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