It should be one of the most exciting times of their lives as they look to the future and make their plans, but like so many 18-year-olds across Northern Ireland and around the world, Katie Douglas and Conor Byrne are putting their plans on ice - for now at least.
The best friends, head girl and head boy at Belfast's Fleming Fulton School, are determined to make a success of their lives when we finally find our way to a new normal after lockdown.
"We're not too sure what's going to happen because everything that's happened with Covid has been so disruptive," says Conor, who has been at the Belfast special school since he was two years old.
"I'd hoped to be going to Belfast Met in September, but with everything over the last few months, I'm really having to think about my options.
"It might be that I go back to school for another year, but that wouldn't be a bad thing."
For the teenagers, who both have cerebral palsy, Fleming Fulton, which welcomes kids up to aged 19, has been much more than a school - they say it's been a second home.
Katie, from Newtownabbey, took her place at Fleming later than Conor, joining after finishing her primary education at a mainstream school in the city.
"I was in mainstream right up to P7," she recalls. "It was hard in lots of ways, and if there were trips, my mum had to come with me.
"But Fleming gave me freedom. It taught me there are ways to get around things and there's nothing I can't do."
Conor, who lives in Four Winds, agrees.
After linking up with the school when he was two, he has achieved more than most people had hoped.
"As well as cerebral palsy, I've got right-side hemiplegia and epilepsy. When I was small, I wasn't able to walk or talk, but now I can do both," he says.
"I was able to get physio at school, so I wasn't missing out on lessons having to travel in and out. Things weren't completely disrupted and I was completely supported through everything.
"I didn't go to physio in recent years as much as I did when I was younger, but I did have surgery two years ago on my right arm because I had quite limited use. The operation was a success and the school completely supported me as I went through all that."
Katie, who combines her wheelchair with walking with the support of a frame, needed two operations to correct a turn in her foot, first in 2012 and again two years later.
"It all involved a big journey of physio and hospital appointments, but I was able to have most of it all in school, which meant I wasn't missing out. It makes a huge difference because everything isn't disrupted," she explains.
"But one of the best bits of it was that we're all, most of us, in the same boat. After being in mainstream, it was brilliant to be at Fleming and know I wasn't the only one missing out for an operation.
"Other people were out at different times too, and the school was able to really help us catch up, so we didn't feel at a different stage coming back. Just feeling in the same boat as everyone else does make a big difference to how you feel."
Katie's mum Viola says the change in her daughter was huge when she started at Fleming.
"Katie was always bubbly and outgoing as a little girl, but we noticed a change in her mood as she got a bit older," she adds.
"When it came to looking into secondary schools, we looked at Fleming. At that point, our top priority for her was her wellbeing. We wanted her to be happy. As soon as we visited, we saw it was just amazing.
"From the minute she went to the school, she fitted right in and there's nothing she's wanted to do that they haven't supported her with.
"It stretches right out to the whole family because knowing she's so happy and content is a huge relief."
As well as their fantastic academic achievements - both Katie and Conor have secured three GCSEs each in English, Maths and Science - they have completed their Duke of Edinburgh and are both big fans of sport.
"I play badminton and football for Cerebral Palsy NI," says Conor. "It's run through the IFA and, like everything else this year, it was disrupted when the team was doing really well, but we'll get back to it when we can."
Katie, meanwhile, gets huge enjoyment from boccia, a Paralympic target sport where the aim of the game is to throw or roll balls, so that they land close to a target.
Conor plans to work eventually full-time in sport, once he completes his studies.
"I'm-sports mad. I'd love to work with disabilities sport in Northern Ireland, maybe as a coach, working with schools and teams. I think that would be great and I know people who have helped me in this way through my life have made a big impact," he says.
Katie's ambitions are different but, like Conor, she wants to make a difference.
"One of my dream jobs is to be an ambulance dispatcher," she says. "One of my relatives has epilepsy and we've had to phone the ambulance if they've had a fit. It's a really important job, like every job in the NHS, and I want to give back."
After finishing up at Fleming, whether that's after another year or not, given the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19, both Katie and Conor hope to complete a one-year Pathfinder programme at Belfast Met.
The course, designed to promote confidence and develop social and independent living skills, will help set them up even more strongly for the future.
"I'll absolutely choke up here, but the opportunities Conor has had at Fleming have been amazing," says Conor's mum Sinead. "If all the support they have given him so far wasn't there, I don't know if he would have made all the brilliant progress that he has.
"There were so many big challenges, but he's been able to do his schoolwork and his classes, his physio and get great opportunities with places like the IFA through the school. It's been life-changing."
Vitally, as they head out into the world, when it finally returns to some new sort of normal, Katie and Conor will be heading out with a strong, confident and determined attitude.
"Before I was at Fleming, I didn't really get that," says Katie. "I didn't get that if you've got a disability, it doesn't stop you doing anything. Of course, my family said it - they'd always told me that - but when I got to Fleming, the message was clear that I can do the same as anyone.
"I learned that you can always find a way."
With that in mind, the pair are making their way through lockdown as well as anyone, cracking on with their studies and keeping in touch with each other, the school and the rest of their friends through Zoom and on the phone.
"It's been hard because my dad became ill before Covid and I had all my friends and teachers there for support," says Katie.
"Since we've been at home, they've been amazing. The counsellor and the staff have been on the phone, so I've still got that support.
"It's not the same as going in and getting a hug from my friends, but we're talking all the time."
And that's not an overstatement, according to her mum, who says the friends are chatting to each other "morning, noon and night".
"It's sad because we can't see each other all the time like we normally do, but thankfully we've got all this technology to keep us in touch," adds Conor.
Since the lockdown rules were lifted a little earlier this month, Katie has visited Conor's house, although she stayed in the car while he stood back in the garden.
"The first thing that we'll do when we're allowed is to meet up with our two other best friends," says Katie.
"It's been hard because we're all so close and we're so used to seeing each other all the time.
"When this is all over, the first thing we'll do will be get together and celebrate."