End of Trimester :: My musical experience in NZ

Spring's here! 
It's end of trimester! 
A whole first year of university has passed!

It was the NZSM End Year Party last Friday.
We reminisced over the fun and crazy times over wine, pizza and jazz music playing from the speakers. Some of us recovering from making it through the 2 trimesters of the year.

Welll...how do you think we party here at uni? 
...though you'll never know behind closed doors now, do ya? :))))

(Though weekend nights in town is a whole different thing.)

I just can't believe first year of uni is over so soon! After all the drama of Airport Day, which is still a bit fresh in my mind (I refuse to think about it sometimes), I met some incredible people and had unforgettable experiences in this new world of music.

I wasn't even planning to come to NZ, honestly. When my mom was notified that there were auditions held at the Curve in Damansara, she told me to go for it. I had no idea how the auditions were gonna be like. 

Were there gonna be lots of people fighting for the scholarship? Umm, yeah?

Is it gonna be scary? Maybe. Most likely.

Am I ready? !@#$ no.

"It's in two weeks, mom, I'm gonna play crap for them to hear and embarrass myself to death," thats what I told my mom. She just told me to send an email to the email address given to her, and I was corresponding with a nice lady called Belinda, who arranged the auditions with two people from NZSM, who are lecturers in this uni.

I was never so reluctant to do something, aside from cleaning up after something gross had died in my house like a lizard or something. This was different. So, I thought, they weren't gonna remember me anyway. Might as well give it a shot.

...Which I did. And surprisingly, I passed the audition with a scholarship. 
I don't know whether to be shocked or die of excitement - because the problem lies in the fact that it was still a lot of $ to send me abroad, and I was currently prepping for my ATCL Violin exam under a private teacher in KL. 

 Months passed since the audition and I constantly emailed the school about documents that they might need from me, etc. There was a lot of drama, hard thinking, long discussions and stressful moments within those few months. I even told mom that I didn't have to take the offer, if it was too hard on us. I could settle with what I had. But she was more than determined to let me chase my dream to become a professional musician with experiences abroad.

 Dad made sure that I had everything to live comfortably away from home too. He even told my mom to get me a coffee machine, in case I didn't have proper coffee to drink in the morning. Lol. How sweet is that? :') So blessed to have a lovely family. 

Before I knew it, I was waving goodbye to my sobbing sister, Charms and Chee holding her, my bro Evan and Don. Deym. It was a crappy day, and a tough flight. I was told to watch LOTR before going to NZ, but since I had no time, I watched it on the plane.....but fell asleep watching it. Don't kill me but I guess it just ain't my thing. 

Then, I met Doug after Charms pestered me to message him on Facebook. He's a lifesaver to 2 blur people ; mom and I, in a foreign land. Lol. He even brought my mom and kept her company during the NZSM orientation. We became good friends after.

At orientation, I got to know few of my close friends now - Becca, Laura and Craig. They were also first years and were really friendly to me. Spent lots of time talking, whining, gossiping and laughing over nothing. :) Awesome bunch of people, I might add.

 I also am happy that I had people whom I could speak music to, making lame musician jokes, then laughing at our jokes and feeling proud of ourselves for coming up with jokes like those.... because we're musicians. That's why. :P

Performing in the NZSM orchestra was a huge thing for me too. I've only played in the KLPAC Orchestra in 2011, and playing with these really skillful music students really opened my eyes to the standard of music here. I enjoyed performing in the orchestra so much! I was so excited when I realized that it is a course in my first year studies. Dang. This so beats Accounting & Economics in A-Levels!

I really can't thank God enough for the way this year unexpectedly turned out. Pleasantly unexpected. I'm so thankful to the lecturers who had passed my audition and rewarded me with a scholarship, all the new friends I've made this year, my new boyfriend (who stepped out of the friendzone, actually) and my more than supportive parents.

It was definitely hard to be away from home, family, friends and events. But I've learnt to accept the new lifestyle here and get comfortable with my new surroundings. These people in the pictures above just made it all the easier to enjoy things here! <3

All I've left at the moment is the big one -- the end year recital, happening in 2 weeks time. Oh yeah, also my last written paper on opera. 
Wish me luck!!

Cherishing my musical journey here. 
Feeling awesome because it has just begun!
Ashley Mah.

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