I'm a gradate student at a UK university. Today, I faced a difficult situation and I'm not sure if my decision was right, so I'd like to hear your opinions (I'm not a native English speaker so I apologize in advance for any grammatical errors).
I was going to attend a valedictory lecture (the very last lecture by a retiring professor) in a building I'd never visited. I used Google Maps to get there and ended up in front of a facility with no entrance for students. Two other students were also there, confused.
We then spent a long time looking for the right place, until one of us noticed there were two buildings with the identical name and we were supposed to go to the other one. At that point, we were about 3 minutes late for the lecture, and I told them we might not be allowed to come in late because it seemed to be an extremely formal event (We had been told to wear formal attire).
They disagreed and headed for the right building, so I followed. However, by the time we arrived, we were more than 10 minutes late (the lecture would last for two hours), and we didn't even know which way to go in a huge building. Then I decided to give up and go back home, telling the others I personally found it rude and inappropriate to be THAT late. They went on and I don't know if they were actually allowed to join the audience.
But now I wonder if this was the right decision. One reason I decided not to go was that I had never interacted with the retiring professor (although we belonged to the same department) and she wouldn't even recognize me. How would she have felt if an unknown student (or actually, three students) had joined in the middle of her last lecture?
Could you please share your thoughts on this so I can make a better decision when I find myself in a similar situation in the future? Thank you so much for reading this.
EDIT: We were "invited" to the lecture and attendance was not compulsory.