Is Schoolies in Australia officially dead? Well, maybe not yet, but the pulse is definitely getting weaker.
A TikTok, which features a main street on the Gold Coast looking eerily civilised at 11.30pm on day five of Schoolies, is going viral.
The street still has young people on it, but instead of partying and kissing, they are just politely chatting in groups.
It is the kind of image that would comfort worried parents at home, but would be disappointing to any young person.
Aren’t they meant to be dancing their little hearts out, doing things they’ll lie to their parents about and definitely making out with someone they’ll never see again?
At some point, they should do something very un-classy, like be seen wandering around clutching a Jim Bean while walking around shoeless.
Extra points if you’re offering out very questionable life advice, like, “chase your passion, don’t worry about parking fines, money is a construct.”
This isn’t the time for some civil small talk; someone needs to be threatening to show you that they can suck their own toes.
In contrast in Bali the people on Schoolies look like they are having the time of their baggy jeans lives … so what has gone so wrong?
The young people seem to have forgotten the tradition of getting trashed on the Gold Coast and instead headed to Bali.
Data from booking platform Webjet has confirmed that flights booked during Schoolies to the Gold Coast are down 21 per cent, but people heading to Bali during the same period have ballooned 159 per cent.
Underneath the eerily quiet Gold Coast TikTok, plenty of people blamed the cost of living crisis for the quieter streets in Queensland.
“Cost of living crisis? People don’t have the money, and it’s not brain surgery. Let my kid go to Schoolies or mortgage?” someone commented.
The comment section was crammed with people saying that it was harder for parents to send their children to Schoolies.
Plus, it’s harder for Gen Zers to “afford” to indulge either – a four-pack of the alcoholic drink Hard Solo comes in around the $20 mark.
Who can afford to party if you don’t have a full-time job? Most of us adults with full-time jobs can barely afford to party.
Let’s face it most of us are buying a $12 bottle of wine and having a little cry in the bath while sipping from the bottle. We aren’t going out, buying $20 cocktails, club hopping, or paying entry fees. We aren’t millionaires, so it makes sense that most young people can’t afford to either.
You have to consider that 7 per cent inflation is cutting into everyone’s parent’s budgets, so they can be less generous with their kids for Schoolies.
Meanwhile, in Bali, where beers aren’t surging to $17.80, the young people seem to be letting loose and living like they’re in some kind of music video.
They are constantly in their swimmers, roaming around, joking about making “mistakes,” and bragging about how much better Bali is than the Gold Coast.
“Beats Goldy any day,” one girl wrote on TikTok before panning to an impossibly gorgeous blue sea.
Clearly a jab at the concrete streetscape that is the background of any Schoolies goer that has turned up at the Gold Coast.
Do you know what the biggest trend has been to emerge from Schoolies this year on the Gold Coast? Crocs, the young people are wearing Crocs that make your feet sweat, that is as exciting as it has gotten.
If young people can’t afford to party and make fools of themselves on the Gold Coast during Schoolies, well that’s actually a national shame. There’s nothing more Aussie than cutting loose with your mates and you shouldn’t have to head to Bali to do it.