EVEN though it seems like a lifetime ago for many of us, memories of our HSC days are probably among our strongest.
The period of high tension as the big exams approached is impossible to wipe from your mind, no matter how well or not you did when the results came out.
It is a huge amount of pressure to put on young people, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Once you come through the exam cauldron, you know you have learnt more about yourself.
Thirty-three years have passed since I sat my HSC exams and while the pressure remains the same, the HSC process is now far more structured, and far more testing.
It is now a full year-long build-up to the exams, and while the assessment procedure removes some of the pressure on exam day, it means the students are under scrutiny for much of the time and forced to pass milestones along the way.
With the Valley's Year 12 students finishing their schooling this week, it is important for them to remember as the pressure builds that while the HSC is important, but it is not everything. After receiving my HSC mark, I used it once to help me get my first job and have had no reason to refer to it since. It didn't affect my life one way or another.
To all the Year 12 students, work hard but enjoy the experience, too.