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Thursday 15 March 2018

12 June 2017 incident

Here, I would like to write about an incident that happened on 12 June 2017.

At that time, it was my Child Health rotation for Stage 3 of MBBS. I was in Group B for that rotation. I was initially supposed to be placed in Group C, but I requested to switch to Group B because I didn't want to separate with my group mates after having been in Group B for the past 2 rotations.

UT was the leader of Group B and a very influential person. He and several of my group mates were very close, as they were in the same gang even before Group B came into existence. I and EL were the only members of Group B not part of that gang.

Throughout the 3 rotations, I had been trying to build a good relationship with them. I wasn't quite successful in that as my social skills wasn't good at that time. They were also closer to EL compared to me. EL had good medical knowledge and he often taught them, while I kept struggling with my studies.

On 12 June 2017, my group travelled to Batu Pahat. We would be posted to the Batu Pahat hospital in the following week, and NUMed booked a hotel for us. Another group of students were also going to Batu Pahat at that time.

I, EL and UT were the only guys in Group B. However, there were only double rooms at the Batu Pahat hotel. This meant only two of us could be in the same room, while the other one had to stay with someone from the other group. I was hoping that I could stay in the same room with UT or EL.

However, UT had decided to stay with EL before we began our journey. UT told me he was very sure that the guy from the other group would be my housemate OG. Despite being housemates, I had never been close to OG due to our very different personalities, so I didn't know if OG would be going to Batu Pahat.

UT said that he too wasn't close to OG, and being housemates at least I would have known OG better, so it would be more appropriate for me rather than him to stay with OG. I was fine with that, but I didn't want to agree without getting something in return.

I asked what would be the plan if the guy from the other group turned out to be not OG but someone else. UT said that in the unlikely event where that happens, he would stay with that guy and I could stay with EL. I found that quite reasonable so I agreed.

Later, I, EL and UT travelled to Batu Pahat together. During the journey, UT reminded me of the deal we had agreed upon earlier. I promised to honour it while reminding him about his part of the deal. However, UT now claimed that he never promised anything. He insisted that our deal only had one clause where I was to stay with OG.

UT said that if the guy from the other group is someone other than OG, then "we will see". He added that I should be willing to step out of my comfort zone and stay with anyone, even if it's someone I didn't know. In reality, this wasn't a matter of comfort zone at all. I wasn't actually comfortable about staying with OG, I agreed only for courtesy sake, but UT wasn't showing courtesy in return.

I asked UT why he was unwilling make a commitment when he was so sure that OG would be the guy from the other group, to which he kept repeating that the deal was just about me staying with OG. I complained that it would be very unfair to have a deal where I was the only one committing, but UT insisted that I had agreed to it.

I then told UT bluntly that since he reneged on his promise, the entire deal had fallen apart so I too wouldn't promise to stay with OG. UT simply ignored me, hinting that with or without a deal, he was going to stay with EL anyway. In the end, the guy from the other group turned out to be OG. Not wanting to keep arguing with UT, I relented and stayed with OG.

This incident came down to a simple fact that UT wanted to stay with EL and not with me. UT was just trying to frame this in a nicer way. Even though my social skills and medical knowledge weren't good, I cherished Group B so much to the extent of making a request to stay in Group B. UT should have valued me more, isn't it? That's the problem with the influential guys in the 2014-2019 batch.

The whole incident was a significant wound in my relationship with UT. After I got into Stage 4 of MBBS, the student groups were reshuffled and I was no longer with Group B. UT asked me if I felt sad that we were no longer in the same group, and I told him directly "No, I don't feel sad at all". I don't consider UT to be an important friend anymore.

EL hadn't done anything wrong, he merely agreed when UT wanted to stay with him. Nevertheless, I was really jealous of EL because my group mates valued him more. However, I later overcame the jealousy and formed a long-lasting friendship with EL. Now, EL is one of my closest friends.

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