Pietermaritzburg Girl’s High School (GHS) celebrated the outstanding achievement of producing 11 matriculants who obtained 7 A’s and above in this year’s National Senior Certificate exams.Two of them — Zibusiso Ndlovu (18) and Christine Pius (18) — bagged eight distinctions each.Their fellow class-mates Layla Parak (17), Olwethu Ndlela (18), Priyanka Amrithlal (17), Lwandile Jacobs (19), Taylan Mornet (18), Sakina Sitoto, Sonia Padayachee (17), Kameretha Moodley (18) and Deandre Pillay (17) got seven distinctions each.Zibusiso from Greytown, who plans on studying civil engineering at the University of Cape Town (UCT), said she was delighted at having achieved distinctions for all her eight subjects. “I was expecting to get at least six distinctions because some of the exams, like maths and English, were quite tough. “So I’m relieved to know that I performed well,” she said. Zibusiso went on to thank GHS teachers, her mother and grandmother for their support.Christine from Hayfields, who also obtained eight distinctions, said the period of waiting for her results had been nerve-wracking but said she was pleased with her results after having worked hard to study for her finals. She said she will also be studying engineering this year.Layla from Richmond said she was more than relieved to know that she did well after spending the entire festive season stressing about her results. Olwethu, from KwaPata said she was only expecting six distinctions.Olwethu, who plans on studying actuarial science, advised other pupils to use her method of rewriting and summarising their notes when studying as it was easy to remember information during an exam.Priyanka, from Pelham, said she was excited about the year ahead as she will be studying chemical engineering. She said she had initially wanted to study medicine but had a last-minute change of heart as she believes that engineering would offer her more opportunities.Lwandile said she was expecting six distinctions, but deep down was hoping to also bag an A for English, which had previously seemed to miss her by a few marks.“Waiting for my results has been hard because I had put so much pressure on myself to do well because of all the sacrifices I and my family have made. My mother had to move to Pretoria for work because she wanted to make sure that I get the best education and I stayed with my grandmother who has also been very supportive.”She told The Witness that despite having also suffered from depression last year, she pushed herself to study hard. She said she was excited about the year ahead and plans to study architecture or computer science.Deandre reminded those who did not get the results they were hoping for, or those who failed, that it was not the end of their journey.“It’s okay if you didn’t get your desired results. There are so many other opportunities and there is always a chance to start again. People should not be too hard on themselves,” she said.Proud GHS principal Andrew Graaf was happy to learn that his school had the most learners who achieved 7 As and above in the Midlands area. The school is also celebrating it’s 100th year of excellence this year. “Results like this don’t just happen, they are a result of dedication and prioritising learning and teaching. Firstly, congratulations to the girls, who showed discipline and for working hard, studying hard and setting goals for themselves.“Also, an appreciation to the staff who also showed dedication and to the parents who continuously support us. We are also grateful to the primary schools around us who always provide us with the most wonderful pupils,” said Graaf.