TEENAGERS, some not yet 17, walked Surfers Paradise Boulevard on Friday dazed and in tears.

Carrying the trauma of losing one of their own, their young faces were etched with disbelief.

They clung to each other for support and rallied around those struggling to comprehend the tragedy that had befallen the graduation class of 2012.

On Thursday night Isabelle Colman, from The Gap in Brisbane's west, plunged to her death from a 26th-floor balcony at Towers of Chevron Renaissance in Surfers Paradise onto the fifth-floor pool deck below.

Within 30 minutes, news of her death had spread among schoolies staying along the Gold Coast. Hundreds of teenagers gathered outside the towers. Many sat on the ground shaking.

Kristy James and Krissy O'Farrell were among those who rushed to the towers upon hearing the news. ''We walked back and we ran into one of Krissy's friends and she was shaking, because she had seen the girl fall off the balcony,'' Ms James said.

They and their friends spent the early hours on Friday sitting in their apartment silent and shocked. They planned to return to Brisbane on Friday night.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the 17-year-old drama student from Mt St Michael's College, in Ashgrove. Isabelle was alone in her room before she fell about 9.30pm, investigators said.

''It's literally your worst nightmare,'' one parent said as she came to collect her distraught daughter from Surfers Paradise. A steady stream of schoolies, most from Queensland, started leaving the Gold Coast on Friday. Many sought the comfort and safety of home.

A new wave from NSW is due to arrive this weekend.

This year's graduates had largely heeded their parents' advice and warnings, gaining the praise of police as being among the most well-behaved schoolies in recent years.

But a sombre mood washed over the Gold Coast on Friday, as young school-leavers were reminded of the fragility of human life.

Ms O'Farrell was in tears. ''I can't comprehend that it actually happened. It's just so terrible. It's so tragic,'' she said.

The principal of Mt St Michael's College, Alison Terrey, said the school was ''deeply saddened''.

Ms Terrey said Isabelle was a ''delightful young woman'' who was loved by fellow students.

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