Two Northern Ireland students who were denied university places last week have spoken about the turmoil of having their futures left in the balance.
Dylan Frazer (19) from Lisburn was looking forward to being the first member of his family to go to university before his grades were marked down from predicted grades of AAB from Belfast Metropolitan College and SERC Lisburn to ABC.
He was denied his first choice place of studying International Politics at Queen's University.
With his marks to be upgraded, he has ultimately decided to go with his second choice of International Politics at Glasgow University.
Elise McFarland (18) is head girl at Antrim Grammar School and despite being a straight A student was denied entry into medical schools in Glasgow and Aberdeen after receiving a B in Maths.
Elise is now waiting to confirm her place at Glasgow University on the strength of predicted grades of AAA from her teachers.
Dylan said: "I'm not going to lie when the results first came out I knew instantly I hadn't gotten into uni and I was insanely upset.
"It's not the ideal situation now but I am happy I've got into Glasgow. I think Peter Weir has done the right thing now, even if it is a bit late.
"For so many people it was the worst couple of days of their life. I literally felt like a failure and stupid but then I realised it's actually not my fault."
With the traditional end-of-school celebrations in pubs more difficult due to Covid-19, Dylan is planning to meet up with his friends at McDonald's instead.
"We're calling it the last supper, then we'll head off on our separate ways which is sad but we'll still stay in contact."
Elise McFarland's mum Lisa (48) said the family have been left furious by the uncertainty
"This is the absolute last straw, these kids have been through so much. My daughter's very academic and to have these exams taken away from her was horrific. To not be able to prove yourself to go to university caused tears upon tears.
"I was fit to be tied on Thursday, I was heartbroken for her and the teachers. This was her life's dream and if I heard one more time that my child was an anomaly I was actually going to throw the TV out the window." She added: "Mental health has been in the toilet over the way this has been handled. Elise has a very supportive mother and father and comes from a happy home, what about the kids that don't?"
Elise said: "I'm okay now, but when I got the results at first I was shocked and angry as I knew it wasn't what I deserved."
She was working at her part time job in Spar on Monday when Peter Weir announced his u-turn.
"I was literally in the bread aisle when my mum texted me to say I was going to uni. The whole thing was ridiculous, I was just shaking with relief more than excitement. Even now, I feel confident I'll get into Glasgow but I still haven't been told officially."
Ulster University's Professor Siobhan O'Neill, Northern Ireland's interim mental health champion, said students now needed stability.
"I think young people might not feel their mental health has been considered in this process. The lack of trust they will have in the system is also a significant issue.
"By and large young people are very resilient and will get through this, and we need to let them know that."
On Dylan's plan to meet up with friends for a 'last supper' she said the pandemic had robbed many students of an important rite of passage.
"Those rituals are really important. The celebrations and commiseration, it really helps people cope," she said.
"So the fact that we have a pandemic means they have been robbed of those rituals as well. So we talk about rituals of grief, but there's also rituals of transition that have been denied."
Also offering advice for students was Duane Farell, CEO of the counselling service Relate NI.
"It is unsurprising that young people finishing their secondary education will be feeling angst over the past few months with uncertainty around the pandemic and what it has meant for exams," he said.
"The events of the last week in relation to exam grades is likely to have increased those feelings for people worried about their next steps in life.
"Feelings of anxiety is a normal reaction to these extenuating circumstances, and you will not be alone in experiencing these feelings."
"Nevertheless, it is important that you speak to somebody, perhaps family members or school staff, as well as supporting your peers. You can also seek counselling support from Childline on 0800 1111."
On Tuesday, Economy Minister Diane Dodds said she was working with the Stormont Executive as scores of extra students are now expected to be eligible for places at Queen's and Ulster University.
Results are expected to inflate by 10%, but university places here are capped as tuition fees are partially funded by the Department for the Economy.
Queen's University has called for "urgent consideration" on the cap while Ulster University has said it will be "as flexible as possible" to meet the extra demand.