To think that university graduation teams should cater for separated families?

(250 Posts)
DisappointedGraduate Fri 17-May-13 13:50:55

I will be graduating from medical school this summer and have been unable to secure an extra ticket. I therefore must tell either my Dmum, DSdad or Ddad that they cannot attend the ceremony. It's a long story, detailed in the below letter that I sent to the university, but the short of it is:

In this day and age, when many people who are graduating come from separated families, shouldn't universities make allowances to ensure that all of a graduates direct family i.e. parents & spouse can attend?

For anyone interested, below is my full story:

Dear Graduation Team,

I am writing to express my regret and dissappointment with the extremely poor organisation that has taken place regarding the ticket sales for ceremony 12

Due to the 'technical difficulties' I was unable to buy an extra ticket when they were supposed to go on sale last week. As it was so important to my family to get an extra ticket, I have been sat at a computer in the medical school constantly refreshing the graduation ticket sales page since 8.30am this morning.

Bang on 9am the site shut down due to 'high traffic', displaying the message in the screenshot attached to this email. I then constantly refreshed the page and tried restarting Internet Explorer all to no avail. I called the graduation team at 10.05am to be told that the extra tickets had sold out, however broadcast tickets were still available to purchased online. I tried to explain that for me, the site was not working (screenshot) and in this time the broadcast tickets also sold out.

I feel let down by the graduation team on three fronts:

Firstly: I imagine that demand for graduation tickets for medical school graduates is always high, as was the experience of collegues in the past two years of graduates. Therefore it would seem sensible to arrange a venue more suitable to meeting the demand for this particular cohort of students or to split the cohort into two ceremonies. The graduation team member that I spoke to on the phone said that uptake of tickets is variable, which I imagine to be true for other courses, but am highly sceptical that this is the case for medical graduations.

Secondly: I had anticipated a fair first-come first-served basis for buying tickets. This is not the case if the Graduation website is not built to be capable of sustaining the anticipated volume of traffic, so that not all students have a fair chance of accessing the site. This problem became apparent when the tickets first went on sale last week and obviously had not been sufficiently rectified before ticket sales were opened up again this morning, as evidenced by my experience.

Finally: In order to be at my computer at 9am (two weeks in a row), I have had to be late for an important clinical placement. Medical students on their medical assistantship placements (as half of them all will be) are expected to work the hours of a professional junior doctor. Opening up ticket sales when half of medical students should be on the ward seeing patients is at best unfair to the half of the medical student body on their Mast placement and at worse encouraging them to overlook their professional responsibilities. I was able to work late a previous evening (time away from my daugher) in order to be late this morning to buy tickets - not all Mast students would be able to do this.

I am in a situation, like many other students, whereby I come from a split family. I have a mother, a step-father and a father who have all equally been parents to me throughout my life. I also have a husband and daughter, however had already made the tough decision that my parents would have priority for attending the ceremony. I am therefore now in the impossible situation of telling one of my parents that they cannot attend my graduation. This is causing more heartbreak than the amount of joy that attending such an event is supposed to cause.

I am the first person in my family to attend university and during my time in medical school had to have surgery for endometriosis (a condition that threatened my fertility) and, on the advice of specialists, I conceived during medical school and went on to have my daughter. Completing medical school with my medical problems and a young baby has been long and very difficult and I am overjoyed to finally be able to graduate. It is such a shame that an organisational error and poor foresight on behalf of the graduation team has dampened this acheivement. I am not telling you this as a 'sob story' to try to make you magic tickets that do not exist. I am not that naive. Instead I am trying to make you understand that the students you are dealing with are real people with complicated lives and not just entitled individuals wanting their second cousins etc to attend.

In this day and age, I imagine it is very common for students to have more than two parents, not to mention spouses, and believe that it is the graduation teams responsibilty to understand and accomodate this.

The ideal outcome to these issues would be for the graduation team to increase the amount of tickets available by either splitting the cohort into two ceremonies or moving the ceremony to a larger venue, however I imagine that this is unachievable at this late date.

Therefore, I hope that this email provides food for thought and enables to graduation team to make much needed improvements to their services to avoid this level of upset and dissappointment for future years.

Kind Regards,

Disappointed Graduate

mnistooaddictive Fri 17-May-13 13:53:16

There is limited space, everyone has a reason why their need is the highest. Spend your energy on something worthwhile.

Llareggub Fri 17-May-13 13:54:33

The ceremony is really dull anyway. YABU.

StuffezLaYoni Fri 17-May-13 13:55:29

But... Presumably there is limited space? Surely if so, it's only fair to allocate a certain number of tickets per graduate?
I think it's extremely OTT.

Seriously you should get a life.

MrsOakenshield Fri 17-May-13 13:56:19

what exactly is your solution to this? It is no different to any other ticketed event, there is a finite number of tickets, on sale at a specific time. It's just bad luck. Your personal history is also totally irrelevant.

EldritchCleavage Fri 17-May-13 13:58:56

No, sorry. There will never be enough room, this is the fairest way to ration it.

And I think your letter was pretty ill-judged.

DisappointedGraduate Fri 17-May-13 14:00:06

Surely though, if there is limited space, they could either hold the ceremony in a larger venue?

Seriously you should get a life

This course, whilst looking after my baby/toddler has been my life for a long time.

Mumsyblouse Fri 17-May-13 14:00:14

The hassle of graduation ceremonies for universities is already huge, we do 16 ceremonies across 4 days- do you suggest we run 32 so that everyone can come?! It is a shame not to be able to have everyone special there, but surely you can see that if you went with parents, step-parents, siblings, the odd grandparent, it's just too many people. I think we had three tickets though, 2 as standard and one extra if you asked for it.

I do agree their system for allocating extra tickets is extremely dysfunctional though and I suggest you focus on complaining about that rather than not being able to have all the tickets that fit your family (as really ideally you would have your husband there as well).

ArabellaBeaumaris Fri 17-May-13 14:01:16


ecclesvet Fri 17-May-13 14:01:30

What happens for people who are very close to their parents, step-parents and maternal grandparents? Should they get 6 tickets? And if they also want their older sister there as well, 7 tickets? At some point you have to draw a line. You got two tickets automatically, they put in a system that allowed for the purchase of extra tickets, unfortunately you didn't get one. Obviously the system did work because you admit that all the extra tickets were sold out.

Smartiepants79 Fri 17-May-13 14:01:53

These things are always the same. Starting with tickets to the pre-school nativity!
The venue is probably chosen for a myriad of reasons, main one probably being cost.
They could never find one big enought o fit EVERYONE that people wanted to be there.
I understand your family will be disappointed but it is quite a minor issue is the grand scheme of things.
And first come first served is not particularly fair if students have appointments etc. . Allocating 2 tickets per family is fair.
I had 2 parents and 4 grandparents and a sisters and a boyfriend who would all have like to be there, but.... They couldn't. They got over it!

Heartbreak? Seriously? Its no biggie, honestly.

Can't you all just get together and go for a meal and celebrate after the ceremony?

Mumsyblouse Fri 17-May-13 14:02:33

Most graduations are in pretty large venues! There are 100's of people to get in and out safely (the crush is no joke) and start the next one quickly afterwards. It is a logistical nightmare. It is sad, but people also want their graduations in special buildings (cathedral, large concert hall) and not just the local gym, and so it is a balancing act.

I do think you should have been able to get an extra ticket though and I would call and ask the graduation team personally for one.

101handbags Fri 17-May-13 14:03:10

YABU. There is always limited space, everybody gets the opportunity to purchase the same number of tickets. I really don't think your medical history etc. interests the organisers of the graduation, sorry. Congratulations on your graduation, but really I think you've gone a little over the top here.

SirChenjin Fri 17-May-13 14:03:24

YABU - it's not up to universities to cater for absolutely every single personal situation that every single student has.

lebasi Fri 17-May-13 14:03:32

I have sympathy - whilst agreeing the ceremony itself is pretty dull, it is a symbolic event that means a lot to those who do want to participate and to their families. It might be worth writing to the Grad Office, but my advice would be to make your letter far shorter and far less personal - there will be many other students in a similar situation - and be prepared for a standard 'tough luck' response. There may be additional availability on the day as some attendees won't make it, but if all else fails, is your dept holding some sort of Graduation party that all of your family can attend? You could then ask someone to video the ceremony itself, and invite everyone else to the Grad party.

DisappointedGraduate Fri 17-May-13 14:03:45

And I think your letter was pretty ill-judged.

It may well have been, it was written when I was still upset. I may well have overreacted as I've had a week of sleepless nights, but the thought of having to tell one of my parents that they cannot attend made me burst into tears.

starfishmummy Fri 17-May-13 14:03:48

You are graduating from medical school and are supposed to be a grown up now: you sound like a spoiled child.

What do you think a larger venue would cost? In man hours, rental, organization, just to accommodate graduates who cant work out who to invite?

If this troubles you to the extent of such a long and pointless rant to the organizers, you need to look beyond your course, and your baby, and see if you can find perspective. It will do you good in your medical career.

But well done for graduating!

MrsOakenshield Fri 17-May-13 14:04:46

My parents came to mine. My sister and boyfriend (probably more important to me) couldn't, and I didn't get to go to their's. Such is life.

get everyone together for a meal afterwards, that'll be far more enjoyable than what is, at the end of the day, a pretty boring ceremony.

Again, your personal circumstances aren't relevant.

Mumsyblouse Fri 17-May-13 14:06:03

*Disappointed graduate*- oh dear, I can tell you are upset, but really it's not practical to have more than 2 plus perhaps one other at a graduation. I have four parents and step parents, some people have even more, plus your husband isn't going in! My husband didn't go in- he let my gran and mum go as he realised it would mean a lot to them.

Just contact the grad office and ask for an extra ticket, if they can find one they can find one, if they can't they can't.

holidaysarenice Fri 17-May-13 14:06:27

You do realise that story will out you to many?

Heaven help you when it comes to medical rationing.

Ideally you want 4 tickets, so does everyone. Doesn't happen. Make the day special in other ways.
Those not there can watch by video I'm sure

CSIJanner Fri 17-May-13 14:06:55

YABU - I've worked within a university and whilst as a team, we sympathised that not everyone you wish for can be there, you must also think of everyone else who is attending who will also have 2 tickets each. That's three seats for each graduation. Given that it isn't usually just your cohort that is graduating (universities tend to place schools together - if the school is too small, then it's added to others), then that's a lot of graduates and a lot of tickets for relatives plus staff. And graduation ceremonies cost a lot, especially when it's serval schools over a week. Ours last for 6 days, with a ceremony in the morning and afternoon. Plus then there's the extra special ceremony for overseas students who want their ceremony especially before they fly home. It's all ££ when, despite your fees, universities are usually flying on the cusp of red.

