Every time Jazmyn Michie checks her calendar, she has to cross out another event, or excursion, cancelled courtesy of COVID-19.
The outdoor education student thrives on getting out of the classroom for bushwalking, camping and rockclimbing trips. None were possible in 2020, but Jazmyn says while disappointing, her pandemic-ridden final year of school could not have better prepared her for the next step.
"People always say you need your lows to feel your highs. I've never really understood it to the degree I have this year," Jazmyn said.
"Because when you do have those lows, those small wins ... which you would normally take for granted, you celebrate."
The Bungendore resident swapped a two-hour daily commute for studying from her bedroom in April, isolating her from friends in Canberra.
She struggled through remote learning, but finding her rhythm when things returned to a semblance of normality was just as jarring.
In a year that seems to be dealing out crisis after crisis, Jazmyn believed it has prepared her peers to deal with the fallout in the decades to come.
"Even last year with all the climate change rallies ... I think it's sort of grown us up a little bit," she said.
"We aren't afraid of taking things into our own hands and [having] our voices heard."
Coming of age in a crisis is no easy feat, but Canberra's graduating class are filled with pride, and recognition 2020 will forge their future in a more profound way than they initially expected.
'This whole situation has really opened my eyes'
The pandemic has brought on a spike in mental illness in young people, with more experiencing anxiety and depression, isolation and loneliness.
Black Dog Insitute researcher Joanne Beames said despite the negative impacts of a world in crisis, young people found bright spots, too.
A survey of almost 800 young Australians found they had more compassion, gratitude and a deeper connection with others.
Dr Beames said the generation entering adulthood in a COVID era were underestimated for their stoicism and strength.
"[That comes from] a mixture of a genetic predisposition towards responding in a resilient way as well as their upbringing and things they've had to cope with in the past," she said.
Coronavirus restrictions in the ACT were never as harsh as the lengthy isolation imposed in other states. But the confusing yo-yoing between the classroom and home, and uncertainty around every final year highlight students had looked forward to, took its toll.
Dr Beames said a sense of belonging and time with friends were pillars of a young person's development which when stripped away forced them to refocus, honing in on their most important relationships.
"Peer interaction and belonging are important for young people generally, this helps them to kind of form a unique identity, which is a big part of development and growing up in that phase of life," she said.
Kate Kirk's priorities have changed this year. She puts greater value on her closest friendships and family.
"Year 12 you really want to make the most of it with your friends," she said.
"It kind of taught us to really invest in our friendships.
"The remote learning period made our year group want to make the most of the year ... we realised how much we took for granted."
Kate planned on taking a gap year and travelling the world. With that out of the question, she will spend 2021 working at her family's Murrumbateman winery.
"This whole situation has really opened my eyes, my family business was started by my grandpa," she said. "I really want to make the most of the time I have with him and connect with him."
Social interaction lies at the heart of education, according to ANU social psychology professor Lawrence Saha who said classrooms operated like "mini-societies".
"There's the social connection between the teacher and the students but there's also the connection between the students themselves," he said.
"Year 12 is going to really affect the rest of [the students'] lives, in their educational and possibly occupational careers."
Professor Saha said the challenges of 2020 were a chance for students to "learn something different about themselves and adapting to different circumstances".
Yichen Li's time spent with her school's orchestra was done differently this year.
"Normally in an orchestra you have to gauge off the other players to see where you're at," she said.
Instead, a little creativity was needed to create a school musical. Each player recorded their own section at home which was later layered together.
You 'can't sugarcoat' the bleak outlook
The economic impact of the pandemic will take the greatest toll on people who haven't even entered the workforce yet.
When Yichen graduates from university, she'll enter one of the worst job markets Australia has faced in decades.
The hopeful politics and economics graduate was looking to the positives, knowing she has a secure place ahead of study next year.
"Rather than looking at what we don't have, looking at what we actually do have and leveraging off that, use that as an opportunity," she said.
University of Melbourne economics professor Jeff Borland found young people were being crowded out of the job market before coronavirus.
You "can't sugarcoat" the bleak economic future, Lachlan McNamara says, but you can't dwell on it either.
"We'll face it head on," he said.
Tepi Bell always wanted to study international relations at university, but the day she discovered her dream course would more than double in cost next year, she changed her mind.
"I was sitting down in the morning, reading the news with my dad and I saw the price rise," she said.
"We started talking about different courses and I thought of teaching. It sparked an interest and teaching will give me great skills and experiences."
A community-oriented student, Tepi helps lead her college's student community group. She is organising a COVID-safe formal and has been trying to keep her peers connected through lockdown.
"We set up a newsletter [with] different techniques to study while you're online and isolated. For a lot of students, their mental health [was affected] it was a great platform for them to write about their experience and have a way to connect."
'This year is going to stay with us forever'
It is not yet known what effect this pivotal year will have on Canberra's class of 2020 in the years to come.
Dr Beames said there would be positives and negatives felt differently by every individual.
Tepi has seen a change in her peers this year. She believes 2020 has sparked something in the people around her.
"All the experiences and things we've witnessed throughout this year are definitely going to stay with us forever and change the way we went through high school," she said.
"They want to be a part of some change in the world because of terrible things we've seen.
"I think that is the best thing that has happened this year."