Staying in touch

Haven't spoken to your parents about Schoolies yet? Take some time to sit down with them and come up with a plan about how you're going to keep in touch. Your parents may be worried about your safety – having a plan to stay in touch will help them to rest a little easier.

It's a good idea to:

  • Set a time each day for them to call you and give them a friend’s mobile number in case yours isn’t charged. Make sure they don’t call too early! After 12 years of school you’ll want to sleep in.
  • Let them know who you're staying with and where you're staying.

Protect your friendships

Finishing school is a big deal and it is immediately followed by the excitement of Schoolies. We've all heard about friends who have had a bust-up at Schoolies. Make sure you stay friends by following these easy tips.

  • Agree on some ground rules with your friends before you arrive. Discuss what behaviour you will and won't tolerate, strategies for safety and your plans for the week.
  • If you're concerned about a friend's choices or behaviour, try to talk to them about what's worrying you. It's never a good idea to talk about them behind their back.
  • If tension starts to build, remember that these are your friends and they've shared important parts of your life, so give them some space.

Try to resolve conflict by talking it over when you're both calm and able to focus on the problem. Tell your friend how you feel, without blaming or accusing them.

  • Allow your friend to tell you their side of the story. Listen to them, try to understand their point of view and don’t interrupt them.
  • Remember, violence is never acceptable. A fight at Schoolies could ruin a long-term friendship. Stay calm and go for a walk to cool down if you feel like things could get out of hand.

No matter what happens, make sure you and your friends are safe at all times. Even if you're arguing, you'll be safer together than going off on your own.

Your boyfriend or girlfriend is being controlling?

Callum* and I went to school together and started going out just before Schoolies. I had liked him for a little while and was really happy about having a boyfriend during Schoolies because I didn’t want to hook up with randoms. His apartment was close to mine and I couldn’t wait to hang out with him without my parents checking up on me.

I spent nearly the whole week with Callum because he said that I should be hanging out with him instead of going out with my friends. I hated that he just wanted to drink in his apartment when I wanted to go out and have fun. I hardly saw my friends so on the last night I decided to go to out with just the girls. I told him that but he still came to my apartment when I was getting ready and told me I couldn’t wear the new top that I had bought for Schoolies. He said that I was his and didn’t need to look hot because it would be teasing other guys. I didn’t feel that was right but changed my top and we went out with my friends. It was weird and my friends were uncomfortable. Callum had his arm around me the whole time but instead of feeling safe I felt smothered. When I went to the bathroom Callum would wait outside and if there was a line up he would text me after two minutes to say ‘where r u’? When I didn’t respond to one of his texts he said ‘ANSWER ME!’

What should I do?

End it!

Controlling, overly jealous or possessive behaviour isn’t love — it’s abuse. If your relationship doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. For more information visit The Line.

* Real names have not been used.