Not everyone can attend graduation as they fly home or have to work etc, so their tickets can be redistributed. Whilst it may seem unfair to blended families that they cannot have enough seats, how is it fair that a graduate, who parents are still together, cannot have three seats for their spouse, or grandparent. The system of two tickets per person is there to make the system fair. If you want another one, ask around your cohort to see if only one ticket is used, or alternatively, go through the correct channels and apply. You will more likely than not get the extra ticket you want.

What you can do is get in touch with the award/exam team and request an extra ticket even if the extra ticket sale has gone. Mind - that's a first one for me, as tickets are allocated where at our Uni and any extras are distributed out, not sold. To that extent and the unfair method they use to distribute, YANBU. But to request that an v expensive ceremony be split into two so that blended families can have more tickets is unreasonable.

And ask to be put on the list for an extra ticket. Some usually get released about a week or more before the ceremony.

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 17-May-13 14:06:57

Good heavens, that letter is ridiculous.
You didn't get an extra ticket, end off.

Ragwort Fri 17-May-13 14:07:08

'Heartbreak' because you can't attend a Graduation Ceremony - hmm - only on Mumsnet grin. I just can't believe you are taking it so seriously.

Quejica Fri 17-May-13 14:07:44

Is the ceremony broadcast on the internet or screened in other rooms at the university? Surely being in the actual room with you is only a tiny part of the day and your entire family will want to celebrate with you over the entire day.
They must all be so proud of you, don't let this over-shadow what is an incredible achievement on your part.

Congratulations! smile

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Fri 17-May-13 14:07:55

How many tickets do you have now?

Mumsyblouse Fri 17-May-13 14:08:40

What do you think a larger venue would cost? In man hours, rental, organization, just to accommodate graduates who cant work out who to invite?

These already are huge venues, do cost a lot of money, and lots of time and energy is spent trying to make this a special day, but with the best will in the world, some people would invite 10 of their close family if you let them and we can't have 5x as many graduation ceremonies to accommodate them.

As you know anyway, having graduated before, the ceremony is tedious, 2 hours of calling out lots of names, have the other relatives and husband and baby all standing by outside and have lots of photos of you in your gown/hat and go somewhere fabby for lunch- it can still be an amazing day and they will still get to join in with it.

scaevola Fri 17-May-13 14:09:06

I agree that if they use a online purchasing system it should work and cope with expected demand (though all sorts of events can get caught out on this one).

As the event is "heartbreaking" for you, perhaps better to cancel your attendance altogether and hold a private celebration.

"The graduation team member that I spoke to on the phone said that uptake of tickets is variable, which I imagine to be true for other courses, but am highly sceptical that this is the case for medical graduations."

You really think that parents of other graduates are less proud and cant be bothered to come and see their offspring graduate? hmm

How amazingly self absorbed and elitist of you! shock

CloudsAndTrees Fri 17-May-13 14:10:59

Your complaint about the website not being able to cope with high demand is valid. Your point about wanting three parents to attend is valid.

But your point about some students being unable to get onto the website at 9.00 is pointless. Presumably if you have three or more family members that are so keen to come to the ceremony, one of them could have made the time to get on the website. As indeed they should have done if you knew this could be a problem, and more importantly, you had placements to attend.

I also don't think you should have included the bit about your illness, or the fact that you have a husband and daughter. The illness bit sounds like you are trying to give them a sob story, which rarely goes down well, and the fact that you have parents and a family of your own is because of your own personal choices. It is nothing to do with them.

Your including these points makes your valid points lose credibility.

StuffezLaYoni Fri 17-May-13 14:11:18

I didn't go to either of my graduations. Wasn't important to me and I was too skins to hire a gown and buy smart clothes. My parents were still proud of me and continue to be so. It's really not that important.

sparechange Fri 17-May-13 14:11:27

Sorry, but you are being massively melodramatic and totally U

I'll be amazed if you can even remember the ceremony a few years from now. They are all hugely boring and akin to watching someone checking in for a flight

OrangeFootedScrubfowl Fri 17-May-13 14:11:50

You missed out on extra tickets, it's a shame, but that's the way it is.

I think the letter is way over the top, and it isn't their fault your computer didn't work, it sounds like everyone else's did. You are understandably disappointed that everyone you'd like to can't attend, but it's not that important in the grand scheme of things.

I looked pretty with a funny hat and a cape for mine!

I could not even bother go to my Masters graduation.

rainingcatsandsprogs Fri 17-May-13 14:12:44

Under the current system I think YABU, everyone gets allocated 2 tickets regardless of circumstances and sadly it's just the luck of the draw if you can't manage to get anymore.

However it amazes me that universities don't just outsource the whole thing and be done with it - they already outsource the gown hire so why not the guest provision too? A company already dealing in large events such as concerts could find and hire an appropriate venue and sell as many tickets as possible to whoever wanted them. The uni could perhaps allow/pay for one ticket per person or arrange for a discount for low incomes to allow everyone to afford to bring at least one guest but basically it should be a case of pay the going rate and bring who you like. It's what we already have to do for dc's sporting/performance events and although we have to save up carefully for them it makes it so much easier for the extended family - no more apologising for why auntie can't go or granny but not grandad, whoever wants to go pays and everyone has a good time!

TroublesomeEx Fri 17-May-13 14:13:25

Ha ha good one...

Oh, it's not a joke?

Everyone wants more than 2 tickets. They restrict it to 2 tickets so that everyone graduating can have 2 people there to support them.

I'm not really sure why your treatment for endometriosis would be of any concern/relevance/interest to the university when they were allocating tickets for the graduation ceremony.

In future, I'd take a deep breath and wait 24 hours before sending a letter like this.

Rollmops Fri 17-May-13 14:13:28

You have been sitting 'at your computer'hmm for countless hours trying to buy an extra ticket to a graduation ceremony?
Which medical school, pray tell. I do hope, for your future patients' sake, that the school in question teaches medicine to a higher level that reasoning etc etc.

When I graduated I wanted my parents and my five children there, plus my boyfriend at the time.

I didn't get it. There weren't enough tickets.

Nobody died. I didn't go in the end at all, went and got photos in my gown and had a slap up lunch.

And playing on illness and a small baby in your letter is ridiculous. Loads of people, myself included, attend university with children and health problems.

You should have gone to your placement as well - that reflects very badly on you.

ThatRuddyAbyssinian Fri 17-May-13 14:13:40

By describing the organisation as 'extremely poor' in your opening sentance, OP, you'll have immediately got the backs up of the university staff who work pretty bloody hard to ensure graduation events go without a hitch. Nice job.

firawla Fri 17-May-13 14:15:26

yabu - overreaction. letter is way ott

UptheChimney Fri 17-May-13 14:15:37

I understand your frustration & disappointment, but YABU. There is limited space and a lot of graduates. Often there's room for only 2 people to attend for each graduand. Whose visitors do you propose are not given their 2 tickets so you can have 3 or 4? Everyone has to choose -- I couldn't have my BF if I wanted both parents, and none of my siblings could attend, so you're not alone.

Most universities offer a streaming service outside their Great Halls, so the rest of your extended family can watch, and then you can ALL go to the reception afterwards.

TroublesomeEx Fri 17-May-13 14:15:55

And I'm not really sure what the difference between medical and other graduates is either. confused

Dawndonna Fri 17-May-13 14:16:33

I understand that you are tired and emotional. So are the staff sorting out the graduation ceremonies. You're not the only one, not the first, won't be the last. You have achieved, you've done well. Enjoy your day and let it go. The person that won't be able to attend will get over it. Arrange a family meal for the immediate aftermath.

UptheChimney Fri 17-May-13 14:17:28

Surely though, if there is limited space, they could either hold the ceremony in a larger venue?

Furthermore, what would you rather your university spent its limited (and decreasing) funds on? A bigger venue for graduation ceremonies (which generally cover about 2 weeks) or paying for highly qualified staff, good libraries and laboratories, facilities for students, bursaries etc etc?

And how DARE you suggest that anyone who is graduating with a non-medical degree is somehow inferior to you with your medical degree.

You sound utterly entitled.

DisappointedGraduate Fri 17-May-13 14:19:29

You really think that parents of other graduates are less proud and cant be bothered to come and see their offspring graduate?

Definately not! This is not what I meant by this sentence, I'm sorry if it came across this way. This sentence came from discussions with friends over the past couple of years on other courses who have reported demand not being as high at their ceremonies compared to the friends that I have that are medical graduates. My friends from other courses have been very surprised at the demand for our ceremony.

I realise my letter was a bit of a thoughtless rant, unfortunately it was written when I was a bit of an emotional wreck.

I understand that a line must be drawn somewhere wrt how many guests can attend. I just would have thought that nowadays, where it is no longer the norm to have the usual two parents, three tickets per person would be more sensible.

TroublesomeEx Fri 17-May-13 14:19:31

And you're not the only person to go to university with a child.

And plenty of people at university of all ages manage illness/bereavement/disability etc.

None of that should have any bearing on the allocation of tickets for a graduation ceremony.

TroublesomeEx Fri 17-May-13 14:20:43

But why 3 tickets per person? What if both parents remarried? You'd still be one short.

livinginwonderland Fri 17-May-13 14:20:49

YABVU. I went to my graduation and I was bored shitless. I drove 2 hours each way with my parents to attend and it was just a massive waste of time and money. If you want to celebrate with everyone, book a meal out somewhere and a hotel for the night and celebrate afterwards.

If you're putting this much stock in a ceremony, you need to get a grip. Sorry.

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 17-May-13 14:20:59

I hope you haven't actually sent it Op.
It makes you look like a fool.

Whilst at university I had small children, health problems (many, including cancer), two close family bereavements and was going through divorce and a house move.

I call bingo and I win.

You really have made yourself look entitled and really rather immature.

kritur Fri 17-May-13 14:23:23

Just wanted to point out that you aren't a graduate until you actually graduate. On the day you are a 'graduand'.

It's disappointing but that's life I'm afraid. I would have a big celebratory lunch for everyone to make up for it.

UptheChimney Fri 17-May-13 14:23:45

I realise my letter was a bit of a thoughtless rant, unfortunately it was written when I was a bit of an emotional wreck

Good lord! And you're going to be a medico? I think you still have a fair bit to learn ...

I bet you want to be a consultant with the sense of entitlement you're showing you'll fit right in.


Wouldntyouliketoknow Fri 17-May-13 14:24:53

YABU. I'm also graduating this summer. Asked for 3 tickets, got 2. I think that's just par for the course to be honest - they're never going to be able to fit everyone in. The ceremony is only one hour, is very boring and chances are they won't be able to see properly anyway.

