IF YOU are bemoaning the start of another working week, spare a thought for the thousands of Year 12 students who are today trembling in their boots.
Today marks the start of the High School Certificate (HSC) – a four-week mental endurance challenge they have been practising two years for.
But this morning’s two-hour English test is the real deal.
Last Friday McCarthy Catholic College’s Kirsten Pearson and Laura Heuston were unsure of their feelings, saying an eerie calm had descended over both of them.
“I’m not sure if I’m confident or in denial,” Laura said.
“I don’t feel particularly nervous. I feel I’m ready for it.”
“I don’t think it’s hit me yet,” she said.
“It just feels like another exam.”
Kirsten, who hopes to study paramedics or political journalism following a gap year, said she felt a “bit of pressure” to succeed.
“(The HSC) is a bigger deal now,” she said.
“As far as peer pressure goes ... people look down on you if you don’t get into uni.”
This time next year Laura hopes to be tackling law at the University of Sydney, but she is not stressing over the finer details.
“It would be nice,” she said.
“But if I don’t get good enough marks ... I’ll take a gap year or study arts.”