The HSC has started for another year, and more than 61,000 students from across NSW sat exams in Standard English, Advanced English, English studies and English as an additional language this morning.
St Paul's College students Calissa Percival and Pat Brennan were among the legion of young adults who completed this milestone.
"One down, six to go, I don't want to get too excited just yet, we still have a ways to go, but I think the key will be to just keep positive," Pat said.
"It's a relief to finish one, but we've always been told the HSC is a marathon, not a sprint. I know I put in the hard work, and I'm ready for the next one," Calissa said.
Pat and Calissa did separate English exams today, but both were reasonably happy with how they went in the first stage of the HSC.
"I did the standard English exam today, there was one essay question that was a bit of a curve-ball, I think it turned out all right in the end but you never really know until the results come out," Pat said.
"Advanced English wasn't too bad; there were no real curve-balls for me. It's just using the skills we have learnt all through school," Calissa said
The final countdown is on, and with only a few weeks of their schooling lives left, Pat and Calissa are looking forward to their next step into adulthood.
"A lot of the girls are looking forward to the formal, and relaxing friends without having to think about assignments or study," Calissa said
"I've had quotes written on the walls in my shower, and the space above where I cook my dinner, it will be nice not to worry about reading those anymore."
I'm very proud of all our students, I've known they were a very special and gifted group since they started year 7.Mr Lewis
"I've been speaking to myself while driving, to remember terms and other important information, I'm looking forward to no stress, just relaxation," Pat said.
The students aren't the only ones who have been working hard to reach this moment; the tireless staff at St Paul's College have gone above and beyond to help. Pat and Calissa have been so happy with the school they both hope to return in the future.
"Next year I've got work back at St Paul's as a youth ministry officer, so I won't have to leave the school, I'm pleased about that," Calissa said.
"Hopefully with my RSA and RCG I can get some bar work, and head off to university and study to be a maths teacher, then maybe I'll come back here as well, neither of us really want to leave," Pat said.
"Our principal, Mr Lewis and our other teachers have fostered a great support network at St Paul's."
"I'm very proud of all our students, I've known they were a very special and gifted group since they started Year 7," Mr Lewis said.
"I have great respect for all of our Year 12 students and they know that I won't judge them based on their marks, but rather for the great people they are."
The final HSC exam concludes on November 11 and students will be able to see their results on December 17.
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