For most students who complete their final exam, the realisation that they don’t have school ever again can take a while to sink in.
Not for the Indonesian VCE students at Damascus College, who waited three weeks since their English exam to finish their studies.
Indonesian was the final exam scheduled across Victoria and the Damascus class of eight students was the only one to study the language in Ballarat.
Over the past days and weeks the students watched their friends – and every other VCE student in Ballarat – finish their exams and start celebrating.
But at 2pm yesterday it was “pens down” and the Indonesian students at Damascus could finally let the feeling sink in.
VCE co-ordinator Adrian Newman said it was a proud moment for the students and the school.
“These are Ballarat’s final year 12 students,” he said.
“They’ve worked very hard and it’s a relief for them that the year has come to an end.
“The school is very proud of the students.”
Student Jemma Mathers said the last few months had been “intense”.
She said the extra-long exam period was both a blessing and a curse.
“You do get extra time to study, but there is such a massive break,” she said.
“My last exam was on the fifth ... so it kind of feels like I finished exams before today.”
Fellow student Zoe Nankivell said finishing her exam was a great feeling.
“I felt adrenalin straight away (after the exam),” she said.
“It felt like my chest was going to cave in.”
The Damascus students had their graduation dinner last night.