It's not just the Leaving Cert that is gone for the class of 2020. The end-of-year rituals - from the school Mass to the teary graduations - have all had to go, leaving sixth-years with a sense of loss.
In ordinary times, this period marks the calm before the high-stakes exams begin, a time to celebrate the ending of school days with friends and teachers who have guided their young charges through the rough and the smooth.
Actor Matt Damon lifted the spirits among his new neighbours in Dalkey, with a video message for sixth-years in the local Loreto Abbey, but principals and teachers everywhere are trying to find ways to mark the end of an era for their pupils.
At Moville Community College, Co Donegal, rites of passage traditionally include a morning of games that students and teachers enjoy together before everyone sits down for an al fresco lunch.
Principal Anthony Doogan says the 102 students in his class of 2020 have missed out on an opportunity for friendships to deepen in the final months. He believes only time will tell how much this loss of time spent with friends and teachers will impact on students' lives.
"I'd call it a missed opportunity rather than damage," says Mr Doogan.
One of his sixth-year pupils, Ellen Hegarty (17), believes there has been no real closure for the class.
"After Easter is the time people come together and say, 'we'll get through this together'. We never had that opportunity," she says.
On the day school finishes for the summer, before the exams start, it is a tradition for sixth-years to go to the beach, where they watch the waves break and hang out together at Shroove Beach.
"The end of the year is when all the students come together to thank the teachers for all their hard work. It will be hard to leave it all behind and not have that ending," says Ellen.
At Coláiste Bríde, in Clondalkin, Dublin, a keen sense of loss is also being felt.
Principal Marie-Therese Kilmartin says this is an emotional time of year at the best of times but this year it is coupled with the loss of pupils not seeing their friends.
"Normally, we'd have lots of different events happening in the month of May, including coffee mornings and opportunities for the girls to focus on their dreams and aspirations. There'd be dressing up for different events and we'd have public events for parents too," she says.
Staff are busy working on a memory book, a big ritual in Coláiste Bríde, for all the sixth-years. And while they won't be able to ask their teachers personally to inscribe their book, they will post each girl her own copy of the book, which as many teachers as possible will sign.
As much as calculated grades will become a part of this group of students' lives, so too will the loss of the Leaving Cert and all the rites of passage around it, she believes.
"It's important we remember this as positively as possible. We will have a virtual graduation ceremony and we are compiling a video montage of messages.
"Psychologically, as schools, we have to address the needs of our sixth-years and help them move forward," she says.
Having seen her two older sisters graduate from Coláiste Bríde, 17-year-old Mary Lugemba was looking forward to her turn.
The virtual graduation doesn't compare with what they had been planning, according to Mary. She says these end-of-year plans had often sustained the girls through the long days of studying.
Deputy head girl Judith Esokpanoba (18) was especially looking forward to the annual release of balloons.
Pieces of paper containing the girls' hopes and dreams are traditionally placed inside each balloon and the simple ceremony came to represent hope for the future as much as an end to school days.
However, Judith says despite all the upheaval, strong friendships have been forged with her tight group of friends. She also says she will never take anything for granted again.
Head girl Ava Dowd (18) says it feels like sixth-years have lost out on a chance to spend fun time together after the work was done.
"The last day of school, we just left thinking we'd be back - we didn't get a proper goodbye," she says.
"It's hard to think I haven't seen my friends in nine weeks. We do Zoom calls but you miss the laugh when you're in school. I feel like we haven't got the closure we needed.
"Usually, you have a graduation and you have your parents there. You get to say goodbye and you're done. Now, it's like we're going to college and it's scary and daunting and we didn't get the goodbye we deserved."
At Carndonagh Community School, Co Donegal, staff are working on online ways to commemorate the journey of sixth-years through the school.
To keep their spirits up, each of the class of 2020 received a 'care pack' in the post.
Careers teacher Róisín Diver explains that it contained teabags so students could have a relaxing cuppa, a highlighter pen to remind them of the bright future ahead of them, a candle to signify light at the end of the tunnel, and a packet of Love Hearts sweets to let them know they are cared for.
There was also a paperclip - a sign to hold it together - and a pebble from a beach reminding them of the landscape from which they come.
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Even decades after sitting the Leaving Cert, many of us still wake up in a cold sweat after dreaming that we are back in the exam hall. It's a rite of passage - three weeks in June that mark the end of school days. For two out of three school leavers, it also determines if they get a coveted place on a college course. The memory of it lingers because it feels like so much of your life and your future depends on it.
Primary pupils will only be able to return to school part-time in Autumn if current social distancing and other public health restrictions are in place, teachers and school managers warn.