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You’ve counted down to this day. You’ve dreamt of beach parties while taking your exams. You’ve practised your dance moves and planned this parent-free week at length with your friends. You’ve shopped beyond your budget and finished packing before any of your friends. And you’re fairly happy with your time management and organizational skills. Nothing is amiss. Well done!

While you busied yourself with the shopping and packing, we took on the task of ensuring that you and your mates are in a safe and friendly environment. Follow these Schoolies survival tips to prep for the best week of your life. You will tell fascinating stories of this time to friends and family for years to come. But you need to be aware that it can be a rough time there if you rely on poor judgement and make bad choices. It doesn’t take long for a tiff to turn into a big fight, and a sober friend to turn into a mean drunk.

So what safety measures should you take?

  1. Book official Schoolies accommodation only. This way, you’ll have local police and volunteers patrolling the area and looking out for you.
  2. Carry your photo ID, a pepper spray, phone, phone card, some cash, and a first aid kit with you at all times.
  3. Go out in groups. Wandering off alone is always a bad idea. There are always some people loitering around looking for trouble, especially when large groups of drunk teenagers gather to party.
  4. Be wary of strangers. They could be your classmates or random people at the party but if you don’t know them well enough, stay away from them. It is easy to get carried away when you’re in the party mood, drinking and mingling without much thought.
  5. The rampant drug and alcohol problems at Schoolies makes parents squirm in their seats, and for good reason. Stay in supervised, drug-free zones. Always keep an eye on your drinks. Drink spiking is fairly common in such environments.
  6. If you decide to have sex, use protection and ensure mutual consent. Know about safe sex and sexual health and do not make choices you would regret.
  7. Exchange emergency contact details with your group of friends. And share your friends’ details with your family, in case they cannot reach you.
  8. Don’t be that person who forgets to carry their hotel’s address with them. It can happen. Save the location of your accommodation on your phone and share it with friends and family as well.
  9. Carry less luggage. Ditch those just-in-case items and excess baggage. The less stuff you carry, the easier it is to prevent losing things or having something stolen.
  10. Never go swimming when you’re drunk and without sober company. One-third of all drownings occur due to irresponsible drinking.
  11. Drinking and drugs are not the only way to party. It is okay to turn down a drink. If you feel uncomfortable in someone’s presence, do not hesitate to walk away. Always trust your instincts.

Seek guidance from volunteers or report a problem without worry. They’re there to make this week the best experience for you. Remember, this is a time to loosen up and have a blast with your friends. Select activities that suit your temperament. If you like drinking and dancing, attend a beach party. If you like lounging with your friends; sit and chat at the resort, read, go shopping, visit a theme park, watch a movie, or go for a hike. There’s no one right away to fun!

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Posted by Dwayne K. Kelley

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