It has taken me more than 6 weeks to finally pen my thoughts down, well type, technically. Also since I last wrote, WordPress has certainly made a lot of changes, well good for you!
2018 has been a year of many struggles in terms of balance. The balance with people, study and work. I know what you must be thinking. But hear me out, there’s always more.
When 2018 started, I really only had one goal with my friends. I wanted to foster good relationships and maintain that connectedness. 2019 may be a year of separation – let’s just say everyone’s headed to all the many different hipster hospitals in the world. It’ll be a huge heartbreaker to me, but I’ll survive. So I really wanted to have a good time this year, focus on the people and the many other work I’m doing (still doing,
In Monash, 4th year is perceived as the culmination of your medical education (is it really?). So obviously everyone treats it very seriously. You could feel the tension on a day to day basis; you could hear people whispering and talking on a minute to minute basis about how difficult 4th year is and about simply passing the exams, is a joy of celebration and being content. I supposed in a way I felt that I could have been there more often than not for the people who were there for me.
To my good friends,Evelyn, Xin Yi, Adeline, Jasmine, Syameer, thank you for being the faces I see every day, for providing me the support and giving me the attention, the guidance and advice in life, for simply being present for me. I wished the year could have gone longer (
please no), we could have spent more time together.
Well anyways, but for all in all, it has been a good year, well spent with all my friends. I apologise if I have crossed you or made you feel uncomfortable or irritated at any time.
Prior to succeeding as President in MMI Malaysia, I had a lot of doubts. Crucial year, important role. What do I do? Well, a part of me says wing it. A part of me says do you really want to take up this burden? I’ve always had this ideal where if you want to do something important, do it at your best, better, and give it your all. You’ll only do this once, make it worthwhile. While I was also busy with the second half of my year, finalising the last bits of my research, semi-part of the executive team for organising the annual Malaysian Medical Summit event, I did succeed in becoming the next President.
I need to add this bit because over two decades of my life, never had I thought I’d be leading the entire team. I’ve never once held a position this high before. Selfishly speaking, I did always want to be a President of ‘something‘.
So when I succeeded as President, I wanted to accomplish many things. I wasn’t sure if I could, but I would do it anyways. Every day, it is most definitely like a ‘one-step-at-a-time’ moment for me. Stress? YES. Considering I was juggling between my research, my studies and all this.
But hear me out. There will always be time, it’s how you manage and manipulate them.
Let me insert my infamous quote I tell all my MMI folks:
Don’t tell me you’re busy, just because you’re a medical student. Everyone’s equally busy. You being you does not give you a golden privilege to be treated as a couch potato prince. Get on it. Start working.
MMI Inaugural Meeting, 6 October 2018
A large part of 2018, well, a large part of my energy has been to MMI. To say that the year has ended, well the term for MMI just started. I am actually really happy and excited to see all my projects coming to life.
So what have I accomplished so far in MMI for the year 2018?
- I’ve advised 2 events – Oncology Colloquium and MAP during my 2017/2018 term as Secretary.
- I’ve successfully organised my first event as organising chairperson for the Mental Health symposium.
- I’ve help the team bring the Malaysian Medical Summit 2018 to life. This one event really stressed me out.
- I’ve redesign the entire team for the 2018/2019 term and introduced a new working culture, by setting the tone and expectations right from the beginning.
- I’ve introduced the community service avenue and we’ve successfully carried out the first community service project, and it being out of the central region. I have Rebecca and her team to thank for. You guys have brought a lot of pride to MMI.
- I’ve also successfully worked out one successful partnership, and a few more to come.
- Also within 2018, we’ve successfully carried out a survey, gotten a sample size of 300+ and managed to publish it in line with World Diabetes Day.
- Amongst other things, all my departments are hard at work and I’m really proud of them.
So much has been done this year in the name of progress and development.
How do you juggle between MMI and studies?
Well to be fair, I didn’t. I don’t see MMI and studies as a job or a burden. I saw them as my day-to-day routine and it really became a part of my life. Let me clear this out for you.
- Medicine is a life long studying process. There’s no running away. I’ve established that in 2015 when I first started.
- I did see MMI as a job and a responsibility at first. But slowly I’ve started getting addicted to it. And soon, it became a part of my life. Something I value and would want to do, simply because I get a lot of satisfaction from doing, from planning and managing events, from communicating and networking with all sorts of people.
I mean come on, when I first found out about MMI, I was like woahhh I admire these people who could run the organisation, and someday I want to be those people – those people running the organisation, I mean. Who knew? Today, I had become one of those people.
My ambition and goal for MMI started just like that.
But wait, so how do you juggle between running an organisation and your most crucial year?
Don’t hate me but I’ll say balance and management.
You can’t have too much studies and with no fun. You can’t be a student and a full time workaholic externally all at the same time. Balance is key. And I can prove you wrong.
I remember this was the one day, after a very long time where I went out and just had fun.
Day time is for studying, night time is for.. studying and semi-managing MMI. And the in betweens where you take breaks are for fun.
To be very honest, I’ve never been that person who was very particular about grades and being the top student and being an excellent achiever. I know my grounds and I know what it means to be competent and I think good grades does not equate to competency. People management, soft skills, being street smart are amongst those things that are in fact more important than simply just being book smart.
To say that I’ve gotten everything covered is a lie as well. I’ll have to admit that there were many times where I did feel like breaking down, cry and even quit. I mean let’s face it, who puts themselves in so many positions, handling so much of work, in the name of what? Name? Title? I don’t think I get a lot out of this anyways. But really, the satisfaction of seeing something grow out of nothing, into something, is tremendously rewarding on many levels for me. Deteriorating mental health won’t stop me.
But that being said, not everyone prioritises extra-curricular activities. Most people I know only have time to focus on one thing. And that’s okay. You do you. Do the things that matter to you and make the most out of it.
So in the end, was 2018 a very rewarding year?
I don’t think I’ve had a rewarding year ever as much as I did for this year. This year was truly a taste of all sorts of challenges coming at me. And I have a lot of people to be thankful for. I guess the few people I have not thank were my parents and my closest friends in Subang, including you Jesper.
My 2019 resolution would be
- I want to spend a little bit more time on making sure I graduate as a competent doctor.
- I want to go hiking.
- I want to save up and travel.
- I want to improve and better myself at communicating and being a better leader.
- I want to keep in touch with all those fellas in Australia.
Well then, 2018, you’ve been great to me. Thank you.
Darien Liew Daojuin
31 December 2018