Year 12 students across the state headed into their first HSC examinations on Thursday.
Eden Marine High students exited the school hall after sitting their exams for English Standard and Advanced, with a look of relief on all of their faces.
“I’m glad to get the English exams out of the way early,” student Sam Vandermey said.
“English is my worst subject but that exam just felt like any other test, there is a bit of hype for HSC exams so it’s good to get the hardest ones done first.”
Sam, who has always had a passion for Maths, Physics and Chemistry, is planning to go to the University of New South Wales to study Chemical Engineering.
He would need an ATAR in the 90s for guaranteed entry but he said even if he doesn’t get that he will find a way to get into that course.
“I’m determined so I will find I way, I’ve been working towards this for six years of school, if I have to wait another couple of years to get there I’ll do it.”
Acting principal Leesa Wungluck said this is something they have been trying to teach the students in preparation for the HSC.
“Very rarely is the path straight for everybody, going to university with an ATAR is just one pathway, there are many other options and as long as they have resilience they will all be able to accomplish whatever they desire,” Ms Wungluck said.
School Captains Bronte Balodis, Ainsley Mann and Tahlia Ingram came out of the exam laughing and smiling. They all agreed the exam was easier than expected.
The three talented students seemed significantly more calm than their classmates, which could be due to the fact that all three of them have been offered early entrance into university.
Bronte and Tahlia have been offer places at the University of Wollongong to study Arts and Social Science and Ainsley has been offered a spot at Wollongong to study Psychological Science as well as a place at the University of Sydney to study a double degree of Arts and Science.
Despite this all three girls are still considering their options with Bronte and Tahlia planning on taking a gap year.
“Next year I will work, travel, drink piña coladas, spend time at the beach and have summer romances,” Bronte said.
Students at Lumen Christi Catholic College also sat the English exam at the Pambula Beach Surf Club with some students only having a short break before having to head back to school for their music exams.
Liam McManus said he thought the exam was “much better than the HSC trial exams”.
“The supervisors were really lovely so that helped,” he said.
Kate Lewis, who has plans to move to Perth next year, and hopes to one day become a teacher or social worker said the whole day felt a bit surreal.
“It is built up so much that it feels strange to actually be doing it,” she said.
Liam, Kate and fellow music and drama student Rian Reynolds said that although they don’t know what they are going to do next year or into the future, they do know what they’re going to do once the exams are over.
“We want to get together and jump off the wharf in our school uniform,” they said.