The NUMed managed accommodation is located at EcoNest. I stayed at EcoNest for almost 3 years. I first moved into EcoNest on 26 August 2018 when I began Stage 5 of MBBS.
The NUMed managed accommodation was previously at Horizon Residences, but it got moved to EcoNest in 2018. My first impression of EcoNest was that it looks much nicer and has better facilities compared to Horizon Residences. My unit was at Tower C of EcoNest. I particularly liked the washer-dryer provided by NUMed in my unit, as it makes it very convenient to wash and dry my laundry.
Despite that, initially I didn't like EcoNest and I still preferred Horizon Residences. The area surrounding EcoNest was rather isolated which made me feel uncomfortable. There weren't many shops nearby, so I had to travel quite a distance to Bukit Indah for my meals which I found quite troublesome. Worse still, NUMed didn't provide a cleaning service for EcoNest, and instead wanted us to be responsible for the cleanliness of our unit.
However, those negative feelings didn't last long. Soon, I had gotten used to the area surrounding EcoNest and I was no longer uncomfortable with it. In fact, I realised that even though the area may seem isolated, it's actually good in the sense that it feels close to nature. As EcoNest is located quite near the NUMed campus, I don't have to wake up so early on the days where I have sessions at the campus.
A few weeks after moving into EcoNest, I had liked this place so much that I preferred it over Horizon Residences. Then in October 2018, in response to students' feedback, NUMed finally introduced the cleaning service for EcoNest. At that point, I felt that the NUMed accommodation at EcoNest just became perfect.
As time went on, more and more shops opened in the area surrounding EcoNest. With that, I no longer had to travel to Bukit Indah very often. In fact, almost all kinds of food is available near EcoNest now, including Chinese food, Malay food, Western food, Nyonya food, Indian food, Arabian food, Thai food, Japanese food and Korean food.
From September 2018 to December 2018, I had only one housemate in my unit. Although I wasn't close to him, I didn't have any issues with him. In December 2018, he moved out permanently as he would be doing his medical electives outside Johor Bahru for the following semester. Therefore, I could have the entire unit in EcoNest for myself, which is a privilege that not many students get.
In June 2019, with the end of Stage 5 of MBBS, I was supposed to leave EcoNest permanently which made me feel quite emotional. However, it turned out that I failed my Stage 5 final exam and had to repeat Stage 5. I definitely wanted to continue staying at EcoNest for my repeat year of Stage 5. NUMed offered me another unit at EcoNest and helped me move my personal belongings to the new unit.
My new unit was at Tower B. It's larger compared to the previous unit, but this also meant I had to live with more housemates. I really disliked one of my housemates because he often brought his girlfriend to the unit and they were quite noisy. In January 2020, it got worse as he started bringing a large group of friends and they liked to talk loudly even past midnight. I made a report to NUMed without hesitation and thankfully it put a stop to that.
In March 2020, the Movement Control Order (MCO) was implemented in Malaysia. My annoying housemate moved out permanently right before the MCO started and I was so glad about that. Throughout the MCO, I stayed in Johor Bahru instead of returning to my hometown. As I hardly went out, I spent most of the time at EcoNest. Thanks to the fact that EcoNest is a very nice place and has excellent facilities, it made the MCO much more bearable for me.
There are some cafes at the ground floor of EcoNest, but for a long time I didn't bother trying them. Since the MCO started, only one of the cafes remained open. In April 2020, for the first time I ordered takeaway from that cafe, and it's quite good. Since then, I had been ordering food from there regularly. After the MCO got replaced with the Conditional MCO, that was the first place I went to dine in.
EcoNest has a swimming pool. Between August 2018 and June 2020, I walked pass it several times but I never used it. In July 2020, I finally used the swimming pool for the first time. However, I found it a bit underwhelming. Although it looks quite nice, it somehow feels more like a fish pond than a swimming pool. The swimming pool is the one thing where EcoNest loses out to Horizon Residences.
My repeat year of Stage 5 was supposed to end in June 2020. However, the final exams got delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so I stayed at EcoNest for another 2 months. It's a good thing that NUMed didn't charge me extra for that. When I completed my MBBS course in August 2020, I thought I would be leaving EcoNest permanently, which no doubt made me feel very emotional.
Later, I got offered the full-year teaching fellow post at NUMed, which meant that I would be in Johor Bahru for another year. Unlike students, teaching fellows are unable to apply for the NUMed managed accommodation. However, I could directly contact the agent that manages the student accommodation at EcoNest. One of the previous year's teaching fellows recommended a unit at Impiana for me.
I chose to stay at EcoNest again as it's cheaper and I really like the place after having stayed there for 2 years. I got a new unit at Tower A and it's of the same size as the previous unit. The facilities provided in this unit are almost as good as the units managed by NUMed. My new housemates were quite nice. Although I wasn't close to them, I never had any issues with them. In October 2020, a new cafe opened at the ground floor of EcoNest and I really like it.
Just like the previous year, I had to experience periods of MCO, which once again was much more bearable thanks to EcoNest. I delivered several online teaching sessions from my room in EcoNest. Occasionally, my teaching fellow colleagues would come to my unit where we had lunch or dinner together. They really liked EcoNest as well, and one of them remarked that he regretted not staying at EcoNest.
Throughout my teaching fellowship year at NUMed, I used the EcoNest swimming pool several times. Although I didn't really like it previously, I began to appreciate it's uniqueness. I even recommended it to my colleagues. With the implementation of the MCO 3.0 in May 2021, the swimming pool had to be closed and I never had the opportunity to use it again.
My teaching fellowship came to an end in June 2021. However, my Covid-19 vaccine appointment would be in Johor Bahru on 22 July 2021. I didn't want to reject the appointment as that would cause further delays. Therefore, I decided to stay at EcoNest until the end of July. I had been treasuring every moment of my stay at EcoNest as I knew I would be moving out permanently before long. Despite that, time still passed so quickly.
On 1 August 2021, I finally have to leave EcoNest permanently for real. Needless to say, I feel very emotional about this. I definitely have a lot of great memories at EcoNest over the past 3 years. I won't be returning to EcoNest again anytime soon, as I am not doing my housemanship in Johor Bahru.
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