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The National Schoolies Week Survival Guide
by former Schoolies for this year's graduate class

You can contribute content for the Schoolies Week Festival Survival Guide after your Schoolies Week. Reread the guide after your Schoolies Week then email your contribution to the editor: dominic [.] mapstone [@] gmail [.] com

Keep it real

  • A lot of people who go on Schoolies are faced with new opportunities and new decisions. It might be about drinking, sex stuff, drug stuff or violence.
  • Working out where you stand on these issues and what's right for you is important and is best done before you go.
  • Making a big decision when you're already pissed or drug effected won't allow the real you to decide.

Adult Leaches

  • It's no secret that Schoolies Week means tens of thousands of teenagers in the one place for a couple of weeks - every leach in the country knows this.
  • There are heaps of older people either wanting sex from you, wanting to beat the croutons out of you, wanting you to join their religion or wanting you to buy something.

Brawls

  • A fight in a crowd is like a magnet, it draws everyone in to watch, then it turns into a cyclone and spills all over the place.
  • You are about ten times more likely to get coward punched at Schoolies Gold Coast than any other destination.
  • In a crowd, be careful of glass bottles flying through the air, and if you're thinking of throwing one we will let you in on a little secret… not only the cops but the entire crowd will turn on you - its suicidal.
  • The most dangerous nights at Gold Coast Schoolies are the first Saturday and the Friday and Saturday at the end of the first week.

Who is a target of violence?

  • You, for no reason whatsoever
  • People who are too drunk
  • Big guys are an attractive challenge
  • A group of guys
  • People who are easy to agitate when drunk
  • Anyone who will take the bait instead of walking off

Do a Risk Assessment

  • During Schoolies you are going to be busy keeping an eye on all the gorgeous babes or hunks. You may find yourself in a crowd of thousands of people.
  • Doing a risk assessment is similar but you're looking for something different obviously! This just means looking around, thinking about where you are and weighing up the risks.
  • Reading this Schoolies Survival Guide will give you a good picture of what to look out for during the festival.

Help Points

  • Schoolies Gold Coast as with many destinations like the Sunshine Coast, Victor Harbor, Bryon Bay and the Whitsundays will have support services which are emergency help points. They are a good meeting place or home base to return to.
  • Other help points include Police, members of the general public, private residences or businesses.
  • As you start your night, look around and work out where you can go for help in case things go wrong.

Back-up Plan

  • Plans fall through, lifts fall through, friends and lovers have fights and none of this is easy to foresee at the beginning of the night.
  • Keeping $20 in your pocket and a phone card is a good idea. That's a phone call to whoever you need and a cab ride somewhere safe.

Accommodation

  • Check the house rules, if you break the rules you can get kicked out half way through Schoolies Week and or lose your bond.
  • Authority figures such as hotel building security and Schoolies accommodation staff are not necessarily trustworthy or have your best interest in mind - leaving valuables or intoxicated friends in their care deserves a second thought.

    Drink Spiking

    • In some clubs and pubs, bar staff spike your drink as they pour it! No matter where you got the drink or what measures you take to keep it from being spiked you are in the line of fire.
    • There is only one true way to safeguard yourself and that is party with friends who will keep a close eye on you. This won't stop your drink being spiked but it can stop you falling into your attacker's hands.
    • During Schoolies Week, the good majority of sexual assaults will be perpetrated without even having to go to all the trouble of spiking drinks.
    • Usually there are plenty of girls who have simply drunk too much or used drugs with alcohol and made themselves easy targets.
    • Drink spiking was widespread in past years at Gold Coast Schoolies Week.
    • Lots of people got drugged with water. The attackers got the water from the Recharge Stations - went down onto the beach, added the drugs - and then offered the cups of water around on the beach.

    Sexual Assault

    • Reported and unreported rape happens a lot during Schoolies, it happens to guys too. Most of the reported assaults occured in the sand dunes.
    • Making out in a room with someone you only half know is the most dangerous place. Second is the beach. Third is the drunken walk home.
    • No one deserves to be sexually assaulted.
    • Look out for other people especially your friends and get them to look out for you. If your friend gets too drunk or stoned and you leave her somewhere she is really vulnerable to sexual assault, there will be predators watching for her.

    The Beach

    • During Schoolies Week Festival there will be a few people working the beach every day, stealing people's stuff while they are swimming.
    • If you go swimming when you are off your head or pissed, you will probably drown (they say about 30% of adult drawings are alcohol related).
    • There is broken glass at the Schoolies Festival, needles as well - so keep your shoes on and be careful where you sit.

    Alcohol Fines

    • Its part of the state government's plan to issue heaps of on the spot fines at the Gold Coast Schoolies Week Festival.
    • Fines vary and range up to a couple of thousand dollars.
    • They are very strict in Cavil Mall - heaps of Police.

