Across the state thousands of Year 12 students are sitting their Higher School Certificate exams at the end of one of the most disrupted school years in living memory.
Along almost the entire length of the NSW coast, they started the academic year in the immediate wake of the biggest bushfire crisis NSW had ever seen.
This was followed by extensive floods, which doused the bushfire but created a whole new dimension of disruption.
They then became first graduating cohort in a century to have faced a global pandemic, the consequences of which included a stint of remote learning.
And once the exams are over, and they embark on the next chapter in their lives, they face a recession the depths of which we haven't seen since the Great Depression.
The normal patterns of adolescent life have been snatched from them. The pre-HSC formals were cancelled. They're now permitted in this final school term but for many the rite of passage will be skipped. Likewise, Schoolies Week, which will be subject to COVID restrictions and will not involve the pilgrimage to the Gold Coast or Bali.
Plans for overseas gap years have also been shelved. The summer music festivals to which they so looked forward are also off the books.
And for those wanting to enter the workforce immediately after school, job prospects, career paths and plans are all overshadowed by the COVID recession.
There's no denying it, these students have done and are doing it tough. Which is why our thoughts are with them during this stressful exam time.
One thing the Class of 2020 will take from this year is a strong sense of history. Like generations before them who endured global catastrophe, this year will be marker in their lives they will never forget, even if they'd prefer to.
The experience gained through toughing it out will hold them in good stead for years to come. Like the generation that endured the Great Depression, they will appreciate the value of thrift. They will hopefully gain a new appreciation for real rather than virtual connectedness.
Every year HSC students are reminded there are different pathways to their futures and that not everything depends on the dreaded ATAR.
It is even more important in this most difficult year they remember that.