Last year's school leavers have emerged into a world unprecedented in modern times.
About 51,000 young New Zealanders completed secondary school last year and are now trying to find jobs or training, or will arrive at universities next week.
The last school year has been previously been a golden period for generations of New Zealanders. Having hurdled the NCEA or Cambridge exams in years 11 and 12, it has traditionally been a year of holidays spent transitioning to work, overseas trips, fond messages to life-long friends in year books, school balls and a last push for scholarships.
Journalist Simon Collins spoke with six 18-year-olds this week and their stories make sombre reading indeed. The pandemic-forced disruption not only erased their social lives, their studies suffered, plans have been derailed and dreams dashed.
Not that they are complaining; they simply answered the questions put to them. This is their reality.
No, they are not the only ones impacted by this viral menace. Lives have been lost, businesses closed and those living alone have suffered long periods of anxiety.
However, education professors Stephen Dobson and Donna Prendergast warn putting teenagers in a state of uncertainty at the very time their brains are being rewired for adulthood risks "lifelong reduced outcomes such as poorer health, lowered educational achievement and the loss of optimism and hope".
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It's not all gloom, however.
Leader of the Rosehill College counselling team Dr Elahe Khaleghian points out young people who grow up in hardship often learn how to focus on helping themselves better than those from more comfortable families who have everything done for them.
Each of these teens has been able to candidly articulate this week how the lockdowns and isolation affected them and how they have adjusted their aspirations as a result.
Once they get through this, Generation Covid will be one which knows how uncertainty can throw all the best-laid preparations into the shredder. Those who succeed in their realigned pursuits will be all the more resilient.
It is important we understand and support them. These young people are the frontrunners into our strangely changed and challenging world.