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College Grad Called Out For Not Inviting Parents To Graduation After They Skipped High School Ceremony

A college graduate holds out their hat
Conceptual shot of education and graduation ceremony.

Graduation is an exciting time.

Well, it should be an exciting time.

New adventures begin as an important chapter comes to a close.

But graduates need support,

And that isn’t always what happens.

This can bring up some issues within a family unit.

Case in point…

Redditor GradInviteAITA wanted to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for not inviting my parents or sister to my graduation because I didn’t want to deal with the disappointment?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My parents have always put my sister Cassie first.”

“Cassie did need extra support, as she does have genuine issues with depression and anxiety.”

“But they refused to compromise; It always came at my expense.”

“The final straw was my high school graduation back in 2019.”

“Cassie had a pageant at the same time.”

“The plan was for both of our parents to attend the first half of Cassie’s pageant, our mother would stay at Cassie’s pageant, and our dad would leave to attend and record my graduation.”

“Before Dad was about to leave, Cassie said she was having anxiety and needed them both there.”

“He texted me to find my own ride home from graduation.”

“I had been so hopeful that my parents would finally follow through with their promise to be there for me.”

“In the honors sector class photo, I was the only student who didn’t have any family members come. I felt awful.”

“My mother, Dad, and Cassie were already home when I got back.”

“They had ordered dinner and were celebrating Cassie’s pageant. They didn’t even seem to remember or care about me and my graduation.”

“My parents tried to act friendly and congratulate me, but I ignored them.”

“My mother tried hugging me, but I pushed past her.”

“I decided then that I just couldn’t depend on them not to disappoint me.”

“My graduation was three weeks ago.”

“I didn’t even bother reaching out to my mother, Dad, or Cassie.”

“I gave my ceremony tickets to two friends and donated the rest.”

“My mother and Dad reached out to me, saying they just learned about my ceremony through social media (neither of them went to college, so they assumed that the college got out at the same time as the local high schools).”

“They asked why I hadn’t even asked them.”

“I told them that they’ve proven that I can’t depend on them by always leaving me as a second thought to Cassie.”

“I know she has issues and needs extra support, but they never even tried to compromise, and I didn’t want to deal with the disappointment again.”

“My parents told me that they and Cassie were ‘heartbroken’ that their daughter/sister would disregard them this way.”

“We do have other family members who my parents are much closer with after the pandemic.”

“We were not really involved with each other before (which is why they weren’t at my graduation and why we didn’t go to their kid’s graduations).”

“They know both sides of the story but told me I was an a**hole.”

“They said how my parents felt so bad about my high school graduation and that I was being selfish and denied my parents the chance to make it right and finally be able to put their guilt behind them.”

“I switched my social media to private to avoid these comments, but now I’m worried that they’re right and that I have been selfish/not understand Cassie’s needs.”

“My parents have constantly prioritized my depressed/anxious sister over me, to the point of not even attending my high school graduation.”

“Others are calling me selfish because I denied my parents the chance to make things right by inviting them to my college graduation.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“Absolutely, 100% NTA.”

“Not even close, like not even a tiny bit.”

“Why would you trust people who have consistently let you down and failed to celebrate your achievements?”

“Even if your sister was genuinely having an anxiety attack and your dad decided to stay with her, why didn’t they rush from her pageant to pick you up from graduation?”

“Why did they celebrate her pageant (I’m sure it wasn’t the only one)?”

“Why not wait for you?”

“Why assume that college ended at the same time as high school?”

“Why did it not even cross their minds to think, ‘OP’s graduating college this year. I wonder when it is?'”

“Why did it take seeing something on social media to make them reach out?”

“They aren’t ‘heartbroken’ at all.”

“They are guilt-ridden.”

“I can only assume that they didn’t have the excuse of Cassie having an event to cover for them and are getting questions from other family members are rapidly doing damage control and trying to pin you as the bad guy.” ~ markbrev

“Came here to say this.”

“I looked up my kid’s graduation dates months ahead to get on the calendar and let their Grandma know so she could arrange flights.”

