For Lanie Kilsby and her niece Grace Appleby, the Charles Sturt University graduation next week will be extra special.
Despite having completed different degrees - Bachelor of Accounting for Ms Kilsby and Bachelor of Nursing for Ms Appleby - they've both finished at the same time.
It's been six years since Ms Kilsby started her accounting degree via distance education.
The idea to study came two years into her work at Wright Partners.
"When I was at school I wasn't into maths at all, but I fell into the role. I was a bookkeeper and then I thought 'you know what? I want to know more.'," Ms Kilsby said.
"My eldest daughter was studying to be a nurse at the time and I think I caught the bug off her."
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For Ms Appleby, it was her history with hospitals and doctors that drew her into the field.
"I'm a type one diabetic. Prior to that at the sight of blood I would have said 'go away, I'm not touching it'. But being in and out of hospital I grew to love all of it," she said.
Last year, the duo realised they were on track to graduate together.
"That motivated me," the 21-year-old said. "I thought 'I can't fail because then I can't graduate with Lanie'."
She said knowing her aunty was going through the same stressful situation had been awesome.
"People can say 'yeah, I understand', but to me until you're actually under that pressure you don't get it. It's been nice to talk to each other. When we were waiting for our marks we both knew how each other felt. It's really comforting," Ms Appleby said.
While they had never studied together, the two had talked, exchanged messages and even Snapchats helping and commiserating on the days they had their textbooks out.
Now they've finished their degrees, but both women say it hasn't sunk in.
"It's really weird. I sit at home doing nothing and I just think 'what can I watch on Netflix? There are things I've missed out on in the last six years because a lot of the time you'd feel guilty because there's always another assignment," Ms Kilsby said.
The 47-year-old said it had been stressful and time-consuming to student to fit in her study between work as a trainee accountant and being a single parent.
"I'm still waiting to exhale, really."
But she said her boss and everyone at Wright Partners had been really supportive.
There's no time to rest for Ms Appleby who celebrated the end of her degree with a job at Bloomfield Hospital in Orange.
"I did one of my placements there and I can't describe the love I have for it," she said.
She started on Monday as an assistant in nursing and will progress to a newly graduated registered nurse in February.
"Even with other stuff going on in my life I don't feel as stressed as I did two months ago. My eyebrows were twitching, I couldn't eat. So now it's a weird feeling," Ms Appleby said.
The soon-to-be-graduate said she couldn't have done it without CSU Dubbo nursing lecturers Patience Moyo and Maryanne Podham.
"They did everything they could to help us finish. I truly, truly can't recommend them highly enough. Even now we're finished they're still helping us to get jobs. I couldn't fault the two of them, they're very, very selfless people," Ms Appleby said.
The niece and aunty will graduate in Dubbo on December 11 with their entire family coming to join in the celebration.
"We're super excited and I'm super proud of Grace and myself for doing it," Ms Kilsby said.
Having the two graduate together was a "sign of the times", she said.
"When I left school I had no hopes of being an accountant, but you can always reinvent yourself, it doesn't matter how old you are. That's the big thing I take away from it. I want other people to know that too," Ms Kilsby said.