The Great HSC Wait has ended
THE countdown is over for thousands of students across the North Coast who will wake up this morning to check their Higher School Certificate results.
From 6am, 71,415 HSC students will be able to access their results via SMS, telephone or online.
Lismore High School students Sarah Wykes, 18, Kaitlyn Hetherington, 18, Rhiannon Davy, 18, and Kate Ellis, 17, have been working toward this moment all year.
"Once you get the piece of paper it will all be worth it," said Ms Wykes, who is the dux of Lismore High.
Ms Wykes has already been accepted into a bio-medical science degree based on the recommendation of her school and she hopes to become a doctor.
"Some people walk into hospitals and hate them, but I feel the opposite. I walk in and somehow it feels right, so this is definitely what I want to do," she said.
The friends have just returned from a schoolies holiday in Vanuatu and are making the most of their summer of freedom.
"We've all got into the courses we want so we're just enjoying our time before we go our separate ways," Ms Ellis said.
"I've spent six years with these girls so it will be sad to leave, but it's also exciting to start something new."
Girls have dominated the First in Course awards, which were presented by NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli in Sydney yesterday.
Of the 107 students to achieve top marks in their chosen HSC courses, nearly two-thirds were girls.
Trinity Catholic College, Lismore, student Maria Scalas, 18, topped the State in Italian Extension, while Hayden Smith of Xavier College, Ballina, took out the award for Studies of Religion One.
"I couldn't go to the ceremony because I just got a job and I couldn't say no to my first shift," Ms Scalas said, laughing.
"I've never won anything before and it's just one of those things where you go 'Wow, I topped it'."
Ms Scalas hopes to study psychology or interpreting, but for now she's working in a Byron Bay patisserie and saving for university.
"This summer I will probably work to get some money to go to uni in Sydney because it's not exactly cheap down there," she said.
Trinity Catholic College principal Brother Peter Carroll said he was "delighted" with Ms Scale's score.
"It's a testament to her great commitment and to her skill," he said.
While some students waking up today will be ecstatic with their results, Br Carroll said others may need to adjust their goals.
"If you're disappointed don't give up, plan another way forward, set your goals and work towards them."
The HSC Results Inquiry Centre opens today on 131 112.
The hotline lets students talk with experienced board staff about any aspect of their results.