sundog

December 1, 2008

Leavers

Filed under: My Life — happychick @ 6.38p12

In Australia, we have an annual school leavers celebratory week, known as “Schoolies” or “Leavers”. As a bit of background information, it’s a week in which Year 12 highschool graduates celebrate not only the end of their schooling and newfound freedom, but Australia’s 200 year old tradition of drinking to excess, and, more concerningly, the drug culture that is emerging within our society. It’s a week of booze and sex, drugs, loud music and partying, a week which parents, police and business owners dread, a week from which I returned this morning.

There was booze, loud music and partying, there were boys but no sex (and if I had planned any such sexpedition, my period quickly put an end to that), but, when examined in light of the damning news reports and controversy surrounding Leavers Week, we were pretty tame.

My Stepfather was deadset against it from the word go, condemning Leavers celebrations, and the “toolies” who go on Schoolies in a bid to have sex with young girls. The words “she’ll be going over my dead, stinking, rotting maggotty carcass” spring to mind…

My Mum was, as always, more relaxed in her approach to my life. For several years now I think she’s recognised a part of herself in me- and moreover, I think it terrifies her. She wasn’t a good kid- she was troublesome, dysfunctional and stubborn. I’m seldom any of these things, but when she looks at me Mum sees her own hardheadedness and she’s careful not to suffocate me with rules and restrictions. But for as much as she sees herself in me, she sees a completely different woman as well. I am responsible and mature, sensitive and willing to compromise. She knew I was going to celebrate my freedom- it was just a matter of when and how.

We stayed on the coast- Me, C, Esky and her friend Lees. We spent the days playing cricket, swimming, attempting to kayak, bushbashing, sandboarding and cruising the coastal town for boys. We swam to the island (a great feat for someone so aquaphobic as myself), drank Beam and played cards. We applied sunscreen like it was makeup, drove dangerously close to the cliff-face edges of sand dunes, got sand in orifices we weren’t even aware existed, and chatted up a few guys.

I had a great time and although I got well and truly sick and tired of the company after a week (I guess that’s what happens when a group of tired and hormonal teenage girls spend their every waking and sleeping hour in each others presence), it was an experience to remember and to cherish.

I know of many peers who went on leavers Last week and got absoltely trashed- they were assaulted, embarassed, and a few of the more unlucky contracted STIs and foetuses. They had their noses broken, their beach homes trashed and they came back wondering where it all went wrong.

We’re a new generation. We’re good kids, but not particularly thoughtful ones. We make rash decisions and have deleted the word “moderation” from our vocabularies. We don’t offer excuses, only “take it or leave it, our time has come”. We won’t apologise, perhaps because we can’t. But give it time. A few years and a jail stint or two, and we’ll come into our prime- we’ll do great things, because, when it comes down to it, we work as hard as we party. And Leavers was a testament to that.

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1 Comment »

  1. You make me doubtful of this generation.

    Comment by Anonymous — March 14, 2015 @ 6.38p03


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