Year 12 student Rory McClure and his mates will only have three more weeks together before they commence their make or break exams.
The Tallangatta Secondary College leader is among thousands across Victoria able to return to the classroom next month after the state government confirmed coronavirus rules had been eased on Tuesday.
However, the year 12s at Tallangatta will be back a week later than fellow students after school resumes from holidays on October 5.
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Year 12 classes will continue until October 30, before exams begin on November 9.
Rory, a college co-captain, said his biggest concern throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been the lack of social interaction triggered by a second phase of remote learning from the start of August.
"It might be our last year before we all separate and go our different ways, so it's really annoying that we weren't able to make the most of this year," he added.
The sustained absence of face-to-face learning has taken its toll on year 12 students across North East Victoria.
Another Tallangatta student leader Amy Wood has had many stressful days.
"We all knew year 12 was going to be a tough one but with the fires and COVID-19 happening at the very beginning, our expectations went out the window," she said.
Grace Carney is also part of the leadership team and spoke of the constant need to adjust to change.
"There is a possibility results will be impacted just due to a loss of motivation and lack of self-discipline," she said.
It's a similar theme for Wangaratta's Galen Catholic College, with co-captain Ella Cheeseman feeling "completely drained" after experiencing so much excitement heading into year 12.
"As a school captain, remote learning meant that I have not been able to do many of the things that I was looking forward to this year," she said.
Samuel Willoughby believes the year will be remembered by many Galen students as a 'what if' with the odds stacked against them to reach their full potential.
"Now I can't help but feel a sense of regretful longing for a year that was never really meant for us," he said.