    Alcohol Poisoning

    • If someone passes out from drinking too much or too quickly their system can be in real trouble, people can and have died this way. Calling an Ambulance could save their life (dial 000).
    • If you spew it means your body can't cope with the amount of alcohol you have in your gut and needs to get it out before serious damage is caused. So if you feel like you need to spew, it's a good idea to get it out of your system.
    • If you can't remember part of the night before it means you have drunk enough to cause brain damage.

    Drugs

    • There are a number of people who don't usually use drugs but for some reason they decide to on Schoolies Week (usually when they are already pissed).
    • Their main regret was not being true to themselves or opening themselves up to danger because they didn't realize how disorientated they would get.
    • The Ambos treat overdoses differently depending on what drug you have used. If you tell your friends what you are using, they will be able to look out for you and if you drop they can tell the Ambos what you took.
    • If you are drinking and suddenly feel really out of it - but in a way you have never felt before while drinking (you will feel really sick) - you have probably had your drink spiked. Get help ASAP, you need to go to hospital!

    News Coverage

    • There have been occasions at past Schoolies Week Festivals when TV crews have actually handed out $50 notes to people to stage a fight so they have some footage for the news and dirt to throw at Schoolies Week.
    • TV cameras bring out the moron in some people so be aware that wherever the cameras are in the Schoolies crowd is a danger zone.
    • If something happens during Schoolies that you want to go to the media about - it's a really good idea to get advice from your parents or someone who can safeguard your interests. You, or your parents can contact www.schoolies.org.au for confidential advice and support if required.
    • Quite often, problems can be solved more productively if the media isn't involved.
    • Some issues however, need to be exposed as other people at Schoolies Week are at risk also.

    Avoiding having your stomach pumped

    • The phrase most commonly heard by Ambos at Schoolies Week: "S/he was skulling spirits out of the bottle..."
    • Once you're drunk you're drunk. You can't make the good feeling even better by drinking more (everyone has fallen for this one).
    • Eat food and drink water before and during a drinking session.
    • Keep an eye out for your friends.

    Police

    • Police will put themselves in harms way to protect people during the Schoolies Festival. They will be under a lot of pressure and under a lot of stress, so you might want to give them a break by being cooperative.
    • Listen to what they say, be calm and polite and explain your situation. You don't have to answer questions other than to give them your name and address.
    • If you need to make a complaint about Police you will need their name and Police ID number.
    • There is often a lot of respect for Police from people on Schoolies as we get to see first hand that they are there to protect us.

    Hospitals

    • Do you have private or public health cover, what does it include? What about your friends? Do you have Ambulance cover?
    • Bring your Medicare card to Schoolies Week.

    Friends and Lovers

    • Everyone is in a totally new environment during Schoolies, so people start acting differently. Friends fight a lot during Schoolies for this very reason. They do frustrating things and at times lack consideration.
    • Relationship breakups are commonplace during Schoolies Week no matter how you feel about them now.
    • Deciding on what your group's house rules are before you get there will avoid any unwelcome shocks like friends using drugs in their room or bring strangers into the apartment.
    • Knowing where another group of friends are staying at Schoolies allows for some time-out with a different crowd if you need it.
    • As far as we know, there is no sexual health service giving out free condoms at Schoolies.

    Schoolies Week = Vegetation

    • If you're after nonstop action and excitement at Schoolies, sorry it just doesn't happen. Believe it or not - no matter where you go for Schoolies, at some point you are going to get bored.
    • There is no schedule, no deadlines, no exams, no parents… so when you reach the point of boredom it's awesome! Enjoy it!
    • You earned the right to party but you also earned the right to sleep in and sit in front of the TV and do absolutely nothing. So chill out, take it easy and enjoy the holiday.

    Parents

    • Parentals just want to know that you are safe and are enjoying yourself.
    • If they have given permission for you to go to the Schoolies Festival you're lucky, a lot of parents won't.
    • If something does go wrong, parents or a favorite uncle or aunt can be great people to call on for support, remember to bring the phone numbers.
    • You will probably get a lot less stress from the olds if you just call them every second day and let them know you are fine.

    Pre-Schoolies Pressure

    • Everyone is talking about the formal and the Schoolies Week Festival. A lot has to happen before you get there, so remember your other goals and keep your eye on the task at hand.
    • The pressure you are under now is something most people don't understand. Believe it or not life actually gets a bit easier after school; well maybe it's more that the pressures change.
    • The worst thing in the whole world is if you feel like you don't have anyone to turn to or that no-one understands.
    • It's up to you if you decide to shoulder the weight of your pressures by yourself or if you want support getting through this time.

    Feedback

    As former Schoolies, we care about people going on Schoolies Week and want this Survival Guide to be the bomb. If you have positive feedback or ways to improve kind of feedback please don't forget the people going to Schoolies next year, please email your contribution to the editor: dominic [.] mapstone [@] gmail [.] com

    * The Schoolies Survival Guide was written by former Schoolies and is updated each year, passing valuable insights from one graduate class to the next.

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