Enjoy the rest of the day with your other family members.

Mumsyblouse Fri 17-May-13 14:24:59

I am not quite sure why you think three tickets would be the right no for separated families- I have four parents and step-parents, some people have even more!

EldritchCleavage Fri 17-May-13 14:25:13

On a more practical note, can't you talk to your parents and step-parent and ask what they'd all like to do? One of them will obviously have to miss out, but you may find they will sort it all out between them quite happily.

DaveDeeDozyBeakyMickAndTitch Fri 17-May-13 14:25:49

Graduations are crap. I didn't even bother going to my second and third ones.

Rollmops Fri 17-May-13 14:26:14

To quote "...How amazingly self absorbed and elitist of you! ..."

Self absorbed, yes, elitist, not a chance - OPs writing style makes it rather clearhmm.

However, congratulations on your graduation.

DisappointedGraduate Fri 17-May-13 14:26:16

The parts about my personal situation are not intended for them to make any allowances for me (although, as I said, I wrote it in a silly emotional whir). The intention was to point out that all different people have different circumstances, which obviously didn't get across.

currentbuns Fri 17-May-13 14:27:19

That letter is utterly OTT!

My son is due to graduate this summer. Me and the ex are going to the ceremony, other kids are being entertained for the day and we are having a meal together afterwards with us, his siblings and his girlfriend's family.

He is then going to do medicine as a graduate. How many tickets would we need? There will be him, GF, me, exH, possibly partners, 4 siblings, grannies and grandpa, uncles, aunts, cousins. They should get a hall and a ceremony just for him grin

PS there's a spelling mistake in your letter. It's DISAPPOINTED. Not DISSAPOINTED.

DisappointedGraduand Fri 17-May-13 14:30:03

Just wanted to point out that you aren't a graduate until you actually graduate. On the day you are a 'graduand'.

You learn something new every day. Thank you.

DisappointedGraduand Fri 17-May-13 14:30:55

PS there's a spelling mistake in your letter. It's DISAPPOINTED. Not DISSAPOINTED.


PickledLiver Fri 17-May-13 14:32:44

Oh FFS. This is ridiculous. YABVU & I suspect you'll be having a rather large shock when you start as an F1.

oh damn that capitals. YOu know what i MeaN

PickledLiver Fri 17-May-13 14:32:58

And it's bugger not buggar.

PickledLiver Fri 17-May-13 14:33:07


KentishWine Fri 17-May-13 14:33:40

YABU - Lots of people will have more than 2 special people in their life. Your situation is not special or unique.

BottledWaterandFags Fri 17-May-13 14:34:43

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

complexnumber Fri 17-May-13 14:35:44

Good grief!

Please tell me you won't actually be responsible for treating another sick human being until you have properly grown up.

callofthewild Fri 17-May-13 14:35:48

Whilst I can have some sympathy, the reality is that most people have more than two people they would like to invite but they get on with it, make a difficult decision and move on. You sound ridiculously entitled and self indulgent.

However, the part I take greatest exception to is your belief that only people who have done medical degrees have families who would like to attend their graduations over and above any other form of degree. Doing medicine does not make you some sort of demi god to be revered by the rest of society and of a higher status than anyone else. You need to get a proper grip of reality and take yourself down a peg or two.

KentishWine Fri 17-May-13 14:39:29

I imagine that demand for graduation tickets for medical school graduates is always high

Yes, I imagine that parents of children who have studied 'lesser' subjects aren't that fussed to see their kids graduate!

toastandmarmiterocks Fri 17-May-13 14:40:12

Stop whinging and go and read your BNF or play with your child.

I knew all the way along that there was only likely to be two tickets per graduand. How did this come as a shock with a week to go?

MrsBungle Fri 17-May-13 14:41:42

It is a very Ott letter considering it's about tickets but I can understand you're a bit disappointed.

It really is boring. I didn't go to my second one.

Go for a nice family meal after (and book it quickly as restaurants get really booked up on graduation day).

Gosh, how very silly. Tickets sell out, which means someone has to wait or join you later and then you can celebrate together over lunch/dinner.

Hardly worth getting in an 'emotional whirl' about.

I'm sure you're very proud of yourself, but getting into such a tizz is very strange.

tiggytape Fri 17-May-13 14:44:32


And I hope you didn't really tell them you are missing an important clinical placement time to sit at a computer screen and hit refresh. The whole tone of your letter is slightly bonkers over emotional.

All graduates generally have more than 2 people that they would love to attend - it is the same for everyone.

Laquila Fri 17-May-13 14:45:00

I appreciate your frustrations but have to agree with others that it is simply not possible to cater for the individual personal circumstances of every graduand (and definitely not as simple as just moving things to a bigger venue and creating more ticket spaces).

Also, it's worth flagging up that universities don't allocate two tickets because it fits in with the nuclear family stereotype - they simply allocate two tickets to each graduand, and it is then up to him or her to decide who they wish to attend with them. You might take two parents, you might take one grandparent and a next-door neighbour, you might take your two kids. Everyone has to make sacrifices in this kind of situation.

Having said this, you are of course perfectly within your rights to write to the organising team expressing your frustrations with the online system, but the reality is that unfortunately for you, your personal circumstances (3 parents, illness and pregnancy during your degree) are just not relevant to the ticketing process.

Well done, though, on completing your degree, and I hope you and your family enjoy the graduation day. (As others have also said, having a nice meal afterwards, when you can relax, may well be the nicest part of the whole thing.)

DisappointedGraduand Fri 17-May-13 14:47:00

I suspect you'll be having a rather large shock when you start as an F1

I suspect that most people are in for a bit of a shock when they start F1, however how I act in my personal life is quite different to how I act in my professional one.

I admit that in this instance, I was OTT and had a disproportionate response due to being emotional and tired.

From the responses, I imagine that no one here ever overreacts or gets upset about things that other people think are silly hmm

It's not the fact that I do not have an extra ticket has caused me to be overly upset. I honestly don't believe that I have any more rights to tickets than any of the other graduands. Although I do believe that there are ways to ensure less people are disappointed.

It's the fact that I will be made (by family) to pick which of my parents doesn't go which, in my family, will be seen as though I love that person less. This is the difficult bit that made me emotional.

I do not believe that my family issue is the fault of the graduation team, however it was frustrating to be told that the tickets were sold out when their website had been telling me that I could 'not access it due to high volumes of traffic and it would be available in a few moments.'

KansasCityOctopus Fri 17-May-13 14:47:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DoctorDoctor Fri 17-May-13 14:47:55

Hi OP. I'm a university lecturer. First off, I think you're right to really value the ceremony - lots of people on here are saying it's 'boring' but it is a rite of passage and marks an important achievement. So I am always pleased when people go. You can bet that if universities stopped having them altogether, people would soon moan about that too.

You've had some quite harshly-phrased replies here but I have to agree with the majority of them in saying that YABU, simply because there is a limit to who could be accommodated. Lots of students have more than two siblings, more than two children, more than two close family members, and therefore there has to be a limit. It wouldn't be fair to allow more tickets to go to 'split' families - imagine people then saying 'why should I be penalised because my parents are still together?' So the fairest way is to just give an allocated number of tickets.

There might be some ways round this for you. Firstly, at one institution where I've worked, if any tickets are spare, they can be reallocated to people who have asked for extras. Find out if this is the case at yours, and if it is, get on the list. Secondly, if people don't show up on the day, it is sometimes possible to ask if extras can be allowed in. This happened at my own husband's graduation; some extra family members came along, with the intention of coming out for a meal with us afterwards, and just before the ceremony we asked if there was any room for them - there was. So it is worth trying this too, but do be aware that it would be a favour if granted, and you have to be fully prepared for it not to happen and then to accept that gracefully and not get angry at the staff running the ceremony. Thirdly, my current institution streams their ceremonies live online, and also stream them into other large rooms on campus so that people who haven't been able to get tickets can gather there, watch the ceremony (to be honest they probably get a better view than those present in the venue!) and meet up with their family straight afterwards. If your institution does this, your 'extras' could actually still see you graduate 'live' - this would probably be a better option for a very young child anyway.

The one point where I think your institution are being unreasonable is with the mention of cost - are you actually having to pay for the tickets? Ours are free, and I have never known any university where I've worked actually charge money for graduation tickets, even though numbers are restricted. It's a sad development if that's the case. I also think the buying online approach is wrong - we get students to request them electronically but there's a deadline for that and then we allocate them. It's not first-come first-served like concert tickets.

Finally, to the person who suggested outsourcing graduations to be run as a event by a private company - I simply don't think this would work, as most family members want to come but don't want to pay to attend. I would expect a lot of discontent if people were charged to attend their own graduation. But depending on whether the OP really is paying for these tickets, as opposed to simply obtaining them through an 'online shop' mechanism, maybe this is the way of the future...

Hope it all works out, anyway. Having written this mini-essay as a break from marking, I must get back to it...

Then the problem is your family. Not the university. And you should be taking the issue up with the right people. confused

BusterKeaton Fri 17-May-13 14:49:48

"In this day and age, I imagine it is very common for students to have more than two parents, not to mention spouses, and believe that it is the graduation teams responsibilty to understand and accomodate this."

No OP, only two spouses allowed at a time, even in this day and age.

OP, you will have given the recipients of your letter a good laugh.

I had to pay for my own ticket. Or I would have if I had gone. It included me and one guest, and additional tickets were charged as well.

givemeaclue Fri 17-May-13 14:53:23

Oh my giddy aunt.

You didn't actually send that letter did you, including your personal medical history etc? Its cringe making.

On the bright side, it will be the best laugh they have ever had in the graduation office. It will be laminated for prosperity and put on the staff notice board.

cinnamonsugar Fri 17-May-13 14:53:35

I imagine that no one here ever overreacts or gets upset about things that other people think are silly hmm
Of course everyone does, but not everyone acts on their personal disappointments and upsets. People are sympathetic with your disappointment, but they are not sympathetic with the ill-thought out letter. It's better to calm down, think things through, feel sad but get some perspective and then act.

Decoy Fri 17-May-13 14:54:08

YABU. Everyone gets the same number of tickets regardless of who they are. That's totally fair.

DisappointedGraduand Fri 17-May-13 14:54:42

We are required to pay for our graduation tickets.

LittleFeileFooFoo Fri 17-May-13 14:55:25

OP, I do have sympathy for you. If your graduation is very important for your whole family, then it is a bummer that they can't all attend. Especially if you're the first to get a graduation, I can see why it would be so important for your family.

I also agree that the admin of the ticket site isn't doing a very good job if they can't handle selling the actual tickets when they are available. It must be that not every graduation event is as popular or that the medical grads have to buy early, as they have other things to do.

