Those born in the year 2000 will all be turning 21 in 2021.
Laurel Stowell catches up with local Millennium babies - including five cousins as they reach a traditional coming of age year.
Whanganui and New Zealand are relatively stable, but out in the world they face a global pandemic, social unrest and dire predictions for climate and the environment.
Those turning 21 in 2021 also have to wonder how much more technology will change their lives, where the Covid-19 pandemic will end and whether they will ever be able to travel.
Five 21sts in one family
In the Whangaehu Church in 2000, five boys, all cousins from the wider O'Leary family, were all christened at the same time.
All were born in 2000 and so 2021 brings a family calendar packed with 21sts.
In 2021 all O'Leary men are into sport and all enjoy a day at the races.
They grew up working on farms, but are diverging as young adults.
The first to turn 21 will be Terence Wright, who was born on February 2.
He began life in Wellington but spent his secondary years at Cullinane College in Whanganui.
After school he went straight to Otago University to begin a four-year Bachelor of Pharmacy.
"It's a good job, with good opportunities. You can work anywhere in New Zealand, and health is a growing area," he said.
He's flatting in Dunedin and planning "a good enjoy-my-life year" for his last at university.
His cousin Jack O'Leary was born on July 27 and was the captain of the Whanganui High School rugby team. He's now halfway through a building apprenticeship, and loves the variety in the work.
"There's heaps of different things that you do, and you are learning at the same time as getting paid, so that's pretty good," he said.
In June he bought a house in Whanganui East, where he lives with two flatmates. This year he'll be working on alterations, as well as playing "a bit of footy".
The next born was Oliver O'Leary, on August 21.
He is working on his uncle Michael's dairy farm in the Whangaehu Valley. After he finished school he did a "gap year" tutoring at Andover College in England, which gave him a chance to travel.
"I went to 18 countries that year. That was the main reason for going."
After that he did a one-year Diploma in Agriculture at Lincoln University. It was "pretty cruisy" so now he's knuckling down, with responsibility for 850 dairy cows.
Hayden O'Leary and Isaac Milne are the youngest of the five cousins and were born in November.
Hayden has been the head boy and rugby captain at Whanganui Collegiate School. An adept rider, he has represented New Zealand in mounted games in Kentucky, Wales and South Africa.
He's in the third year of a four-year Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree at Lincoln University and is working on a sheep farm near Waiouru this summer.
When the degree is finished he's keen to get back onto the family dairy farm in the Whangaehu Valley and apply what he is learning about new crops and grasses.
Milne was brought up in Palmerston North, and is about halfway through a diesel mechanic apprenticeship.
This year he will move into a Palmerston North house he's bought, with the help of his parents.
What he would like to do this year is buy a R32 Nissan Skyline, which "looks nice and goes fast".
Career plans changed by Covid
The pandemic has come a critical time for soon-to-be 21-year-olds.
Whanganui's Eva Falloon begins her second of three years' early childhood education training at Whanganui's Central Baptist Kindergarten this year.
Last year her plan to train in tourism was thwarted by the Covid-19 lockdown.
She was on a four-month course in Hamilton when the lockdown began. She had to return to Whanganui, do the rest of the course online and miss out on the practical side.
She could end up working with children or in hospitality, she said, and she hopes the world will open up again in the next year or two.
"I want to travel the whole world, everywhere. Especially Canada, because I love skiing, but also America and Europe and the big cities," she said.
"Hopefully Covid will not become the new normal."
Falloon was brought up on a farm in Rapanui Rd, had a horse and competed in show jumping, as well as dancing with the Sharyn Underwood School of Dance from a young age.
Her 21st, in July, will have a country feel with no formality, no high heels allowed and preferably a few horses.
She likes change and variety, and had earlier worked as a teacher aide for two years, and considered becoming a nanny.
Huge tech changes in one generation
Olivia Patchett has been working at the Whanganui Chronicle since October 2019.
She'd prefer a trip rather than a party for her 21st birthday on December 6 - but she wouldn't want to leave New Zealand until well after the borders open.
Technology has really changed during her short life. Laptop computers didn't arrive until her last year at Whenuakura School, and by the end of high school only exams and notes were written by hand.
She predicts lots of people will end up working from home in the next few years, and machines will take over a lot of jobs.
"Because other jobs will be taken over by machines, I think something else must have to come up, otherwise the economy will go down."
Eventually Patchett would like to get married, have children and buy a house. For now she just hopes the next 20 years are as good as the last.
Who knows what comes next?
Sam Russell has worked at Harvey Norman in Whanganui for two years, and moves to Whitianga this year to do a scuba diving course.
"That's my plan for the next five years or so. My goal is to be an instructor and just travel the world," he said.
With Covid-19 and civil unrest around the globe, he is not sure what the world will look like.
"I'm kind of worried about America and a potential civil war that might affect my travel plans.
"How the world plays out with Covid and everything will definitely have an effect on me."
He's noticing increased mingling of cultures and ethnicities, and said the growth of
technology has been "pretty incredible" over his lifetime. He's looking forward to seeing what comes next.
"Holograms are something that I'm hoping would come up in the next 10 years. Gaming in a virtual reality situation would be "kind of cool", he said.