The hardest part of high school will soon be behind you- the final exams.

So far you’ve tackled them head on and have come out the other side relatively unscathed.

Conversations should now begin to shift from breakdowns before your Business Studies exam to the week that so many have been waiting for- schoolies.

Whether you’re hitting up one of the many islands of Fiji or travelling up the coast with some of your closest mates, schoolies is bound to be one of the greatest weeks of your life.

But if you’re an underage youngin’ like I was, it can be quite a dilemma if most of your mates are 18 and the fear of missing out may be starting to kick in.


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What can a 17-year-old even do at schoolies?

Let’s be real, drinking is an aspect of schoolies. You can expect it to be the time to sink more than a few bevvies.

One minor problem. You’re only 17. Unfortunately, the world is not yet (legally) your oyster.

Don’t despair! Despite the popular belief that schoolies is dedicated to getting absolutely blind, it’s not all about who can neck the most Cruisers.

If you’re heading to Fiji, expect a lot of drunk teens fooling around and making friendships that they probably won’t remember the next morning. Trust me though, drinking in Fiji is not integral to living your best schoolies life.

You can create memories that will last you a lifetime without the grog. Grab some of your mates and explore the marine life with a snorkelling adventure. Admire the lush scenery with a hike around the island. Jump in on a cultural exchange where you’re a part of a project that provides sporting equipment and resources to hundreds of Fijian children.

Alcohol can’t give ya that sweet sensation of charitable giving, can it?


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If you’re keeping it domestic, expect more alcohol. Shocker. Unfortunately, the reality of keeping it domestic runs the risk of your mates leaving you behind when they want to hit up a pub or a club.

It’s a shitty feeling. But from my personal experience with clubbing, there are certainly more ways to have fun than spending $18 on a vodka Redbull. Plus, it’s more than likely that you’ll be hanging out with other 17-year-olds too. The more the merrier, right?

Don’t let the the fear of missing out kill your vibe. Catch up on the lost time the final year of high school took from you and make the most of it.

Grab your towel, head down to the beach with your mates and kick back. Put on some tunes, whip out some coloured pencils and let your imagination run wild with a colouring book (oddly therapeutic). Start the novel that you tossed aside.

Make your way through that list you compiled of movies you wanted to watch. Explore mother nature and go for a hike- you may discover some hidden gems. Suss out some all-ages music festivals.

Do what makes you happy- you’ve done the hard slog of exams, nows your time to do things that you actually enjoy.

Schoolies ain’t all about drinking. So if you’re underage and heading to schoolies, don’t fret. You’ll be creating new memories and celebrating the fact that you and your mates survived an intense month of exams. You don’t need to be 18 for that.

@emilylansdownJoshua

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