KHUSHI Patel tossed and turned before she received her Higher School Certificate results and Australian Tertiary Admission Rank.
"I had traumatic dreams about the ATAR and numbers," Khushi said.
"I woke up at 4.30am and was so stressed I went for a run, I did not know what else to do. Then I sat and watched tv to make the time go past."
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The St Philip's Christian College Waratah student need not have worried. She was one of the school's seven students on the All-Round Achievers list, for results in the highest band possible in 10 or more units of study.
Khushi was joined by peers Claire Andrews, Emily Baker, Michael Beckhouse, Esan Hasan, Isabelle Imig and Jonah Murphy. All received ATARs above 96.
St Philip's principal Pam O'Dea said this was the most the school had recorded on the list "in the current HSC system."
"Our theme for 2020 was courage," Mrs O'Dea said.
"Little did we know how much courage would be needed to get through this year.
"However, our students have demonstrated their ability to courageously face the challenges before them, both personal and global challenges, in order to finish so strongly."
The number is second only to Merewether High and is on par with Newcastle Grammar.
Khushi said she was shocked to see her results, especially her 90 in Chemistry, her weakest subject.
"It's my mum Vipika's birthday and she said it was the best birthday present ever," she said.
Khushi said she woke at 4am each day and spent two hours studying before school and one hour afterwards, but this increased with assessments. She stopped when she felt tired.
Esan said he had gained problem solving, time management and project management skills from participating in the F1 in Schools competition and used these to devise a timetable that broke down every hour of every day between June and November into blocks of study or rest.
Isabelle said while she had already received offers to two degrees, she was pleased to see her results and ATAR "because it means all my hard work paid off and I did it for a reason".
She did two major works, for Design and Technology and Visual Arts.
"They were really time consuming," she said.
"I did eight artworks and each took 50 to 100 hours, so that was a year-long effort every night, but I was happy to do it because I enjoyed it."
Michael said students should remember plans can change.
He said he went into the holidays before exams wanting to pursue medical engineering, but then "pivoted" towards a double degree in arts and law at the University of Sydney, which he said required a higher ATAR.
Claire said it was her goal to be an All-Round Achiever.
"It took a lot of hard work and diligence," she said.
"You can't just give up when it seems hard. I tried my best at all times.
"I enjoy learning so I really just used that to push myself to do the best that I could."
She paid tribute to her family and teachers for their support and checking her emotional and mental health.
"My friends had the exact same year 12 experience as me, it felt like we were all in it together."
Emily said if she felt like giving up she would think about her experience in Malawi and Romania seeing limited access to healthcare.
"It impacted me beyond words," she said.
"I'd think 'How can I help?' and the way I see it is it's by getting into medicine."
She said her English teacher Mr Stuart also influenced her.
"He always said 'Strive for success, get 25 out of 20'," she said. "He said to do more than what's required of you and that pushed me on."
Jonah said it was important to find ways to handle pressure.
"You can't let it get to you," he said.
"You still need to do activities you enjoy.
"If it's just all study you're not going to succeed as well."
Khushi said she sees the HSC results and ATAR as two separate achievements, but is glad they are now released within three hours of each other instead of days apart.
"Otherwise people waste time on ATAR calculators."
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