Ok, I just really wanna chime in here! Oh my goodness!!!! The fact that you're even WONDERING is soooooo incredibly sad to me!! That you, as an adult, would even use the word "mandatory" is shocking to me! I know I'm prob'ly coming off strong, but wow, I mean, it's one thing for family functions to be "mandatory" as a 5 year old, but ... wow... I don't even really know what to say. I feel sad for you that you and your family are so enmeshed that family functions are "mandatory" to the point that you're even CONSIDERING dropping out of school!! Not trying to be harsh, or critical or anything like that...to me this would be a non-issue (I wouldn't go)
I say this from DOING IT...saying "no," and just letting them be angry and have their temper tantrum...yes, it was extreeeeeemely difficult at first, but i made a decision one day: it's MY life, and I am the ONLY one who can live it and it's my job to do it! And yeah, sometimes that's included making very painful-feeling choices - that are good, even thru the pain.