your son is too. MissM will be home Saturday too. We will both have a lovely restful sleep on Saturday night!! Good luck to your son too for his future! xo

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  10. Oh it’s so sad isn’t it? I hate schoolies. Really hate it. I can’t stand to think how many young people make stupid, ill informed decisions because of it, and some of those will change their lives forever

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    • Hi Jess – I hate schoolies too. I wish it would go away! I think eventually kids will realise it’s become ridiculous and come up with other options – *fingers crossed* !!

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