However, I think that a family dinner/celebration is more in order and as you can certainly continue wearing your cap and gown, be just as significant as the ceremony (and way more fun).

For me, personally, the graduation event was utterly boring, and I couldn't wait to get to the personal family celebration part!

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Fri 17-May-13 14:56:06


...... But I don't think the University is being that U either.

Blimey, I am surprised at the nastiness vehemence of some posts on this thread. I do understand the OP's frustration and I do think she makes some valid points. It is a shame that one of her parents wont able to come. However, you have to draw the like somewhere.

So, I am a bit on the fence with this one...

However, OP, I think you have done amazingly well. (Medicine is hard enough without any added complications). I hope you find a lovely way to celebrate with all of your family and friends. Perhaps or of your parents could video the ceremony and you could have a showing you could then fast forward the boring bits

Good luck with the future.

thanks wine thanks thanks wine thanks thanks wine thanks thanks wine thanks thanks wine thanks thanks wine thanks

TroublesomeEx Fri 17-May-13 14:57:43

I'm sure get upset about things that other people think are silly. I'm also sure I overreact at times.

But I don't send ridiculous letters to people on the back of it.

DisappointedGraduand Fri 17-May-13 14:58:03

Of course everyone does, but not everyone acts on their personal disappointments and upsets. This is a fair point and the letter is out of character for me. I don't know why I sent it and I do regret it. All I can say is that I've not slept at night for a long time (18mo DD has been having a particularly bad spell), which is not an excuse rather an explanation.

rainingcatsandsprogs Fri 17-May-13 14:58:50

Finally, to the person who suggested outsourcing graduations to be run as a event by a private company - I simply don't think this would work, as most family members want to come but don't want to pay to attend. I would expect a lot of discontent if people were charged to attend their own graduation. But depending on whether the OP really is paying for these tickets, as opposed to simply obtaining them through an 'online shop' mechanism, maybe this is the way of the future...

The only ticket I got free was my own when I graduated - I was allocated two tickets for guests but I had to pay for them, and would have had to pay if I'd managed to get any more too. The outsourcing idea would of course depend on each uni, if they tried charging and got a low enough take up then problem solved, no running out of space and no need to outsource to elsewhere. If there were still masses of people wishing to attend then the outsourcing would work well. And from this OP and past comments/experiences it appears there's already discontent from many about graduations, so a uni might as well have tickets sold and not have to personally organise the discontent.

Mumsyblouse Fri 17-May-13 15:01:43

I think it is more outrageous you should pay for your own graduation tickets. I might write a letter about that.

MrsBungle Fri 17-May-13 15:03:15

I do think you've had some overly harsh responses. W

Farewelltoarms Fri 17-May-13 15:04:38

Doctor: 'It's bad news I'm afraid.'
Patient: 'the cancer's back?'
Doctor: 'oh that, I was actually thinking about thinking about the heartbreaking time I couldn't go to my graduation. But yes, the cancer is back.'
Of course I don't expect doctors to be any less selfish and silly than the rest of us. But I have this delusion that they maybe learn perspective over the many years of training.
By the way, well done you on graduating. I wouldn't have been able to pass a Cosmo quiz when I had a small baby.

MrsBungle Fri 17-May-13 15:04:43

Posted to soon! Concentrate now on who is going to the ceremony. Sat to your parents you want them all there but not possible, maybe draw lots?! Seems crass but at least it's fair!

Mumsyblouse Fri 17-May-13 15:06:59

By the way- I don't think they will be laughing at the graduate office, I know people that work in ours and this time of year is simply manic for them, imagine coordinating 16-20 ceremonies, with all the honorary guests, plus all the academics (who don't know if they are going/can't remember what gown is the right one/don't book their gowns/late for the ceremony),plus people coming from all over the world now we have so many international students. It's not a fun job and I would personally ring them up, explain you sent the letter in haste because you were upset, that you appreciate what a great job they are doing, and what could you do now to secure an extra ticket (someone suggested waiting list, turn up on day)?

If you want something like an extra ticket, being very very nice works better than complaining like a disgruntled customer when you have no rights in this situation to an extra ticket.

UptheChimney Fri 17-May-13 15:09:40

From the responses, I imagine that no one here ever overreacts or gets upset about things that other people think are silly

Oh, I regularly get het up about stuff. I just try not to act on it in public, nor ask other people if I'm being unreasonable when the grown up bit of my brain knows jolly well that I'm being unreasonable.

We all overreact; it's how we deal with it that's important.

I just feel sorry for the underpaid university admin staff who will have to grit their teeth and answer your email politely. What I really hope is that you didn't send it.

UptheChimney Fri 17-May-13 15:11:52

It's the fact that I will be made (by family) to pick which of my parents doesn't go which, in my family, will be seen as though I love that person less. This is the difficult bit that made me emotional

That's you family's problem, not that of the University. Universities are underfunded & stretched. hat a pity you're causing them to use up more of those scarce resources of staff time.

DisappointedGraduand Fri 17-May-13 15:13:53

I would personally ring them up, explain you sent the letter in haste because you were upset, that you appreciate what a great job they are doing, and what could you do now to secure an extra ticket (someone suggested waiting list, turn up on day)?

I don't think ringing would be a good idea as I'm still feeling emotional about it and don't want to cry on the phone, however may well send an apologetic follow up letter along those lines. Thank you.

With regards to getting an extra ticket, there are no waiting lists: if any more become available they'll send an email to everyone and it'll be the same system where they go on sale at x time. In theory this is a fair system, however not so if the website does not let you access it.

BalloonSlayer Fri 17-May-13 15:14:11

Have you really sent that letter?

< gapes >

It's so dull and ranty. Did you really need to start telling them all about your endometriosis? confused

Shame you didn't post here first. I'd have suggested a heartfelt phone call to someone in the know who might have been able to swing you an extra ticket and an emphatic Do. Not. Send. That. Awful. Letter.

DoctorDoctor Fri 17-May-13 15:16:35

I am now impressed with the generosity of my current workplace! I have just double-checked and our graduation tickets are still free, though no-one is allowed more than the stated 2 guest tickets.

Agree with mumsyblouse that being nice is likely to win you more friends in the graduation organising team than complaining. I'm noting at this point that although I wrote a long reply to you (granted, I chose to do this) and included several hopefully helpful suggestions, you haven't responded to that other than with a one-liner saying you do have to pay for your tickets. I imagine these people skills of yours will serve you well as a medical professional hmm.

Lomaamina Fri 17-May-13 15:19:20

"... to ensure less people are disappointed."

WIBU in pointing out that a doctor (to be) should know it is fewer wink?

rainingcatsandsprogs Fri 17-May-13 15:21:22

Lomaamina - unless she means only people's legs would be disappointed? smile

Lomaamina Fri 17-May-13 15:24:34

... and I do sympathise with your predicament, OP: having suffered with endometriosis throughout my PhD, I too see my graduation as a marker of achievement. I think the posters have been a bit hard on you regarding your ranty letter, but I'd just focus on the fact on your achievements and not worry about the ceremony, tickets, etc. If not everyone can be there (1 more ticket wouldn't really cut it, would it?) why not focus on a big family celebration afterwards, as everyone else has advised?

Wishing you better health.

Lomaamina Fri 17-May-13 15:25:35

raining grin

I've been frantically checking my follow-on post in case I made any errars in my ritting meself

cheeseandchive Fri 17-May-13 15:26:27

I was about to write a very blunt response, but have since seen you've realised YABU!

Well done on graduating, hope it all works out OP.

DisappointedGraduand Fri 17-May-13 15:27:40

Doctordoctor Apologies for the brief reply, I am currently composing a follow up email to the graduation team, hence have not yet written a more in depth reply.

I appreciate the time that you have taken to reply to my post, particularly that you were more supportive than other posters. I have taken your points on board.

WIBU in pointing out that a doctor (to be) should know it is fewer YANBU.

LoveItLongTime Fri 17-May-13 15:29:50

Take your partner and daughter. Take parents out for a meal afterwards.

I totally understand your upset, and think the letter, although a bit ranty, was an appropriate way for you to let out your anger. They can either act on it (doubtful) or not, but it hasn't done any harm.

What will have done harm, however, is the horrible responses on this thread. I hope you haven't taken it to heart and let it upset you more than you already are.

Lomaamina Fri 17-May-13 15:29:55

You're very gracious Disappointed in receiving criticism. Feel free to post a draft of your follow up email if you want soundings. We'll be gentle grin.

flanbase Fri 17-May-13 15:31:07

Well done on your studies. The space of the venue has to be account for in this.

Astley Fri 17-May-13 15:32:43

Wow! Bit of an over reaction....

And I still think it's the norm for just the 2 parents to go to graduation. I had plenty of friends wit step parents, but none of them came even though they could have bought extra tickets. I don't think step parents need to be factored into everything.

flanbase Fri 17-May-13 15:33:57

You are not being unreasonable to ask for an extra ticket. If something isn't right then it's always good to point it out and see if the situation can be resolved

In my experience, all students think their personal circumstances or those of their cohort are uniquely difficult. And you seem to be the same. Students are automatically entitled to 2 tickets. That means that loads of people will have had to decide between their parents and their partner (and a range of other similar decisions). That's pretty standard. Getting a degree is a big deal for all of the students graduating and marks the end of hard work and stress and worry. Many other people have work commitments that will mean they missed the extra ticket release too. Many other people will have illnesses during their degree programmes, or myriad other reasons why the graduation day is particularly special to them. The poor staff in the registry have to put up with thousands of people who all think their circumstances are uniquely important.

Also, technically you are a disappointed graduand not graduate. You aren't a graduate until you've actually graduated.

slug Fri 17-May-13 15:42:29

Check with the events team at your university. At ours we have an overflow room for the unticketed, the infirm and the children. We live stream the ceremony and, if the budget allows, provide water and nibbles to keep the children quiet It's cooler and more comfortable than the main venue with the added advantage of being able to move around more easily.

DisappointedGraduand Fri 17-May-13 15:42:32

Follow up email first draft:

Dear Graduation Team,

Please accept my sincere apologies for the initial email that I sent to you on 15th May which I'm ashamed to say was an emotional rant sent in the heat of the moment, on finding that I would not be able to secure an extra graduation ticket.

My individual situation is not the concern of the graduation team and I am sorry for detailing it.

I do appreciate the hard work and effort that the graduation team is putting into what must be an organistional nightmare.

My only remaining complaint is that it was not possible to access the site when the tickets became available for sale. As you can see from the screenshot in my original email, it was unaccessible. If the site cannot continue to remain available due to high volumes of traffic, so that only some of the people attempting to get tickets can access it, then that is not a fair system. Hopefully this will be rectified before further tickets go on sale for other ceremonies.

