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Three Tips to Surviving Schoolies

Home > Byron Bay > Bars | Escape the City | Nightlife | Shopping | Nightclubs
by Sophie Lamell (subscribe)
I'm a uni student doing a Masters in Publishing
Published December 6th 2011
Getting in to Byron Bay on the 21st of November, I was somewhat disheartened to discover that my arrival had coincided with the area's annual Schoolies celebrations.

An age-old Aussie tradition, Schoolies sees high school leavers embark on a Bacardi Breezer fuelled rampage that is best avoided by anyone over the age of 18.

Hosting upwards of 10,000 teens over a three-week period, Byron has become a Mecca for the young, newly free and severely lacking in dignity.

Below, I have compiled a simple set of guidelines to ensure that you are able to enjoy your blissful Byron experience without being bombarded by awkward teens on a seven day bender.

1. Avoid all nightclubs.

As tempting as the drink specials may be, under no circumstances do you want to find yourself gyrating on the tables at Cheeky Monkey's with an under-ager in possession of a questionable i.d. Nor do you want to be knocking back jam jars at Cocomongas with a fresh high school graduate.

In fact, during Schoolies all nightlife should be avoided lest you be branded a lecherous Toolie.

So try and refrain from piling on the copious wristbands that are handed out by the bikini clad promo babes, and stay in instead.

Alternatively, if you can't resist a night out on the town, look for venues that draw a slightly older crowd such as the venerable Railway Hotel.

Anywhere that hosts a wet t-shirt contest is out of the question.

2. Avoid all supermarkets between 5-11pm.

This guideline may seem somewhat of a hindrance, but head down to the local Woolies from five in the evening onwards and you'll proceed to head my warning.

Sunburnt Schoolies hover in large groups, dissecting the previous nights hook-ups and break-ups, whilst simultaneously blocking access to all produce.

Items such as 24-packs of sausages and instant Mac and Cheese are conspicuously absent from the shelves, whilst fizzy mixer drinks are all but gone (don't even bother with UDLs or Lemon Ruskis).

Instead do your shopping during the morning, whilst Schoolies are sleeping off a weeks worth of hangovers. Even better, head to one of the many local produce markets, such as the monthly Byron Bay Market, for fresh and bountiful fare.

3. Avoid all tattoo parlours.

Nothing signifies drunken debauchery like an ill thought out tattoo or piercing. As a result, Schoolies throng to the towns tattoo parlours to get inked with dubious tribal symbols, Celtic crosses and heart-felt Chinese idioms alike.

Equally popular are dolphins, fairies or anything of a remotely "spiritual" nature, aptly acting as a permanent reference to their life changing experience in Byron.

While these inscriptions are undoubtedly extremely significant to the wearer, it is best to stay as far away as possible, or you will witness enough horrible tattoos to cause you a lifetime of distress.

Also popular are exceedingly unflattering and cringe worthy piercings, with nipples and belly buttons proving particularly tempting.

Many a Schoolie has bowed to peer pressure only to return home with a swollen tongue and a head full of regret.
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Why? Because you can still enjoy your Byron experience.
Where: Byron Bay
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