By CHRISTIE PATERSON, Work experience student
THE class of 2004 has completed secondary schooling, but what happens now?
The beginning of a new year after school finishes is always a stressful time for high school leavers.
A variety of school leavers from my year admitted that they were fairly disappointed with their university admissions index scores, with many not being able to get into preferred courses.
For these people, people who might have had their heads and hearts set on a certain career, the severe disappointment which this brings threatens to consume them, forcing them into a state of denial, and arising feelings of helplessness.
Elisa Trait, from The Cathedral School, was forced to settle for her fourth preference ? nursing ? instead of doing what she had really wanted to do, primary school teaching.
"(I aimed) to do the best I possibly could," she said.
"I wasn't happy with my UAI, because it meant that I couldn't get into the course I wanted. At the very least, I got into another uni course, which I wasn't expecting, but I am now fairly happy with."
So is the Higher School Certificate overrated?
"Yes, the HSC is overrated, but it helps to prepare you for other things in life," Elisa said.
Another high school leaver, Ashli McCann, from Grafton High School, said she was 'very happy with my HSC marks, but disappointed with my UAI'.
Despite this, she is leaving for university on February 20, to study primary school teaching.
"The HSC is overrated, because there is too much pressure on us," she said.
McAuley Catholic College student Rebecca Francis said: "My only expectations for the HSC was to pass all my subjects, which I did".
"I'm very happy with my results, but is the HSC overrated? Oh my God, yes."
Former Grafton High student, Sandra Quinlivan, is very pleased with her results.
She, like Ashli McCann, was able to get into the course she wanted ? rural science.
Finally, an anonymous former McAuley Catholic College student was absolutely devastated at her results.
Her dreams of becoming a journalist were 'quickly fading before my eyes'.
"I feel disappointed, knowing that a majority of my friends are making head starts on their lives by leaving home, going off to university," she said.
"And where am I?," she said. "Well, I may not have got what I wanted, but I'm not going to give up. This is something I've always wanted, and, as Mum tells me multiple times a day, if something's worth having, it's worth working for."