It would be fair to say that this year's HSC students have slogged it out in one of the most disruptive schooling years in memory.
They experienced testing times at the best of times.
Students are now knee-deep in written exams, after having an extra four weeks to prepare.
On November 19, languages kicked into gear, with students taking their linguistic skills to the French exam.
Of the 76,399 NSW students enrolled in HSC courses in 2021, seven per cent (5308) of the total cohort are enrolled in at least one HSC language course.
After Japanese, French is the most popular language in the HSC, with 987 students enrolled statewide.
At Kirrawee High School, 184 students are sitting their HSC this year, and teachers are glad to have them back.
Principal Christine Campbell said lockdown had "forced classrooms into lounge rooms."
She said many of the major HSC works that students had been developing for the past year were also left unfulfilled, as National Standards Education Authority (NESA) made modifications and adjustments to submissions to cater for lost time on the school site.
"There was the disappointing cancellation of the major sporting events and showcase performance opportunities that typically mark the end of year 12," she said.
"With those dark clouds of disappointment, though, came silver linings.
"Year 12 were expertly supported by their year advisors John Whitaker and Sandra Fellas, who took every opportunity to enliven and enrich students' experiences this year.
"While some aspects of their final projects were not exactly what students had envisioned, they reflected their diverse talents and deep commitment to improvement."
In another win for students, half of the school's year 12 group have received offers for early entry to universities across Sydney.
"There is a palpable sense of optimism that punctuates the cohort," the principal said.
"Students are excited for their futures."
Student Anna Elyard said she looked forward to life beyond school, which she said was very supportive during the pandemic disruptions.
"It was an environment that supported us and helped us to flourish," she said.
"We are closing a chapter and starting a new one", fellow student Corey Moors said.
"This is our chance to celebrate the past 13 years of our education and our lives."
Students will mark another significant rite of passage - their graduation, on the final day of exams, on December 3.
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