“Because their graduation was a priority for us.”

“OPs parents have never made them a priority. Why should she do so for them now? NTA.”  ~ marla-M

“My mom had a countdown app set up on her calendar because she was so excited about my graduation (and she has one for my brother now, lol).”

“And she would constantly tell me, ‘X more days till you graduate!'”

“Meanwhile, I was dying of stress wondering if I would graduate with my classes that quarter (spoiler alert: I did).”

“My moms even missed a really important national competition that was, naturally, scheduled for the same weekend.”

“But it’s what you do for your kids when they make big accomplishments.”

“OP’s family just sucks.” ~ Coffee-Historian-11

“My parents have written down graduation dates for my school from 2020-2025 (PhD so we were unsure which year and still do not know).”

“They wanted to make sure they did not accidentally schedule a doctor’s appt or something that week just ‘in case.'”

“OP, NTA. Congratulations on being the first in your family to graduate from college!”

“That is a huge accomplishment.”  ~ Miserable-Stuff-3668

“Exactly. Even if they did make assumptions about the dates, what plans had they made for the dates they did expect?”

“Had they booked flights, a restaurant?”

“Since I’d expect it to be a fairly high-demand time, what with all the schools and college graduates being taken out at the same time.”

“I doubt they did anything at all since they hadn’t confirmed with OP or asked about tickets.”

“So a firm NTA.”  ~ MyDarlingArmadillo

“NTA. In what world does a pageant trump a high-school graduation?”

“I’m so sorry your parents didn’t do better than you.”

“Your family failed you a second time by treating you badly AGAIN by allowing others to call you selfish and an a**hole.”

“Congratulations on your achievements!” ~ AnnoyedRedheadedMom

“It’s so sad that the family is attacking OP for denying the parents a second chance to make amends.”

“If the parents wanted to make it up to her, they had lots of time to try. And the excuse that they didn’t know when graduation was- I’m assuming she’s been in college for four years.”

“Is Cassie in college?”

“If they were paying attention, they’d know when the semester ends.”

“And if they cared, they could have asked.”  ~ Fianna9

“And I’m pretty sure, as damage control, they’re telling people that they were asking OP about the graduation day, and OP was not answering them, so they couldn’t possibly know that OP was graduating or when they were.”

“I’m wondering if they even know what major OP is in or if they cared enough to ask for more than just ‘what major are you selecting?’ NTA.” ~ Material-Paint6281

“Also, Cassie ‘needing’ both parents at her pageant sounds like sabotage by Cassie.”

“This would have been a great time to explain to Cassie that your graduation was equally important. Your parents fell for a con!”

“You are NTA.” ~ Yiayiamary

“It’s not the same as graduation, but no one showed up to my high school baccalaureate.”

“My mom came in something like 30 minutes late to the awards dinner after.”

“I had already sat with my friend and her parents, and our table was full.”

“They had to make a huge fuss to scooch in a seat for my mom and get her served food in the middle of the speeches. Humiliating.”

“So, I’m a totally biased judge, but NTA.”  ~ OhAProjectYay

“NTA in my opinion.”

“Why would you invite them if they consistently showed you that your events are not a priority to them?”

“I understand the need to give your sister extra support, but your parents should never have allowed that to make them neglect you.”

“You don’t owe them infinite chances- if and when you invite them to events is entirely up to you.”  ~ xbonecandyx

“NTA. My parents skipped first my undergrad graduation, then the graduate school graduation they promised to attend to ‘make up for it.'”

“This is in spite of the simple fact they’d have never dreamed of missing events like this for my sisters.”

“This, plus many other reasons, is why we are now no-contact, and they will never meet my unborn son.”

“Tell the relatives harassing you, ‘It’s easy for them to say they feel bad afterward. How bad do you think I felt that day, knowing they could not bother to make time for me?'”  ~ Reevadare1990

Well, OP, Reddit is with you.

You needed to protect yourself, and you were following a pattern.

Focus on your accomplishments and your future.

You’ve got this.