As we near the end of the school year, graduation ceremonies look set to be yet another casualty of COVID. Yet, if any cohort deserves the tears and cheers of a full ceremony, it’s this year’s Year 12s.
There’s the obvious reason, of course. Coronavirus has wreaked havoc on their final and, arguably, most significant year of learning - locking them out of classrooms when they needed friends and teachers most.
But that’s not all. Because in truth, crisis has long been ‘the new normal’ for the Class of 2020.
Watch: The Horoscopes Homeschooling their kids. Post continues below.
This is a generation who were born in the wake of 9/11 and started their educational journey in the shadow of the GFC.
Theirs has been the age of terrorism, climate change, racial violence, and frightening political vitriol. Now they finish up their schooling in the midst of a global pandemic that looks set to claim one million lives before the year is over.
More than our praise, they command our respect. Because so far, coming of age in the 21st century hasn’t been all roses.
Before I’m sarcastically told to get the violins out, let’s admit that many of us have been reluctant to give Generation Z the credit they deserve.
We’ve overlooked their grit and snarkily remarked on their alleged entitlement, laziness, and apathy instead.