According to Emily Kate Jones, balance is the most important thing when sitting your HSC.
Her ATAR of 97.85 was proof pursuing passions alongside schoolwork worked well.
‘‘I think you can get to a point where you over-study. It’s good to make sure you have fun, keep your friends close and try to enjoy life because, at the end of the day, getting the highest ATAR isn’t worth it if you come out with no friends,’’ she said.
The former Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts school captain also made it on to this year’s all-round achievers list, scoring above 90 per cent in all of her subjects, including a mark of 97 in drama.
Although she scaled back her extracurricular activities for year 12, Emily Kate still found time to perform in the school’s production of Grease in year 11 and to appear as an extra in Home and Away this year.
But she doesn’t plan to study drama at a tertiary level, preferring to keep it as something she does for fun.
Instead, after a gap year, she hopes to study science and journalism at the University of Wollongong with the aim of becoming an environmental reporter.
Jade Phoenix, another student at the school, achieved an ATAR of 99. Wollongong
High School of the Performing Arts had 35 students on this year’s distinguished achievers list.