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Missing second week of uni due to a funeral - will I fail?

Hi, due to a death in my family I have to go back to my country for a week to attend the funeral. This means I will be missing the second week of university (I’m going to be in my first year). Is there anything I could do to mitigate any sort of negative impact this could have on my performance in my first semester? Will the lecturers think I don’t care about my education?

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Reply 1
Original post by Anonymous
Hi, due to a death in my family I have to go back to my country for a week to attend the funeral. This means I will be missing the second week of university (I’m going to be in my first year). Is there anything I could do to mitigate any sort of negative impact this could have on my performance in my first semester? Will the lecturers think I don’t care about my education?

I would have thought this counted as a good reason not to go to the funeral. Why a whole week as well?
Original post by Muttley79
I would have thought this counted as a good reason not to go to the funeral. Why a whole week as well?

Probably because they have to go back to their home country
Reply 3
Original post by Muttley79
I would have thought this counted as a good reason not to go to the funeral. Why a whole week as well?

It’s quite an important funeral and I have to go abroad for 4 days due to unavailability of flights to where I’m going. The lectures are all in the 4 days I’m going to be abroad.
Reply 4
Original post by Anonymous
It’s quite an important funeral and I have to go abroad for 4 days due to unavailability of flights to where I’m going. The lectures are all in the 4 days I’m going to be abroad.

This isn't a great reason ... in similar circumstances I could not go to my grandmother's funeral. Sometimes you have to be sensible.
Second week you are unlikely to have any major deadlines, and if it is a family bereavement you would be entitled to what’s referred to as an extension for extenuating circumstances (EC), although they may require evidence such as a death certificate if you have an assignment deadline.

You should be able to discuss with your tutor how to accommodate the funeral & minimise impact on your studies.
(edited 8 months ago)
Reply 6
Original post by Muttley79
This isn't a great reason ... in similar circumstances I could not go to my grandmother's funeral. Sometimes you have to be sensible.

Well that’s you. I think going to a family member’s funeral is a sensible thing to do. Besides, the flights are booked and my question wasn’t about whether I should go or not, but about how I could prevent it from affecting my performance more than it will.
Reply 7
Do you mean the week after freshers/welcome week or week two of teaching?
You could ask your tutors now and ask their opinion.
There might be lecture capture or someone could take notes but to be honest, it’s better to not miss the first few weeks.

What would the deceased have wanted?
I don’t know your culture or faith but during Covid I “attended” an online funeral.
Reply 8
Original post by mnot
Second week you are unlikely to have any major deadlines, and if it is a family bereavement you would be entitled to what’s referred to as an extension for extenuating circumstances (EC), although they may require evidence such as a death certificate if you have an assignment deadline.

Thank you, I’ll look into that and ask Student union if they could help me with that. I already announced my absence due to bereavement on the university app. I don’t think I’ll have any assignments in the first week, but if I do I’ll try to complete them while I’m away.
If a funeral is important to you then I'd go if I were you, as you won't get a second chance and it's far far better to have no regrets about it. If anything uni is of smaller importance then that's just the way it is - your life amd your priorities. I know you weren't asking whether or not you should go but I was a bit shocked at the idea you were doing something wrong in prioritising a funeral, so wanted to say something.
Reply 10
Original post by domonict
Do you mean the week after freshers/welcome week or week two of teaching?
You could ask your tutors now and ask their opinion.
There might be lecture capture or someone could take notes but to be honest, it’s better to not miss the first few weeks.

What would the deceased have wanted?
I don’t know your culture or faith but during Covid I “attended” an online funeral.

The first week after freshers week. The thing is that this might be my last opportunity to see my grandmother, so it’s quite significant to me. Obviously ideally I wouldn’t want to miss the lectures, but as I said before, the flights are booked and I am going to go.
Reply 11
Original post by sailhorsegirl
If a funeral is important to you then I'd go if I were you, as you won't get a second chance and it's far far better to have no regrets about it. If anything uni is of smaller importance then that's just the way it is - your life amd your priorities. I know you weren't asking whether or not you should go but I was a bit shocked at the idea you were doing something wrong in prioritising a funeral, so wanted to say something.