Thank you for your time.

Kind Regards,

Disappointed Graduand

I'm not sure whether I should put the paragraph in italics in, or whether I should leave the email purely apologetic. Thoughts? Any grammar/spelling errors? wink

moggle Fri 17-May-13 15:43:01

I've had to pay £30 a ticket for my graduation in September, including for my own ticket shock! I can't believe it was so much. I have graduated twice before and have never had to pay to attend; think we got 2 free tickets for my first degree, my Masters I paid £10 a head for guests and was able to get 3. Nearly had a heart attack over the prices for this one, maybe it's because I'm in London. And of course you have to pay for gown hire, and this time around mine are truly hideous colours. I was actually not going to bother this time but my Dad was really keen, so got tickets for my parents and husband.

OP you did overreact sending the email but most of us have been there in one way or another! Best advice really is not to react to any situation that's got you upset until after a good night's sleep, if possible! I did actually write a message on my university's FB page about their pricing, and got a semi grovelly response muttering about venue costs. I had a studentship for my PhD - but I feel really bad for current undergrad students at the university who pay so much for their degrees and then get blasted with such a big charge to enjoy their graduation. I just feel it leaves a bad last taste in the mouth for them at the end of so much hard work, I know where I'd tell the uni to stick it when they started calling for alumni donations!!

whois Fri 17-May-13 15:44:25

Oh FFS OP, massively lame post. What about someone that wants their brother, sister, partner, auntie, best mate, pet goldfish to come?

Two tickets. Each. Deal with it.

Although I see you've already changed your name to reflect your not yet graduated status.

Honestly, you can have a big family celebration after the ceremony. Ad do photos with everyone in your gown, etc.

I didn't invite either of my parents to my PhD graduation ceremony. DH and the kids used the two tickets (DS2 was a baby). My dad has never been to any of my graduations.

whois Fri 17-May-13 15:45:34

Oh, I see OP has come back with a new email! Fair one.

EldritchCleavage Fri 17-May-13 15:45:38

It's the fact that I will be made (by family) to pick which of my parents doesn't go which, in my family, will be seen as though I love that person less. This is the difficult bit that made me emotional

Bloody hell, poor you, no wonder you got het up when you couldn't get the extra ticket. What a trio of bastards. Could you sack them all off and take a couple of friends?

Dahlen Fri 17-May-13 15:46:58

I think you've had a hard time on this thread OP. I can totally understand your disappointment and frustration, although I can't see any realistic solution to it other than maybe allocate every student the same number of non-transferable tickets automatically.

FWIW, graduation ceremonies are really boring. I didn't bother with my second.

But congratulations and well done anyway.

ComposHat Fri 17-May-13 15:48:09

YABU, ridiculous and puffed up with your own self imprtance - equally you could say they don't cater for those with lots of siblings or whatever. I imagine whoever sent the letter to is pissing themselves laughing or chucked it in the bin after the first paragraph.

Other people will have people are relatives who will miss out (God knows why, they are as dull as ditch water) it usually takes a few hours.

So why not hang around with your parents and step parents before the ceremony (assuming relations are convivial) and then go into the ceremony with your parents and then meet them outside the venue for photographs.

OP: the team at the registry will probably have had other irate emails and phone calls too. Don't panic too much. There's something about finishing a degree that makes it very difficult for students to look beyond themselves (I'd imagine it's the stress and pressure). My final year students have been a bloody nightmare all year (you'd think no one had ever been in the final year of a degree before the way they've all been acting); at least you've only gone a bit bonkers when it came to graduation tickets,

UniTooLong Fri 17-May-13 15:52:25

I don't think you're being unreasonable to feel annoyed, especially about your time being wasted. I work in a university and the people you sent this to won't be unduly affected. Some of the commenters imply that you're making a personal criticism. Given the sheer scale of universities now, that's not how it will be read - if anybody pays any attention at all it will be to see if there have been any procedural mistakes at their end.

You are perhaps unreasonable to be spending so much time overthinking this. What difference does it make now? And why are you asking for permission to make a fuss? You also sound too anxious about your parents' disappointment. There is nothing you can do about this; sit back, and let them make a fuss of you and show you how proud they are.

Lomaamina Fri 17-May-13 15:52:54

OP, the spell-checker is your friend (you did have two typos). My suggested corrected text; I think the italics paragraph sounded as if you were criticising again, so I've rephrased as a request for help:

Dear Graduation Team,

Please accept my sincere apologies for the initial email that I sent to you on 15th May which I'm ashamed to say was an emotional rant sent in the heat of the moment, on finding that I would not be able to secure an extra graduation ticket.

My individual situation is not the concern of the graduation team and I am sorry for detailing it.

I do appreciate the hard work and effort that the graduation team is putting into what must be an organisational nightmare.

May I enquire about the arrangements for booking additional tickets? Evidently there is a problem – either with my computer set-up – or with the system, that may occur again if you release further tickets for sale. If there is any guidance you can give me to any alternative routes for obtaining an additional ticket, I would be very grateful.

Thank you for your time.

Yours truly,

Disappointed Graduand

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Fri 17-May-13 15:53:09


I think your follow on email is spot on. I would leave it as a simple apology and would omit the italic'ed bit.

I really wouldn't worry about your first email too much. It was a bit rant'y but you were not rude. unlike a lot of people on this thread smile

TheChaoGoesMu Fri 17-May-13 15:54:29

I can see why you are upset op. it is a shame when you want those closest to you to come and see you graduate. But to offer more seats would be expensive and not practical. Can you get a video of the event to show those who couldn't come?
Congrats on your graduation.

DisappointedGraduand Fri 17-May-13 15:54:44

Thank you Lomaamina, your paragraph is much better than mine.

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Fri 17-May-13 15:55:12

Lomaamina 's amendment is really good.

Send it and forget about it.

Ilikethebreeze Fri 17-May-13 15:55:56

That second email looked fine to me.
Wouldnt use the italics personally.
[I feel like I am checking my own childrens' emails!]

I expect it has already been mentioned on here,and you are probably very aware, that anyone else who wants to go to the ceremony, watches on a screen elsewhere,nearby, with hundreds of other people.
It isnt too bad, and the ceremony is only part of the day.

As regards which parent, if you do not get an extra ticket, they may have to dice for it.

scampidoodle Fri 17-May-13 15:58:04

OP, sorry if this has already been covered (just skimmed through the middle pages) but if you are hoping to take your daughter in to the ceremony, please check first that you are allowed to take children in. A lot of universities, including the one I worked at, won't let younger children in.

We used to get people turning up on the day with their children and expecting staff to look after them when we pointed out that they weren't admitted. Unfortunately all that happened was that another member of their party had to miss the ceremony and sit outside with the children.

Habbibu Fri 17-May-13 15:59:56

I used to work in university admin (wouldn't say I was underpaid either!), and I would have really appreciated that apology. Yours won't be the worst letter they'll have had! The reworded version that Loma put up before is better. I guess next time write your rant in Word, and don't send it. Congratulations on passing your degree, and don't let family bickering spoil it for you. I'd just send an email to all of them, saying, "I'm only allocated 2 tickets, sort it out amongst yourselves. See you there. "

cheeseandchive Fri 17-May-13 16:00:33

DG, I just had a go at re-wording, not cause there was anything wrong with it but just cause I like doing it! Feel free to totally reject it or use any bits you want.

Dear Graduation Team,

Please accept my sincere apologies for the initial email that I sent to you on 15th May which I'm ashamed to say was an emotional rant sent in the heat of the moment, on finding that I would not be able to secure an extra graduation ticket. I understand my individual situation, whilst important to me, is similar to that experienced by thousands of students during the rush for tickets and is not the concern of the graduation team and I apologise for detailing it.

I do appreciate the hard work and effort that the graduation team is putting into what must be an extremely challenging event, and I look forward to attending in X (insert month here)

Whilst many points in my previous letter can be disregarded, I am still concerned that access to the site during ticket sales were restricted for many students. I hope that my bringing it to your attention has been useful for you and that the system can be improved for the use of future students

Thank you for your time.

Kind Regards,

Disappointed Graduand

UniTooLong Fri 17-May-13 16:01:56

I wouldn't apologise. Just forget about this. I used to be an over-apologiser, & having seen it in others realised it just makes you look even more neurotic. Are you expecting a reply letting you off the hook? You are just clogging up their inboxes as well as wasting your own emotional energy.

cheeseandchive Fri 17-May-13 16:02:29

Oops sorry, just seen lots of re-wording going on already!

Compos, the OP has realised she was being U (very graciously, as someone previously mentioned) and is now drafting a letter of apology

FobblyWoof Fri 17-May-13 16:03:59

I had all my family, including ex-cousins once removed, with me when I graduated with my David Beckham degree. grin

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Fri 17-May-13 16:05:08

Ohh, I really like cheese 's rewrite.......

ComposHat Fri 17-May-13 16:07:21

sorry cheese I subsequently read the whole thread...fair play to her.

DisappointedGraduand Fri 17-May-13 16:08:20

Thank you everybody, I've resent the email.

I don't understand why I'm so upset about something that I logically know is fairly trivial. I'm still crying my eyes out and feel really really upset and like I want to be swallowed into a hole and never come out (don't worry mumsnetters, I wouldn't tell anyone about these melodramatic thoughts in real life).

I managed to sort myself out yesterday and get to the ward and I need to do the same shortly as I'm on nights tonight.

I can't bare the thought of having to explain to my Ddad that my Dmum and DSdad should be the ones to go as they've been so supportive during a rubbish time. It's not that he'll really want to watch the event itself, it's that he'll see it as me choosing my DSdad over him.

overprotection Fri 17-May-13 16:08:57


I expect whoever received your letter will draw the same conclusion.

Ilikethebreeze Fri 17-May-13 16:11:42

You are overtired.
And you are having to make a hard emotional decision.
They should all be able to understand that it is a tough call.

Habbibu Fri 17-May-13 16:13:02

That's crap. Horrible for you to be put in that position. But none of that is your doing, and your dad is an adult, ffs.

Seriously WTF, hilarious, what have your medical problems got to do with getting extra tickets?

Chris Hoy's family only got 2 tickets to his events in the Olympics and he made less fuss than you are making!!!

And if this makes you flip out think about using your degree in a non patient facing field or you are gonna be a nightmare when you start work!

Habbibu Fri 17-May-13 16:18:30

Op has apologised and calmed down, madame. Isn't i itjust as quick to check the end of a thread before posting?

Habbibu Fri 17-May-13 16:19:32

And frankly, Chris Hoy could well have made a fuss in private - how would we know?

ajandjjmum Fri 17-May-13 16:20:46

DG - I am sorry that you're in this position - although everyone has to be treated equally, it is disappointing.

