When 18-year-old Bobbie Shipton scanned his English HSC paper it didn’t look as daunting as his trial exams.
Bobbie was the first Bega High School student to finish his Standard English exam on Tuesday, and was overwhelmed with a sense of relief.
“It is such a relief to be honest,” he said while waiting in the car park outside the exam hall at the Bega Showground.
Over 60,000 high school students across the state began their nerve wracking HSC journey with compulsory English exams this week.
For Bobbie, preparation meant studying the ins and outs of J. C. Burke’s novel The Story of Tom Brennan, the works of war poet Wilfred Owen, and the Tom Tykwer directed German thriller Run Lola Run.
“I, myself, get really nervous in exams, and I feel I want to go,” Bobbie said.
“The trials made this feel scary, but it wasn’t too bad, it was a lot different to what we thought it would be.”
Bobbie’s friend Taliesin Stewart said he is a talented improviser, and able to perform well with little preparation.
“He’s the one kid who doesn’t prepare for a speech and ends up beating everyone,” Taliesin said.
“He is the ‘king of the wing’.”
A keen musician, Bobbie is currently recording an EP with his band Overdrive, and is interested in a career as a musician, and voice acting.
“I’ve always lived here, but I want to experience what it’s like to live in the city,” he said.
He said students do feel pressured to leave the area after school.
“It is a big thing around here, and people think if you don’t move away you won’t go far,” he said.
“If I find a job I’m willing to do, I’ll move for it.”
His next exam will be Drama in three weeks time.
A total of 77,975 students are studying at least one HSC course, and this year's exams include 117 written papers.
Exams finish on November 7.