Having a jam-packed year with lots of different activities and responsibilities was the secret to doing well for Nicole Philips, who bagged eight distinctions in the 2018 IEB examinations."I find I do so much better when I am busy," the 18-year-old said with a laugh, ahead of finding out her results on Thursday.- Sign up to receive your matric results and you could win R10 000!Philips received the top achiever for Grade 12 award at Maragon Ruimsig in Randburg. She also received a special honours blazer to represent her achievement of full colours in academics, culture and service.Olympiads, national performing arts competitions, public speaking, choir, prefect duties, serving the community - just reading the long list of her involvement and achievement in activities could tire one out.'A lot of juggling'But Philips takes it all in her stride.She told News24 that she had to juggle a lot of things in a "very busy" year, but had achieved what she set out to do thanks to the support of her family, and also by escaping through hobbies.Rehearsing a lead role for her school's drama production was one of the things that kept her going."I had to juggle the rehearsals with studying. I also had prefect duties, which meant I had to stay after school a lot and late nights. The toughest part was the time management."- See our Matric Results page.Another passion which relaxed her was playing guitar, something she started when she got her first instrument at the age of eight.While she stopped playing in a band two years ago because it took a lot of time, she still enjoyed "exercising her right brain"."When you get home from a long day, you pick up your guitar and just play. Write songs to get off the stresses of the day."Tribute to her mother Philips is excited to study a BSc in Actuarial Science at the University of Pretoria, following in the footsteps of her brother Michael, who is entering his second year of studies.Her father died when she was 10 and she credits her mother Lauren, "the strongest person I know", with inspiring her to do her best."I can only hope to grow up to treat others with the same compassion, love and care with which she has blessed upon me, my older brother and all she knows."