I am in an upsetting position when DS graduates from Sheffield this year, as my Mum is not in the best of health, and it would be really lovely for her to see DS graduate. But of course, this means me giving up my seat, so she will go with DH - and I'd be lying if I didn't say I feel sad about it.

However, we're going up to stay the night before, with DD too, and then we will go and watch the ceremony where it is being relayed, and get together for lunch afterwards.

The only trouble will be that DM will want me to go instead of her, so we'll have a little battle about that nearer to the time. grin

Hope you enjoy your graduation, and remember the ceremony is only part of the occasion.

parttimer79 Fri 17-May-13 16:21:37

heartbreak really?
I don't think YABU in wanting another ticket but that letter definitely fell into my category of oversharing! You seem to be implying that you have special circumstances when I'm sure many of your cohort have had to overcome trials and difficulties in their path through the course.

why not ask around and see if anyone has a spare in case they can't go? I can see that on a med course it may be less likely but don't ask, don;t get.

The Uni I teach at screens the ceremony on big screens for those who cannot get tickets, chances are your institutions may do the same.

If neither of those options work why not get all the parents +DH +DC to go out together afterwards? The ceremony is only an hour or so, the special part will be all your family celebrating your achievements together.

Bobyan Fri 17-May-13 16:22:11

You have enough time to write two emails, make yourself late for a clinical placement and your still crying about it now?

You have far too much time on your hands.

Man up before your first patient dies or you're going to be an emotional wreck.

DisappointedGraduand Fri 17-May-13 16:22:39

think about using your degree in a non patient facing field or you are gonna be a nightmare when you start work!

I don't know what's wrong with me at the moment but I assure you it is not spilling over into patient care.

Picoo Fri 17-May-13 16:23:55

Get conferred in absentia if you can't handle the pressure. Have a nice family lunch instead.

UptheChimney Fri 17-May-13 16:24:39

I don't understand why I'm so upset about something that I logically know is fairly trivial. I'm still crying my eyes out and feel really really upset and like I want to be swallowed into a hole and never come out

Psych101: Lecture 3: Projection

You're not upset about the ceremony tickets as such. That is just the external think you're hanging it on. And it's a convenient one: it's someone else's fault and you can stamp about and feel it's unfair etc etc etc. That's your "inner child"

But as an intelligent grown up (and a parent trying to model good emotional intelligence) it's your responsibility to work out what is really upsetting you, and think about that.

TheCraicDealer Fri 17-May-13 16:29:39

Honey, you would've been better using the time you spent composing those emails thinking about how you're going to deal with the shitstorm you obviously believe is coming.

Don't overthink it- invite your Mum and Dad, step-parents can wait with your DH and DD in the lovely restaurant you'll be going to afterwards. They're the one's who provided the genetic ingredients, that'll be hard to argue against if anyone gets shitty AND you'll have one "representative" of each family unit there. Your DM and DSD might've helped more, but choosing your DSD over your DDad will not go down well.

My DT and I did the same course at uni so we automatically had four tickets between us. It was a stretch filling them, what with our small family and the fact few wanted to sit through the v v v boring ceremony.

Ilikethebreeze Fri 17-May-13 16:31:55

I do think you need to get your sleep sorted out somehow.
Else there will indeed be a potential big problem at work too.

DisappointedGraduand Fri 17-May-13 16:33:47

Man up before your first patient dies or you're going to be an emotional wreck. I'm currently working on a health care of the elderly ward and chose to do a special study placement in palliative care, believe me, experiencing a patient dying would not be new experience. It is always a sad event but I believe I manage it professionally and take comfort from the fact that we have made the patient comfortable, treated them with respect, and can offer support to their family.

As I've said, I don't know why this is making me so upset, but it is. I can't explain it. I feel awful.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Fri 17-May-13 16:34:43

Hi OP. I think some people are not responding to your later, more reasonable responses since you've changed your name people who only read the highlighted OPs posts won't have seen them.

TheFallenNinja Fri 17-May-13 16:35:28

So you sent them a snotty email telling them that they are a bag of wankers and expect them to do something for you.

I expect it'll be better when your in charge.

DisappointedGraduand Fri 17-May-13 16:40:11

^ think some people are not responding to your later, more reasonable responses since you've changed your name people who only read the highlighted OPs posts won't have seen them.^

Serves me right for changing my name mid-thread I suppose. I couldn't continue with the incorrect wording though. smile

ipswitch Fri 17-May-13 16:41:04

I think graduation ceramonys are really naff.
I sat through both my brothers and they were really dull.
I didnt go to mine and have never regretted it once.
Saved lots of money, didnt get any stupid photos in a hat and gown and was the only one in my family to get a first!

Do something fun instead.

ipswitch Fri 17-May-13 16:43:00

Oh yes, forgot to mention that the email is ridiculous.
You sound very needy and special.
Grow up.

EldritchCleavage Fri 17-May-13 16:48:23

Oh, stop piling in to give her a kicking, she's admitted the email was over the top.

I think the OP has had a real kicking from people who maybe haven't been in this situation? I have. I was only offered two tickets for graduation which would have meant choosing between my parents and my husband. I raised this with the admin organising the ceremony and they gave me an extra ticket. As I think they would have done for others in similar circumstances. I think that more than 3 tickets is wishful thinking but for the small number of people who have circumstances which mean they would like them it can and should be done. The OP has apologised in any case and I'm sure will go on to have a great career in medicine. Congratulations on your graduation OP!

cinnamonsugar Fri 17-May-13 16:59:47

Oh OP, you sound like you need quite a few winewinewine when you don't have a night shift coming up. Good you've sent a follow-up mail. I think the suggestions for a lovely family celebration are worth thinking about. Good luck.

Ilikethebreeze Fri 17-May-13 17:02:24

At the end of the day, it is not your fault your parents split up.
At the end of the day, it is also only a graduation ceremony..
My guess is you havent been to any before.
I have been to several. In fact, I missed one and sent others in my place, because as others said, they are boring. and I hate having my photo taken.

Lilithmoon Fri 17-May-13 17:06:06

OP well done with your course. I hope you find a way to really enjoy your graduation.
I think many of the responses on this thread have been harsh.

Dawndonna Fri 17-May-13 17:06:15

I can't bare the thought I can't bear it either.

I used to work in university admin (wouldn't say I was underpaid either!), Bloody hell, parantheses, exclamation mark and a comma. Stunning, just stunning.

MrsOakenshield Fri 17-May-13 17:16:12

OP, fair play for sticking with the thread, being gracious in the face of a trillion YABUs, and sending your 2nd email.

over-emotional - am I the only person thinking the OP might be PG?

DisappointedGraduand Fri 17-May-13 17:33:30

I can't bare the thought I can't bear it either. I actually started with bear and then changed it. Argh!

Thank you for everyones' responses.

I'm going to work now so if there are any more posts I'm afraid I will not be able to reply to them until tomorrow.

Jan49 Fri 17-May-13 17:45:56

I'm confused about how many tickets you actually have. I think your first choice of person to take should be your h not your parents. To avoid choosing between your parents, you could just tell your h to go with your dd if she's allowed or alone if not. Arrange for the other family members to visit but not attend and then they can look after your dd if necessary. Afterwards all meet up for a meal if your parents and their partners are on good

clam Fri 17-May-13 17:51:32

Why can't your mum go with your dad? Why would your step dad get to go over your bio dad?
That said, I think you need to tell them the situation and let them fight it out between them. And if they can't, take your dh, get a babysitter for your dd, and sell the spare ticket to someone else with a step-family problem.

Snugglepiggy Fri 17-May-13 18:34:01

YABU and sound immature and frankly with a sense of entitlement.That may be harsh as haven't had time to read every post but your initial one made me cringe tbh.Especially bit about your endometriosis.At each of my DDs graduations various friends have had complex family set ups and some really sad reasons why umpteen members of the family would love to have been at the ceremony but ticket numbers are finite.With step parents and many second marriages / divorces etc family dynamics are more complicated than ever, but that's not the fault of the university.Please try to move on ,enjoy the ceremony and day and meet all those other people afterwards for a lovely meal,and celebration.

VinegarDrinker Fri 17-May-13 18:43:24

OP, hope you are not reading this thread on Saturday morning post-nights. If you are, GET SOME SLEEP. FWIW you've been very gracious and I think some of these responses are spectacularly unkind.

I've flipped out over plenty of similar "non issues" over the years, and I totally get where you are coming from.

Nightshifts plus a baby/ toddler is a killer combination, it really is. I have had more random meltdowns than I care to remember as a result. That utter wretched feeling of almost delirious exhaustion and then you have to go home to a super demanding little person.

Be kind to yourself, sleep whenever you can and bloody well done on passing finals. Ignore the ridiculous posters who think that doctors have to be super-human and never let their emotions get the better of them.

BrienneOfTarth Fri 17-May-13 18:47:20

Move on, YABU.

If everyone was allowed 3 tickets, there would be exactly the same number of people trying to get a 4th, they would not reduce the number of disappointed people by increasing the venue size or number of ceremonies.

The fact that the site crashed didn't substantially disadvantage you. Some people got through, those people who did geet through were successful getting tickets. Who they were would have been random, so you had as much chance as anyone of being lucky, you just weren't.

Every year, there will be X people who are sad they didn't get an extra ticket, and about 2% of those will have enough of a sense of entitlement to complain. The person who receives it will have seen an identical email every year, have long ago concluded that they are only written by the selfish and entitled, and have a standard, scrupulously polite reply which you will receive in due course. You won't feel satisfied by this but they don't expect you to.

renaldo Fri 17-May-13 19:02:17

Also don't make it your problem . They'll you parents and step parent that you have two tickets and they need to decide how they are allocated. They are grown ups and it's your big day so they need to be mature and reasonable for your sake

BlackMini Fri 17-May-13 19:25:15

Bloody hell! You have 2 biological parents, let them watch the ceremony and have your step dad look after baby. My uni even had the student cinema set up showing the live screening of graduation so you could watch it all, much better for small, fussy children.

I don't quite understand why you've felt the need to tell total strangers about your health and fertility problems. It's weird.

littlemonkeychops Fri 17-May-13 19:35:25

I don't understand your logic at all, everyone gets two tickets which is fair, the others are first come first served and sadly you missed out. Annoying and upsetting but what on earth has your personal family history and health got to do with it?! Illogical.

VinegarDrinker Fri 17-May-13 19:44:35

Read the thread, people.

ArabellaBeaumaris Fri 17-May-13 19:46:17

I am genuinely intrigued, btw, as to why you feel a medical school graduation is more important to the graduand than those of other discipline?

