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Saturday, July 13, 2024


I grew up in a less than privileged background. I worked super hard, because my mother told me to. She told me that if I didnt work hard, she wouldn’t pay for school. That it.


I slogged my ass off, raffles, then nus medicine. I just worked hard, listened to advice from my peers, and worked.

I remember failing multiple times during this process, failing, and getting up, no tuition nothing. and before you think I am bragging, I am not, I am bitter. I am bitter because I had no help during those struggles, those struggles where I saw my friends going for tuition after their fun ccas so they could get someone to catch up with them, and then off for nice holidays after each tiring semester.

meanwhile, I went home to a crowded home with not much.

in university, my parents didn’t even understand the course I was in.


They said oh wow good ah doctor. But they didnt understand the stresses I was under, how my peers looked down on me for not being able to get that starbucks every week, or eat the same meal every day (“why you always eat the same thing lol”) no one said anything explicitly, but just people started hanging out with me less… and less.

Now I have a family, small but its mine. dont really have friends from school, just a few work ones who we get teh (coffee shop) together and its surprisingly the highlight of my week. I dont want to have kids because I dont want them to go through what I had gone through.

my mum, she was probably the driving force behind why i cant quit. I now acknowledge its my trying to live up to her expectations and make her proud that I did all of this.

I never once dared to show her my failures, or my struggles, or my isolation. Because I was the son she was proud of, I was important in her eyes. and so I kept the path, never once considered seriously dropping out even though I had minimal interest in this medical path.

its 2am and I have just finished a shift. I hope that someone out there reads this and learns something from it. you wil inevitably be influenced by your parents/peers/society. this is something ive learnt that cannot be avoided. but what you can do is to be conscious of it, and to try bit by bit, to integrate a part of yourself in a sustainable way, a part of happiness in your life so that one day you can find peace in the struggle that is your job/career/course.


Have empathy for the peers who seem isolated and struggling, or even acted out in school. Dont write them off as introverts or whatever. They likely just have more to deal on their plates than you do, or you have more social/economic support than them to get through your shared circumstance. Maybe say hi, share notes, or reach out to them if you havent heard from them for a while and say hey, I see you, I know youre struggling, Im going through this with you (not in those exact words but like sometimes just company helps)

one last thing, I would also like to say thank you to that one senior in school who stood by me when things were tough and that it was very meaningful and prob was the reason for finishing the course.

I try to do that now with my juniors in the hospital. Anyway goodnight

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