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We Asked Some Schoolies in Bali How They Feel About the Future

Instead of asking about drugs, regrettable tattoos or violence, we asked about marriage, school-reunions and hopes for adulthood.

Schoolies in Bali. All photos by the author.

Schoolies Week is that loud, sweaty, alcohol-fuelled celebration for teens transitioning from high school to adulthood. While teens mostly consider it a necessary pilgrimage, parents everywhere worry about drugs, sex, and short-term decision-making.

Though traditionally celebrated at the Gold Coast, Australians are increasingly heading for the Indonesian island of Bali to celebrate Schoolies, where stuff is cheap and rules are few. This makes it a kind of perfect storm for parental anxiety, which is probably why last year Kuta was dubbed " every parent's worst nightmare." I'm not sure if that makes it every kid's dream but Australian Schoolies in Bali seem to be having fun.


So instead of asking about drugs, regrettable tattoos or violence, I asked them about marriage, school-reunions and their hopes and dreams for the future. How do these boozed teens see themselves as fledgling adults?

Nathan, QLD

VICE: Hi Nathan, what's next after Schoolies?
Nathan: We're going to keep travelling around Indonesia for two weeks of surfing. Then I'm going to join the army and, when I get out, my main goal is to teach martial arts on the Sunshine Coast.

Are you going to get married?
I have a girlfriend at the moment and this is my first love ever. To be honest, I don't see myself with anyone but her so hopefully just one marriage.

Do you think you'll go to your high school reunion?
Definitely. I reckon it will be cool because there are a lot of people who have the potential to be famous, like models and pro surfers. There are a lot of skilled people and talented athletes from my school so hopefully I can get some autographs later on.

Are you going to keep partying hard forever?
Well no, I was in a very bad way the other night and I went to hospital so I'm never drinking again. That's it for drinking for me

Alanah, VIC

Hey Alanah, what are your plans for the future?
Alanah: I'm just going to work for a little bit and then I want to go to university and study to become a journalist. I like talking to people and writing. I want to have money and I want to be happy.

What do you think the world will be like in 20 years?
Fucked, cooked, gone, done, screwed.


That's bleak. Let's try something else. Are you going to get married?
I don't want to be tied down but I want to have the wedding so I can wear a nice dress. Then I'll want to be single again.

What do you think your high school reunion will be like?
I'm going to strut in there in my Prada shoes like a bad bitch and look at all the junkies and fat pregnant bitches that were nasty.

Do you want to keep partying forever?
If I start getting fat I'll stop but while my metabolism is still kicking I'm going to keep partying.

Jayden, WA (toolie)

So you're a toolie, when did you finish high school?
Jayden: Half way through this year I left and started my apprenticeship as a cabinet-maker and I've been working hard ever since. Hopefully once I finish my apprenticeship I'll start my own business or just party and travel the world.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
Make lots of money and live in a massive mansion with strippers and everything.

What do you think the world will be like in 20 years?
Hover boards, man. People will just be flying around everywhere.

Are you going to get married?
I'm not getting married, I'm staying single forever. But I won't be the 40-year-old virgin, I'll tell you that.

Will you go to your high school reunion?
Well, there are a couple of girls, I won't say their names, but if they're going then I'm definitely going.

Are you going to keep partying this hard forever?
Oh fucking oath, I'm going to destroy it mate. Why would you even ask me that question? Of course I am.


Phoebe, NSW

Hi Phoebe, do you have any wild stories so far?
I've been offered [drugs] on the street but it's really scary, I don't want to get locked up.

Oh but also, we have this friend who's really funny and weird and on Tuesday afternoon he came strolling in with a box and a chain and bananas and he goes, "Meet Pablo, the monkey." Then he locked it in his bathroom and it became his pet for three days and then he had to chuck it out.

Isn't that a bit cruel? How do you "chuck out" a monkey?
Yeah it's really cruel but it's pretty funny, like we all had a pet monkey for three days at schoolies. He handed it back when the room needed to get cleaned and now it's on a chain out the front of our hotel, so it's everyone's pet now.

Heavy. So what's next after finishing high school? What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
I'm planning to have a gap-year and then work heaps and save and then travel. I want to go to Hawaii for about four months and work there with my sister. Then hopefully I'll go to uni the year after and study to be a primary-school teacher.

Kim, QLD (foreign exchange student)

Hey Kim, what's next after Schoolies?
Kim: I'd like to go to uni in Melbourne or Sydney and study wildlife and conservation biology.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
I'd really like to see a change in how humans treat the world. I'm really passionate about nature and global warming is really worrying.


For my life, my main goal is to travel as much as possible, meet many different kinds of people and learn as much as possible. I want to be useful to others and to not feel like I've wasted my life.

What do you think the world will be like in 20 years?
I'd say fucked up. But the positive part of me says maybe people will start to realise what they are doing to the planet and each other. Maybe there will be positive changes. But I'm not as optimistic as I'd like to be.

Are you going to get married?
I don't really believe in marriage. It can work out—for my parents it worked out—but I think in a lot of cases it ends up ruining it because people stop acting in a way that nurtures the relationship. I think it's ancient and we don't need it. It's just a piece of paper after all.

Are you going to keep partying hard forever?
No. I'm Italian so I love wine and dancing and having fun but I think you've got to grow up at some point. You can have fun and enjoy your life, you don't have to be rigid, but you can get that sense of happiness and fun and enjoyment from other things. Partying is not the only way.

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