My DP is a doctor, & he - & lots of his friends - didn't attend graduation. Having been to one for his first degree he knew what a painfully dull experience it is!

MiaowTheCat Fri 17-May-13 20:01:09

I had to choose which of my family members got to go to my graduation - and which had to sit in the TV linkup room and watch the feed there. I had to exclude a very very dear family member (basically the dad I never had) to get my dying grandmother in. I didn't rant or complain about it - we just worked around things as best we could - they got to see me prat around in the gown looking ridiculous (after I'd demanded a fake fur trimmed hood and not the real ones from the gown hire bods) and we all got rather merry on Pimms afterwards when we met up. Wasn't much could be done - numbers were limited.

I'd rather limited numbers and some people having to miss out on the actual hour of boredom while a list of names is read out than what my brother's graduation was to fit more people in - in the middle of a fucking football stadium with all the audience sat on the seats like at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon. Everyone got in who wanted to go, yes, but it was utterly ridiculous and soul-less and felt really absurd (and lots of the graduands were saying the same).

VinegarDrinker Fri 17-May-13 20:04:03

Where did the OP say that Arabella ? She said that anecdotally in previous years demand for tickets had been higher.

I think, medicine apart, being the first from your family to go to Uni makes graduation a much bigger deal for all concerned.

Having said that (and this is just my option, nowt to do with the OP), there is also the fact that graduating from a medical or other vocational degree isn't just about completing a degree, it's about qualifying for a profession, becoming registered with the relevant professional body and in lots of cases, standing up and reciting the modern version of the Hippocratic oath. Personally I found it dull as shite but that's just me They also tend to be much longer than your average degree - typically 5 or 6 years.

I can well imagine that a family who may well have supported the OP financially and practically with childcare over the past X years, who have never been to Uni themselves, are understandably bursting with pride about her qualifying as a doctor.

The biological parent comments are fascinating. We have no idea when the OP's parents divorced. For all we know her SD could have raised her from boyhood, would you step parents on here be in such a hurry to dismiss your emotions in favour of logic if your SC were in this position?

VinegarDrinker Fri 17-May-13 20:05:23

That's babyhood, not boyhood. Autocorrect fail.

deleted203 Fri 17-May-13 20:09:59

I'm more worried that you had to be late to an important clinical placement - because you were sitting at your computer trying to get tickets for something that, to you, was absolutely vital.

It gives me cause for concern about your professional capabilities, to be honest. Particularly if you are expecting to enter the medical profession.

VinegarDrinker Fri 17-May-13 20:17:34

If undergraduate Deans or the GMC were as unforgiving as you lot, noone would ever be allowed to be a doctor!

According to MN we should all be unemotional totally logical robots, or else we'll be bloody awful at our jobs.

Seekingsense Fri 17-May-13 20:25:04

In the OP, it says that the OP had worked late another day in order be late on the morning in question.

Presumably, this was therefore agreed in advance with her supervisor.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Fri 17-May-13 20:35:25

Sorry - this is ridiculous. If you give everyone 3 tickets, then they'll just want 4.

Frankly, I'm shocked that you would have rearranged a placement to sit about trying to logon to the website. Couldn't one of your parents/step parents have done this?

Separately, I also really feel for your DH in all of this. If you could have got an extra ticket, then he should have got it. I also really do think that one of the parent combo should do the decent thing and let him attend.

DoJo Fri 17-May-13 20:35:58

Unfortunately you have broken the cardinal rules of writing an effective complaint letter: you have included irrelevant information, you have allowed your emotions to overspill, you have asked for something which can not happen and you haven't suggested a solution which is in their power to offer. I can understand your upset and frustration, but this letter has probably made the people that you need to help you feel less inclined to if anything.

rainbowbrite1980 Fri 17-May-13 20:45:10

YANBU. Not at all. Prioritising parents over husband isn't a decision I would have made but I'm sure you have your reasons. I can imagone how you've struggled to graduate given the obstacles and how much the graduation ceremony means to you and your parents. I can also imagine that you might feel forced to choose between father and stepfather, with the connotations as to who has been more of a father - horrible situation.

Here's what I would do: explain the situation to parents. Explain that you don't think it would be fair to exclude one or choose between them, so your husband and daughter will be going into the ceremony. Invite all 3 parents to watch the ceremony on the big screen (There's usually that facility) - then go for a slap up meal and some champers afterwards. And don't let this take any of your joy away whilst you celebrate your achievement.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Fri 17-May-13 20:46:43

It's the fact that I will be made (by family) to pick which of my parents doesn't go which, in my family, will be seen as though I love that person less. This is the difficult bit that made me emotional

This is the root of the problem. OP - I genuinely feel sorry for yiu. My DH has parents who emotionally blackmail him like this including having to have 2 best men at our wedding so his dad coukd be on. Yes. Really

It's so unfair. I'm so glad that my parents approach everything with open hearts and, even if they were upset, would never, ever spoil my special day.

You're bonkers. That letter's way too long.

rainbowbrite1980 Fri 17-May-13 20:51:49

Also, you could try putting a request on the university intranet that if anyone has a spare ticket you'd like to buy it. Some people will inevitably decide not to attend th graduation / people won't make it at the last minute.

dementedma Fri 17-May-13 21:31:04

This is a problem which will affect hundreds of families. My colleague min work is trying to resolve a family feud over this very issue, my sis is complaining that she will have to sit next to ex-dh and be civil ( get over yourself you selfish bitch).
Seriously, do you know how boring graduation ceremonies are? I am secretly hoping that dd will only get 2 tickets and I will graciously stand down so dh and grandma can go and sit for hours to watch her cross the stage for 30 seconds and I'll will meet them in the pub after

Wossname Fri 17-May-13 21:40:04

Why did you name change, op ?

ilovecolinfirth Fri 17-May-13 21:43:32

You can't spell 'disappointment'. First paragraph of your letter.

80sMum Fri 17-May-13 21:50:25

Perhaps the best thing would be not to attend the ceremony at all but simply pick up your certificate from the university.
The most important thing is that you have completed the course and have your qualification. Many congratulations, by the way.

MisForMumNotMaid Fri 17-May-13 21:56:45

I went to my (big) sisters graduation with my mum and dad. We were all really proud of her, she nearly died in her first year and missed a term and a half recovering.

Tickets for the ceremony bit were in short supply so I didn't do that bit. It was a short part of the whole day. We met in the morning, collected her gown, chatted to her friends and their parents, went out to lunch with a big group of other graduates and their families, some of whom I had coffee with whilst those that had tickets went to the ceremony bit.

We have family photos with us all in.

I know that its a different dynamic with parents/ step dad but if they can all be in the room together is there a way you could work this and involve your DH too?

My university did three tickets each by default (ten and six years ago, at least). Ditto DH's.

My parents and now-DH came to mine. I went alone to DH's because his parents were on holiday (biscuit) .

Most of the "day" is the photos and any "do" you organise afterwards. And you can have whoever the hell you like at that.

Musicaltheatremum Fri 17-May-13 22:55:35

Congratulations on your medical degree. But really there are probably many people in your situation and you can't please everyone. I only could have two people at my graduation as a doctor in 1986 so nothing has changed. You are going to meet far greater challenges over the next few years as the government squeezes the medical professions more and more. Save your energy for the real fight.

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Fri 17-May-13 23:04:03

Read the thread people. The OP has admitted she was being unreasonable and has sent an apology to the University. No need to keep up the bashing.

OwlinaTree Fri 17-May-13 23:32:32

Congrats on your degree OP. I HAVE read the whole thread.

I guess you are disappointed you have missed out on the extra ticket, but you have now realised you will not be the only one.

I work in a school - every school performance it is the same, although we do give extra tickets for split families. We have to point out to parents that if everyone has tickets for grandparents, siblings, aunties etc we would have to do 20 performances to fit everyone in!

I think you feel this is being done personally to you - but it's not. It just has to be limited. Try to relax and look forward to your day. Explain to your family you tried to get another ticket but couldn't. Only you know who it will be better to accompany you to the ceremony.

Enjoy it, you have worked hard for it!

eccentrica Sat 18-May-13 00:40:45

Ffs whoever misses out will probably be relieved to avoid the tedium of watching strangers walk across a stage for 3 hours.

I graduated 3 times and went to no graduation ceremonies. I was glad to have got my PhD, didn't have any desire to parade around in a silly hat. My parents admitted they were delighted not to have to bother.

eccentrica Sat 18-May-13 00:43:05

P.s. I have also read the whole thread inc your apology email, seen you are still 'crying your eyes out' about this - in a married woman, mother, about to qualify as a doctor, frankly I find that very worrying and wonder if you need professional help.

Lovetobrowse Sat 18-May-13 05:46:19

As others have mentioned you should try to get an extra ticket on the day. It has worked for me twice at two different universities. If you linger at the door and there is space I'm sure they'll try and let you in.

sashh Sat 18-May-13 06:30:17


Ask around, someone will not be attending the ceremony and will have extra tickets.

It's always been this way, you get 2 tickets and you can ask for extra some uni's charge for the extra one.

My first graduation I had 2 + 2 extra
My second I had 4 a friend had 4, I asked three guests, he asked 5
My third graduation 2 + 1
My fourth - I didn't attend, anyone who wanted to see me graduate had done so by then.

makemineamalibuandpineapple Sat 18-May-13 06:40:47

You will probably be able to buy a DVD of it anyway. Whoever can't come can meet you afterwards for a celebration lunch so tbh they won't miss much. The actual ceremony isn't that exciting, you will only be on the stage for a matter of seconds. If everyone got the number of tickets they wanted they would need a huge venue so unfortunately they do have to limit it. It's a shame not everyone in your family can come but I am sure lots of people will be in your position.

CabbageLeaves Sat 18-May-13 06:56:43

I have read the whole thread. OP I suspect you will make a lovely Doc. Many patients find Drs hard and unemotional. They want professional, accurate and informed care. They would also like to feel human. You are obviously very human.

(But I do agree with many comments on here...your second email was good)

Partridge Sat 18-May-13 07:57:36

I read your op and was shock and impotently raging at your email ready to weigh in with a YABVvvU. However you have dealt with the responses very graciously and without the usual aibu defensiveness. Which is very refreshing.

hotbot Sat 18-May-13 08:32:11

Hmm, if you think the last few years are tough, you are in for a very rough ride now you are qualified. I do hope for your emotions are up for it.

domesticslattern Sat 18-May-13 09:51:03

We've said way enough about the ceremony methinks. I just want to say, OP, many huge and fantastic congratulations on getting your medical degree. You must have worked your arse off. I take my hat off to you.
I remember the stress when I graduated and life moved from one phase to another, much less certain one. Don't let it detract from your celebrations of this fucking brilliant achievement.

