Things have moved fast for classmates, teammates and housemates Jarrod Berry and Hugh McCluggage.
The Brisbane pair loom as key pieces as the Lions brace for Geelong's best in Saturday's AFL preliminary final at the Gabba.
Four years ago they were cleverly drafted as a package - Berry going surprisingly late at pick 17 to the delight of the Lions - after forging close ties at Ballarat Clarendon College.
"It's been a bit of a whirlwind of a journey; it doesn't feel like a long time ago at all, only just yesterday we were in boarding school, playing for (Greater Western Victorian) Rebels," he told AAP.
"Being fresh 18-year-olds and drafted, suddenly we're up to Brisbane and it's been an unbelievable journey - we're still living together and have a good little dynamic going.
"Everyone has been a part of the journey and had their little piece of it and there is a bit more on the line this week because of that.
"You're playing for your hometown, the Horsham under-12s, your parents, it's all on the line."
No.3 draft pick and two-time All-Australian squad member McCluggage has shone brightest but Berry's back end to the 2020 campaign indicates he could be in for a big fortnight.
"Hugh was always going to do what he's done, but this season I have been able to realise what my role is in the side and do that week in, week out and I'd put my improvement down to that," he said.
"I love it (finals footy), yeah, it's tough, won and lost in moments and you want players that are going to be able to play in that sort of environment and I love that sort of challenge.
"I'm a competitive guy, up against the best to give yourself a measure on how you're going is something I look forward to."
The Berry household kept a close eye on Geelong's feats when Jarrod was growing up given his father and younger brother Tom - an impressive Lions debutant earlier this year - was a huge fan.
"I grew up watching those guys win their premierships," he said.
"Dad and Tom idolised guys like Joel Selwood and (Gary) Ablett's another one who's unbelievable.
"I do still pinch myself lining up against guys like that, but on game day they're just another guy in front of you."