I feel like it’s also a bit shocking to think that funeral is somehow less important than a lecture… Especially a funeral of a close relative.
Original post by Anonymous
Well that’s you. I think going to a family member’s funeral is a sensible thing to do. Besides, the flights are booked and my question wasn’t about whether I should go or not, but about how I could prevent it from affecting my performance more than it will.


It might be normally but I knew my grandma [she actually lived with us for a number of years] would not want me to miss uni for her funeral when I could pay my respects later. I have visited her grave a number of times since then.
Original post by Anonymous
Hi, due to a death in my family I have to go back to my country for a week to attend the funeral. This means I will be missing the second week of university (I’m going to be in my first year). Is there anything I could do to mitigate any sort of negative impact this could have on my performance in my first semester? Will the lecturers think I don’t care about my education?

Sorry for your loss :console:
I would contact your personal tutor/head of school ASAP about your circumstances, to see if they could accommodate you e.g. via online learning for the week you are away.

In my experience, nearly all of my lecturers were supportive when I had to attend a funeral (although it was only 4 hours away which is rather different as opposed to going abroad) in October when I unfortunately had a couple of group projects/ assignments due but if you submit extenuating circumstances the deadline can usually be extended :yep:
Regarding negative impact on education, make sure you have signed up with a local GP in case you need to make a GP appointment. Grief affects people differently. Your uni should also have MH support services as well :smile:

Just tagging in @5hyl33n as well :hugs:
Original post by Anonymous
Hi, due to a death in my family I have to go back to my country for a week to attend the funeral. This means I will be missing the second week of university (I’m going to be in my first year). Is there anything I could do to mitigate any sort of negative impact this could have on my performance in my first semester? Will the lecturers think I don’t care about my education?


Hello Anonymous,

I want to begin by giving my deepest condolences for the loss of your grandmother. I can completely understand your situation, as I experienced the loss of my grandmother last year.

In January 2022, I found out that my grandmother was diagnosed with a terminal illness. By March 2022, I had returned to London from Cardiff with the intention of travelling to India. I travelled to India at the end of March and came back in mid-June due to the unfortunate passing of my grandmother, coinciding with the start of exams. Regrettably, I made the error of immediately resuming my studies and exam preparations during the resit period, and this decision did not yield positive outcomes for several reasons.

Despite all that I certainly didn't regret going to my grandmother's funeral and nor should you.

Since your decision to go abroad is already set, here's a (non-exhaustive) plan for you:

Notify your personal tutor and head of year as soon as possible. Ask for advice. They will most certainly not think you do not care about your education. But for them to not think that, you need to be honest with them.

Complete the extenuating circumstances form, ensuring you provide any evidence requested by the university.

Find out what you will cover during the week you'll be away. Unfortunately, this is the best I can say on this part because I have no idea how your university works.

Concentrate on saying goodbye to your grandmother and try your best to minimise stress about any other matters. Although, for me, a calming escape amidst all the stress was to put on my headphones and immerse myself in lectures for a few hours. Given my extended absence for several months, it wasn't sufficient to catch up on everything. However, since your absence will only be for a week, it might not have as significant a negative impact as you anticipate.

Return to university, see your personal tutor to discuss the next academic steps and get in touch with the mental health team/your GP at university. The latter of which I didn't do and I should've.


Once again, I'm very sorry to hear about your situation.

Please do let me know if you have any more further questions.

5hyl33n

:hugs:


Thank you @Chronoscope for the tag. :smile:
Reply 15
I am a personal tutor/academic advisor and I know for a fact that we'd sort something out for this.

Go to the funeral, but sort this out beforehand. It should be relatively quick and painless. As for 'evidence', a death cert is one way but lots of places will usually accept a letter from your parent(s).

As usual, 5hyl33n is spot on with this.

This early on any effect will be negligible. I wouldn't have missed my nans' funerals for love nor money. There is nothing more important than family, not even a degree.
Go to the funeral and go knowing that you are doing the right thing - paying your respects and honouring the person is far more important than pretty much anything else.

