The HSC may be long over, but with the wait for results comes the mounting anxiety.
Early round university placements are due to be delivered to inboxes this Thursday, with full results and the ATAR released on December 17.
Achieve Tutoring director Dr Tamara Jones-Hood warns students against the perils of making a snap decision with their future, even for those fortunate enough to receive early admission.
"Some might be a little disappointed with their marks, others will be pleasantly surprised, they might do better than they expected," Dr Jones-Hood said.
"Don't make a quick decision. Talk to people in the field you're looking to go into. Generally, adults do love talking about the pros and cons of their industry, and it might lead to some internship opportunities that will help you make an informed decision."
To cope with the anxious wait over the next seven days, Dr Jones-Hood recommends putting in some time to set the groundwork for a healthy future.
"They're in a room with multiple doors right now," Dr Jones-Hood said.
"Without the pressure of the HSC hanging over them, now they have the headspace to research where they want to go from here."
Attempting to pre-empt the release next week could also be futile, Dr Jones-Hood said, as with several new curriculum comes significant uncertainty.
A re-shaping of the science and English syllabus in particular this year may mean previous year's results are no indication of this year's success.
Acknowledging the precarious time many students confront in the final weeks before results are released, the NSW Department of Education has also this year launched an online career advice portal.
Dubbed 'Life Launcher', the online tool has been touted as a way for graduating students to evaluate where their passions and skill sets reside, before taking the first step into post-school life.
Similarly, Dr Jones-Hood recommends taking some time to reflect on the past 13 years to keep the HSC results in perspective.
"Your ATAR is just a rank of where you are compared to the thousands who did the HSC this year, it doesn't define you and there are many other important indicators of your performance," she said.
"We get excited about it on that one day of the year, we talk about it for a week and then we forget about it. No interviewer will ever ask you what mark you got for your English exam when you're going for a job in the future.
"I always say, you can't fail the HSC. Even just finishing the HSC means you've achieved your HSC and that's worth celebrating."
If a university is in their immediate future, Dr Jones-Hood recommends looking into scholarship opportunities and carefully considering each course for its merits.
"Some scholarships are still on offer because they didn't get many applicants," she said.
"They can be a bit of work to apply for, but it's worthwhile. There are so many different forms of scholarship these days too."
But, she admits, there are also a variety of other avenues that do not include taking on a university degree and being shackled with enormous debt for many years to come.
"I'm a big fan of a meaningful gap year. Spend a year travelling, volunteering, or as a trainee or in an internship, it can confirm to you that this is what you want to do," Dr Jones-Hood said.
"Students think if they take a gap year, they won't want to go back to study but actually it so often works the other way. When you finish your gap year, you're more motivated to study knowing this is really what you want to do, and knowing you've got the HSC burn-out off you."
Recognising that the exams can trigger a variety of responses from students, Dr Jones-Hood also recommends that students not open their results in isolation.
"If you're feeling distressed about your results, talk about it with someone. Sometimes just talking it through is all you need," she said.
"Every problem has a solution and there is always a pathway to get to your end goal. Look at it, say, 'this is my result, now what do I do from here?' It's not worth worrying about."
In anticipation of the release of the results, the HSC Inquiry Centre remains open and contactable on 1300 138 323.