The NUMed Founders & Benefactors (F&B) Night used to be an annual event for all NUMed students, held in November every year. Now, I am in the final year of the NUMed MBBS course. But guess what? I have not attended the NUMed F&B Night even a single time!
In 2014, the NUMed F&B Night was held shortly after I started 1st year of MBBS. At that time, I didn't really understand what it is about, instead I had the impression that it is some sort of an orientation night event.
My perception towards orientation events had always been poor. My family used to tell me that during orientation events, the seniors would disturb the new students by asking them to do weird things. This made me fear orientation events a lot.
In fact, I myself experienced such an event before, on my 1st day at Taylor's College. During that event, I narrowly escaped the "punishment" of being asked to dance Gangnam Style, which would have been very embarrassing for me. Personally, I really didn't like the event.
After I entered NUMed, I refused to attend any of the orientation events. Since I thought that the F&B Night was also an orientation event, I skipped it as well. For a long time, my wrong impression about the F&B Night persisted. I didn't attend the F&B Night in 2015 and 2016 for the same reason.
It was after the NUMed F&B Night 2016 where I found out the truth that it is not an orientation event at all. Instead, it is actually a dinner similar to the NUMed Ball, which I have always enjoyed. I felt that I should start attending the F&B Night in the following year.
However in 2017, I once again skipped the NUMed F&B Night, without any particular reason. At that time, I was busy studying for the 4th year exam which I aimed to score 80%. Therefore, when I received the email about the F&B Night, I just dismissed it without giving it any thoughts.
After the NUMed F&B Night 2017, I realised that many of my friends, especially my group mates in Group 4, did attend it and they took many nice photos together. At that point, I really regretted not attending the F&B Night, but it was already too late.
I told myself that I must attend the F&B Night in 2018 no matter what, even if it's one day before my 5th year clinical assessment. This would also be my last and only chance to attend it before I graduate from NUMed.
But in October 2018, I heard rumours that the NUMed F&B Night would be scrapped for 2018. Needless to say, this made me feel extremely upset. The NUMed Student Association (SA) had remained completely silent about this, seemingly confirming the rumours.
As a matter of fact, I did vote in the NUMed SA Election earlier, and the person I voted ended up getting elected as the President. Therefore, I was particularly disappointed with the NUMed SA. I then wrote a lengthy feedback for the NUMed SA, requesting them to reinstate the F&B Night.
Later, the NUMed SA sent everyone an email. They explained that the NUMed F&B Night and the NUMed Ball are similar events, the difference being that students are expected to sit with their peer family for the F&B Night while students can choose who to sit with for the Ball.
As not all students may be comfortable with their peer family, the NUMed SA felt that it is better to let everyone choose who they want to sit with, be it their friends or their peer family, than to force everyone to sit with their peer family.
Because of this, the NUMed SA decided that they would be replacing the NUMed F&B Night with the NUMed Ball, and that the Ball would be brought forward from March 2019 to November 2018 to coincide with the timing of the previous year's F&B Night.
In my opinion, the way the NUMed SA explained everything was a bit unprofessional. However, I strongly agree with their reasoning. Indeed, I definitely want to sit with my friends rather than my peer family when attending such events.
I view the NUMed F&B Night and NUMed Ball as opportunities to form great memories with my friends and strengthen our relationship. While I do communicate with my peer family sometimes, I have always considered my friends to be far more important than them.
Therefore, I view the replacement of the NUMed F&B Night with the NUMed Ball quite positively. While this means I will never have the chance to attend an actual F&B Night, this doesn't truly matter, since the Ball would serve the purpose of the F&B Night in an even better way.
The NUMed SA's decision also means there would no longer be a NUMed Ball in March 2019. However, a separate Graduation Ball is being planned for just my batch in April 2019. Therefore, it is highly likely that most of my friends won't be attending a ball in March 2019 anyway.
I definitely chose to attend the NUMed Ball and I registered for it right away. The Ball was held at Berjaya Waterfront Hotel on 30 November 2018. Many of my friends attended it as well. My aim for this Ball was to take two-person photos with each and every girl in my batch.
My experience during this NUMed Ball was truly enjoyable. I have attended several balls in the past, and I can say for sure that this is the best one. The food and performances were great. I took two-person photos with most of my friends, and I managed to achieve my aim.
Interestingly, this was the 2nd NUMed Ball in 2018. The previous NUMed Ball was held on 9 March 2018 and I attended it as well, although vast majority of my friends didn't attend. As it turns out, I am the one and only student in my batch who attended both the NUMed Balls in 2018.