With the Higher School Certificate (HSC) behind them, Gunnedah’s Year 12 students are enjoying their newfound freedom.
The Namoi Valley Independent caught up with St Mary’s College student Annerley Fitzsimmons and Gunnedah High School students Jaxon Holbrook and Kustiani Tuckerman on Wednesday to see how they’re feeling.
“I feel quite relieved [to be finished] but at the same time, it’s daunting. I’ve got so much free time,” Annerley said.
The teenager said a highlight of finishing was riding her horse for the first time in 18 months.
Annerley was the first to finish, sitting her last HSC exam, Community and Family Studies (CAFS), on October 31. Kustiani wasn’t far behind, finishing with Extension Mathematics on Friday. Jaxon was one of the last students to finish the HSC in Gunnedah, wrapping up his exam schedule with Retail Services.
“I was actually more nervous with [CAFS] going into it than I was at the beginning,” Annerley said.
“Overall, compared to trials, [the exams] were much easier than I thought.”
For Kustiani and Jaxon, finishing up was a bit of a deflating experience as they were the only ones sitting their exams.
“It kinda sucked because I knew everyone else was finished [but] it was a nice exam to finish with,” Jaxon said.
“It was probably my easiest exam.”
Kustiani said she felt “really prepared” for her first week of exams but the last week was a “hard slog”.
After her last exam, Kustiani celebrated with friends and family, while Jaxon headed off to work.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet. I don’t know when it will,” Kustiani said.
“I always feel like I need to be doing something.
“When I hear my mum yelling, “Do your homework!” [at my brother], I laugh.”
With ATARs set to be released on December 15, Kustiani can rest easy because she has received an early entry offer for environmental civil and environmental engineering at the University of Wollongong in 2018.
“I think when I pack up and go, I’ll be sad because it will only be uni holidays that I see my friends,” she said.
Jaxon and Annerley have both received offers from the University of New England but are holding out for other offers.
Annerley is hoping to get a place at the University of Newcastle so she can study to become a special education teacher. Jaxon is still making decisions about what he will do and is in a “state of uncertainty”.
“I feel like I know I’m finished school but at the same time, I’m anxious because I don’t know what’s next,” he said.
“That’s so scary – making decisions.”
The final official school events for the trio are their upcoming formals. GHS’ formal is on November 16 and St Mary’s’ formal is the following night.