In terms of lecture, you have received sterling advice above.

Taking a week out won’t “naturally” lead to you failing. What if you were I’ll for a week? They couldn’t have people having Covid and failing that semester or year…… you just have to find a way to catch up on the work.

What I would say is “does your course video the lectures and put them on the subject web sites for students?”. I thought that, because of covid, most unis now do this which allows you to review the material once more later on or, in your case, still “attend” lectures that you’ve missed

I mention it as it can go some way to reduce any of the teaching element of the course that you may miss. If they give out problem sheets etc, can they also email those to you so that you can work on them in the evenings or catch them up later?

Just a thought but, seriously, you must go to the funeral. Everything else will sort itself out.
(edited 8 months ago)
Reply 17
Original post by 5hyl33n
Hello Anonymous,

I want to begin by giving my deepest condolences for the loss of your grandmother. I can completely understand your situation, as I experienced the loss of my grandmother last year.

In January 2022, I found out that my grandmother was diagnosed with a terminal illness. By March 2022, I had returned to London from Cardiff with the intention of travelling to India. I travelled to India at the end of March and came back in mid-June due to the unfortunate passing of my grandmother, coinciding with the start of exams. Regrettably, I made the error of immediately resuming my studies and exam preparations during the resit period, and this decision did not yield positive outcomes for several reasons.

Despite all that I certainly didn't regret going to my grandmother's funeral and nor should you.

Since your decision to go abroad is already set, here's a (non-exhaustive) plan for you:

Notify your personal tutor and head of year as soon as possible. Ask for advice. They will most certainly not think you do not care about your education. But for them to not think that, you need to be honest with them.

Complete the extenuating circumstances form, ensuring you provide any evidence requested by the university.

Find out what you will cover during the week you'll be away. Unfortunately, this is the best I can say on this part because I have no idea how your university works.

Concentrate on saying goodbye to your grandmother and try your best to minimise stress about any other matters. Although, for me, a calming escape amidst all the stress was to put on my headphones and immerse myself in lectures for a few hours. Given my extended absence for several months, it wasn't sufficient to catch up on everything. However, since your absence will only be for a week, it might not have as significant a negative impact as you anticipate.

Return to university, see your personal tutor to discuss the next academic steps and get in touch with the mental health team/your GP at university. The latter of which I didn't do and I should've.


Once again, I'm very sorry to hear about your situation.

Please do let me know if you have any more further questions.

5hyl33n

:hugs:


Thank you @Chronoscope for the tag. :smile:


I’m very sorry for your loss. It is hard to lose somebody and also be miles away from the entire situation, unsure of what’s going to happen. Thank you for your advice. I emailed the head of my department this morning, and I’m awaiting a response from them. I think it should be possible to watch the lectures once I’m back because we have an app with all the lectures divided into groups. They’re still locked though so I can’t check the content.
Your response made me feel much better because I was beginning to feel like I’m somehow making a mistake by wanting to honour my family member.
Some of the lectures might be available online while you’re away so if you can make sure you have your uni laptop with you so you can log in remotely as the content gets unlocked. Especially if you’re able to download content then that could be doable to catch up with on the flight back.

If you can ask your tutor/head of department to put you into contact with some people from your group in advance so that you can share with them why you’re not around and you don’t miss out on too much of the social side of getting to know your group.
Original post by Anonymous
I’m very sorry for your loss. It is hard to lose somebody and also be miles away from the entire situation, unsure of what’s going to happen. Thank you for your advice. I emailed the head of my department this morning, and I’m awaiting a response from them. I think it should be possible to watch the lectures once I’m back because we have an app with all the lectures divided into groups. They’re still locked though so I can’t check the content.
Your response made me feel much better because I was beginning to feel like I’m somehow making a mistake by wanting to honour my family member.

Thank you. :smile:

Excellent. I'm sure they will in touch with you as soon as possible.

As previously mentioned by PQ, make sure to bring the device you usually use for accessing the lectures with you.

No, you are not making a mistake. Family always takes precedence.

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