My son is in year twelve, and he has only a couple of weeks of school left. One of the most asked questions apart from ‘what does he want to do next year’ is ‘is he going on schoolies’. My reply: ‘No he’s not interested, and surely, we can do better than schoolies’ (my comment).
Surprisingly, the parent asking wholeheartedly agrees. Schoolies, when I finished school was a whole different scenario, it usually meant going with your friends to the beach for a week, a few drinks, bon fires (ironically now banned too dangerous) bbq’s and basically hanging out with your friends and relaxing after the slog of year 12.
Today: oh my, it’s renting apartments on the Coast, non stop drinking all day, parties galore, drugs, police presence, snapping selfies, and incriminating video’s for snap chat etc, charities running ‘help services’, organized ‘activities to keep those schoolies busy so they don’t do too much damage or break too many laws’, and tallies of how many are arrested or presented to emergency services.
We certainly can do better than this. Our sons and daughters have worked long and hard, hopefully, at completing their high school education. What is the message that we as parents give them that is an appropriate way to celebrate their final exams and finishing of their final year? Is this how we want them to start the next chapter of their life?
What will you choose? Is it a drunken week on the coast? Is it a wonderful family celebration? Is it a family holiday? Is it giving back to those less fortunate than them as a volunteer for the week? There are many ways we can as a culture or society celebrate this milestone, or coming of age. What will you choose? What will be the tradition you instil in your child? Is it a culture of drinking or celebrating in another means?
My belief is that we as a society can do better than schoolies. So let’s make a start. Think through what your values are as a family and how to celebrate this milestone in your son or daughters life in a more appropriate way. We can do better than schoolies.