Leavers binge on freedom

By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on November 23, 2017

THE buzz of excitement, relief and nerves was bouncing between a group of young high school graduates on Saturday as they met at Middleton Beach to work out the finer details of their travelling convoy.

Yes, they were finally free and were about to embark on, for some, their first solo trip away from home without their parents.

Leavers has become a rite of passage for year 12 graduates as a way of unwinding after more than a decade of textbooks and timetables.

Scott Fielding, Jaike Dale, Lily Willock, Tyron Smallwood, Zhane Robertson, Ethan Williams, Tom Edwards and Courtney Hall were no exception to this rule.

The close-knit crew, some having known each other since before they could spell their names, were off to Dunsborough or Bremer Bay for a week of adventuring, partying, and some much-needed chill-out time.

The initial planning of ‘where’ for Leavers was relatively simple, the group agreed, but it was the multitude of rules tied to accommodation that had to be ploughed through before booking.

Camp sites often charge hefty bonds to the young leavers to cover potential damages that can happen after a few wild nights out, as well as prohibit certain activities and items being brought onto the premises.

The group of graduates collectively mulled over their parents’ warnings about binge drinking, safe sex and drink-driving, and all agreed the advice was necessary to make sure everyone had a good time and stayed safe.

Police presence is generally ramped up for Leavers hot-spots, including Dunsborough and Rottnest Island, and for some, this can seem like a dampener on the party mood.

However, this band of school buddies thought it was a good idea for police to hang around, to keep the peace and make sure things didn’t get out of hand.

With their cars loaded with swags, hats, camping chairs and the odd carton, the graduates headed off into the rising sun on Sunday to kick off their week away.

Today marks day four of Leavers, with many kids planning on making the trek home tomorrow or Saturday.

With their brains de-fried from school and their shoulders slack from the lack of stress, these new members of the adult society will soon be ready to conquer the workforce and the world.

Perhaps just give them a few days of recovery first.