ARARAT'S Marian College 2019 dux says she's "thankful" her year 12 experience wasn't interrupted with blocks of remote learning.
Rachel McCready took a gap year from study after claiming the school's top honour last year.
Miss McCready said she was hoping her plans would work out and she could still attend Monash University next year.
"I feel very lucky I took a gap year to work this year I think," she said.
"Everyone who has gone to university has been studying online."
Miss McCready said she was accepted into a bachelor of arts and science.
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"I was looking into getting into archaeology and also a scientific researcher," she said.
"I wasn't sure which pathway I wanted to go down. That's why I chose the double degree."
Miss McCready had planned a trip overseas to Romania in August and participate in an archaeology program.
"Because of the travel restrictions I cancelled that trip," she said.
"It was a trip I wanted to take for a while now. I love history and jumped at the chance to be apart of this program.
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Victorian students returned to remote learning on Wednesday, the second time for the 2020 school year.
"I feel so bad for all the students this year but especially the year 12s," Miss McCready said.
"It would be so hard for everyone who is dealing with the stress of year 12 plus the stress of COVID-19.
"The fact no one really knows what is going to happen with ATARs or exams is adding to the pressure."
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Miss McCready said after going through year 12, granted without an overhanging coronavirus pandemic, she learnt some lessons that she hoped she could pass on.
"Don't keep studying if you can feel yourself stressing," she said.
"I feel with the added pressure of COVID-19 it's really worth taking the time to find something that allows students to take a break which would enable them to study with a clear mind.
"It's tough to find the balance but on the other hand you need to keep studying and pushing through."
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