It's onward and upward for Port Macquarie's 2022 Higher School Certificate (HSC) students who received their Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) today, December 15.
A range of Port Macquarie students performed exceptionally well after a year that is infamous for being the toughest time in a school kid's life.
Now, many students are looking forward to a gap year of exploring the world or saving money, furthering their studies or jumping straight into a career.
Harley Sirovica was named Dux of MacKillop College Port Macquarie with an impressive ATAR of 99.80 and a band six in every subject.
"I was really happy with my marks," he said. "I didn't really care about my ATAR, I just wanted to do really well in my marks and make my teachers proud, that's all I cared about."
Harley is hoping to use his impressive marks to pursue a career in medicine through UNSW at Port Macquarie's rural campus.
"It's a really good university, they are ranked really high in terms of medical schools, so if I can stay here then that'd be really great."
While many students will look back on their HSC time with mixed emotions, Harley said his experience will be a fond memory for him.
"I think year 12 was definitely one of the best years that I've had," he said.
"You learn a lot during the HSC, not just the subjects you study for but about the work ethic, time management and how to organise yourself really well.
"It was really stressful, but my mates and I made sure to have good times in-between exams so it was still a good experience."
St Joseph's Regional College student Alvin Benny also ranked high in his school with an ATAR of 98.01.
Alvin has his sights set on a software engineering degree at the University of Newcastle as he reflected on what got him through the stressful exam period.
"It feels amazing to receive that result," he said. "It was a challenging time but very rewarding at the same time because all that hard work paid off.
"I learnt to always turn to your friends, family and teachers for support because I never would have made it without all of them.
"Luckily, I have my university all locked in which definitely took away some of the stress."
Meanwhile, St Joseph's Regional College student Amelia Stubbs is flying high after receiving an ATAR of 94.25 and coming first in the Diocese in Agriculture, which is a course she took at the Camden Haven High School Distance Education Centre.
Amelia said she is hoping to pack up her bags and travel to Wagga Wagga to study veterinary science at Charles Sturt University.
"Wagga Wagga is more of a rural community and has a lot of large animals, so that's where I want to go to study," she said. "I do also have a offer for Sydney, but the Wagga Wagga campus is definitely my first preference."
While MacKillop College Port Macquarie student Dominica Toohey said she's "stoked" after receiving an ATAR of 96.55 and coming second in the state in Textiles, she said she's keeping her options open as she takes some time to relax after the stressful exams.
"I'm looking at a lot of broad options, but a career in Textiles would definitely be a consideration," she said.
"Nothing's locked in yet, my options are very broad. I'm definitely considering a lot of different things for the future."
Hastings Secondary College students have celebrated the results of a year of hard work, with nine distinguished achievers and five students getting an ATAR in the 90s.
Patrick Rudd was named Dux of Hastings Secondary College Port Macquarie Campus with an impressive ATAR of 97.95, while Ethan Ferrett was named Dux of the Westport Campus.
To add the cherry on top, 100 per cent of students who applied for university were accepted, with 55 students receiving an early entry offer into university and 26 students receiving an apprenticeship/traineeship.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.