Chockyeggpants Sat 18-May-13 11:38:33

Choosing to show up late for clinical appointments because you are too busy obsessing over a ticket??
I question your committment to your medic career. Your duty is to your patients, not buying tickets for your bloody family.
Seriously get a grip.
Your letter was OTT and makes you look ridiculous.
Simple. Take DH. Or DM and DF.
Or don't go.

ComposHat Sat 18-May-13 13:22:37

In retrospect, Chocky the showing up late for clinical placements is the most worrying aspect, suggesting a skewed set of priorities.

VinegarDrinker Sat 18-May-13 14:31:45

Oh wow, some seriously sanctimonious MNers out today.

I was a proper geek at med school - still am - but I was probably the only person in my year not to skive off at least a few days per firm with a hangover or equally crap reason.

Wellthen Sat 18-May-13 16:20:19

You cant argue that a graduation ticket is as important as your proffesional duties therefore you have behaved unproffesionally in being late for clinic.

You being the first in your family and your medical condition have nothing to do with anything. If they gave out tickets on this basis they would be being grossly predjudiced to those without 'sob stories'.

Scholes34 Sat 18-May-13 16:25:26

You should have spent more time befriending people with just one parent, so you could have their spare tickets.

megsmouse Sat 18-May-13 16:34:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bingdweller Sat 18-May-13 18:49:57

Could your Dmum and DP go, thus gets you out of choosing over DSDad and DDad? The 'dads' (good relations permitting) look after your DC whilst the ceremony takes place, then all meet up later on?

McNewPants2013 Sat 18-May-13 19:40:42

I think you mum and DP should go.

I bet you have had the most support from your DP than anyone else, so it seems only fair he gets to see you graduate.

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 18-May-13 21:03:40

God knows how this thread has gone. Whole thing seems absurd. You can have two guests. That is the norm. End of.

ComposHat Sun 19-May-13 01:58:55

marriedinwhite the voice of sanity!

kerala Sun 19-May-13 08:49:18

Email all your invitees explain strictly 2 tickets only and ask them to decide between themselves who goes as you can't choose and it's stressing you out and are too busy and stressed to deal. They put you in this situation hand the issue over to them.

thegreylady Sun 19-May-13 08:58:06

When my dss graduated he was only allowed 2 tickets and I immediately recognised that the people who should have those tickets were his dad (my dh) and his mum. They attended the ceremony together and we all met afterwards for a meal. Everyone was happy.

wonderstuff Sun 19-May-13 09:09:44

I would be tempted to invite dm and DH, to avoid having to pick between your father and step father. I think that your parents are being unreasonable to put you in this position.

ballstoit Sun 19-May-13 09:10:54

I didn't go to my graduation...was allocated my own ticket and needed to purchase additional tickets on set day for anyone else. The day the additional tickets were released my nephew was having life threatening emergency bowel surgery and I missed the release as I was supporting dB, dsil and dparents.

I had a party for family and a couple of friends instead, it was fine.

trixymalixy Sun 19-May-13 09:24:42

Ugh I can't bear the attitude that medical graduates are more special than others. What is that about?

Two of my flat mates at Uni were medical students and always used the fact that they were medical students to argue for getting out of doing things around the flat and special privileges.

They looked down on the rest of us, and it was most pleasing years later to see the face of the worst offender when she realised that several of us who had done lowlier degrees earned way more than her.

ComposHat Sun 19-May-13 09:29:56

Ugh I can't bear the attitude that medical graduates are more special than others. What is that about?

With the exception of about three of them, the medical students were an insular bunch and on the whole a right bunch of arrogant self-satisfied tossers. (Not suggesting the op is one)

I live in fear of any of them treating me for anything more life threatening than an ingrowing toenail.

BonaDrag Sun 19-May-13 09:34:21




Nope, sorry OP, I am unable to locate my interest in your problem.

Ps: your letter is the most ridiculous, boring, entitled shite ever.

VinegarDrinker Sun 19-May-13 09:38:43

Where has anyone said medical graduates are more special than anyone else?

Bring them along anyway! At mine only my mum and dad had a ticket, but I invited along two sisters their husbands, and three nieces..... The Porter let them all sit at the back of the hall which was super nice and so they didn't miss anything.

This was at Bristol where people could queue for a chance of a limited spare seat.

I invited everyone so we could all share the day and have photos and stuff together. The actually ceremony is dull as anything, make a day if it.

Oh and congratulations doc.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 19-May-13 09:40:42


I was married when I graduated. So couldn't have dh, my mum and dad there as only allowed two tickets. So I just took dh.

I could be arsed to even attempt to get a third ticket. I had better things to do than apply, plus I think I had to pay.

I think in the situation you describe step parents need to be understanding of the (common) situation and accept that biological parents get preference. It is dull as ditchwater anyway.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 19-May-13 09:41:26

Also lots of unis now stream the graduation ceromonies live on the internet so people at home can watch.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 19-May-13 09:43:20

And if you're going to say 3 tickets you may as well say 7 tickets.

Plenty of graduates with a spouse, two kids and step parents.

VinegarDrinker Sun 19-May-13 09:44:16

Have people RTFT?

aurynne Sun 19-May-13 09:53:12

I HAVE read all the thread, and still can't get past the bit where the OP tells the whole university admin team about her endometriosis...

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sun 19-May-13 09:56:18

I liked DoctorDoctor's measured and calm reply - and also UniTookLong's - over-appologising is a double-edged sword in my view. Cheese's suggested re-write was very good though.

I hope MNHQ goes through this thread and slaps a few bandwagon-jumping legs, no surprise it's always the usual ones too... hmm

OP... Be proud of your achievement. In your predicament, I'd just be matter of fact that it's two tickets, that you'd like them all there but they can't be - and that it will be X and Y going and you'll all have a family celebration afterwards, book it now, it will be something to look forward to.

I had my mum at my graduation. When I graduated again I didn't go myself, did it in absentia. I hope the uni reallocated my tickets!

Congratuations... smile

BenjaminButton172 Sun 19-May-13 10:00:27

I have the same problem. I have a big family parents, siblings, nieces, nephews. When my dd has a school play or ceremony or other things she wants the whole family to come but the school only offers 2 tickets. It takes my dd FOREVER to pick who comes with me to the event.

However i wouldnt complain to the school about it because it is a small school with too many pupils so there is no room.

Sports day on the other hand is held outside & my dd ends up with a very large entourage grin

Journey Sun 19-May-13 12:05:51

I think you have a lot of growing up to do. Your letter is just a poor me one sided sob story. What worries me is you're going to be a doctor. I think you need to learn to see the bigger picture and get a grip otherwise you're going to be a very judgemental doctor who can't keep her emotions under wrap.

Get things into perspective and enjoy your graduation.

KhaosandKalamity Tue 21-May-13 11:32:35

YANBU as far as expecting their ticket booking system to work and allow you to book tickets. I thought that your letter was well thought out and highlighted an issue rather than simply attacking them. You were clearly not expecting them to split this ceremony, but to keep it in mind for future classes. None of the responses seem to take in to account the booking systems failure.

I find some of the posts on here slightly unreasonable though, I do not see the problem with someone who has noticed a serious flaw in the system pointing out said flaw to those in charge. Posts telling you to get a life, seem inappropriate to say the least. I signed up to MumsNet thinking it was generally supportive, but many posts I have read today seem quite harsh, with no actual advice or response offered.

BeckAndCall Tue 21-May-13 11:42:50

Does the university not stream the ceremony for those who haven't got a ticket? Not only for those who can't get there eg overseas families, but also in a separate hall close by for those coming to enjoy the day but can't get in?

You'll probably get a standard 'sorry you're disappointed' letter back. I hope no one in admin takes too much of their time addressing all of your points.......

MiniPenguinMaker Tue 21-May-13 12:00:30


University fees are really high, and it's a huge achievement to study medicine and graduate. I do think it's more significant than for other disciplines, given the amount of time and effort involved.

The graduation ceremony is where you get to celebrate your achievement in getting through it. I don't see why universities can't make the effort to spend a bit more money or time and allow a few more guests per graduate.

My sister is graduating from her medical degree this summer and I won't be able to attend due to guest number limits, but I'm pretty sure she is allowed 3-4 tickets as standard - we have a DM, DD, DSD, DSM and a DXSD!!! (not quite sure how that is going to work but I think she is trying to nick an extra guest ticket from a sympathetic friend with only two parents smile ...)

MiniPenguinMaker Tue 21-May-13 12:01:27

Oops I mean DF, DSF and DXSF... I guess I'm just more used to saying 'dad' than 'father' smile

PrannyHamster Tue 21-May-13 12:14:20

I used to work in a university graduation team. Trust me, everyone had a reason why they needed more tickets than anyone else (grandparents visiting from abroad, many siblings, friends want to come, etc etc). People also complained when they couldn't be in the same ceremony as friends on the same course due to there physically not being enough space in the venue for everybody. Unfortunately there just isn't always enough space for everyone to be given all the tickets they "need" for graduation. You still have the degree though, and most palces stream the ceremony so any other guests who can't be inside the venue still get to watch and have a nice lunch with you afterwards/pose for photos if you wish.

Remember- the graduation ceremony isn't compulsory and (at my university anyway) it was laid on free of charge and if there were any spare tickets we gave them out willingly! Not a big deal in the scheme of things!

DewDr0p Tue 21-May-13 12:39:36

I'm really curious as to why your dh isn't top of your list to invite OP?

That is how I would play it: invite dh and then add dm if you think that will play out ok with your df. If not then I'd stick to dh, ask the parents to look after dd and all go out for lunch afterwards.

Fwiw the nicest bit of my graduation was hanging out on the green with uni friends and family afterwards, taking photos etc

slug Tue 21-May-13 12:45:54

MiniPenguinMaker, you do realise, don't you that universities are not receiving any more money as a result of students paying university fees? All that has happened is the govt has removed funding from universities and the fees are charged to make up the shortfall.

ephemeralfairy Tue 21-May-13 12:52:17

I was allocated two tickets for my graduation. It turned me into an EMOTIONAL WRECK because my daddy is dead and I didn't want my mummy to have to attend and sit on her own and be sad. There was another girl who was also an EMOTIONAL WRECK because she had TOO MANY PEOPLE TO LOVE and she couldn't decide who to invite. So I gave her both my tickets and she was happy and my mummy and I didn't go to the boring ceremony and went out for lunch instead and we all lived happily ever after.


musicismylife Tue 21-May-13 13:08:05

I wanted my mum, sister and partner to be there at the birth of my baby...I was told that only two could witness it. I wrote a huge long letter (nearly as long as yours) ranting and raving. Until someone pointed out IT IS THE SAME RULE FOR EVERYONE.

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