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Brutally Honest Friends

Dedications - NUSSO Friends!

The worse advice I've ever been given when I was younger, from someone very close to me, was to never waste time on friends who won't benefit us. Ahem, fortunately that was never how I decided to live my life.

Gathering over Din Tai Feng when I was in town in summer '16!

I made some of my best friends and spent some of my best college days at National University of Singapore Symphony Orchestra (NUSSO) and I would not give them up for anything. A huge part of my musician life is spending time with my non-musician friends, NUSSO friends all the more precious since they also have an understanding of my life as a musician. These friends constantly keep me sane and support me no matter what crazy projects I embark on or however long I have taken to graduate from school, pursuing degree after degree. These are the people I look forward to hanging out with during my yearly escapades back to Singapore in summer, people I can be entirely comfortable with complete with my unglam-ness.

Feasting over durians old-school style at the backyard of my parents' old house in Geylang back in 2008. Many of our mega-gatherings for festivities were also hosted there.

These are also the people who have been brutally honest with me when I'm faced with hard choices or are blinded by emotions. People who don't judge when I make the stupidest choices ever, supporting me when I finally suffer from said stupid choices, but never quite saying "I told you so right?" either. These are the people I've grown up with. We've all taken different paths, spread out across the world, all in different phases of life, mostly settling down, getting married and having kids. With busy schedules, we seldom even see each other anymore, but when we do, there's a special bond that ties us together. These are precious friends I can just sit with, and we all feel no obligations to keep each other entertained. Unafraid of silences. I'm thankful for this bunch. These are people I can do the silliest things with and say the dumbest things to.

Us roaming the streets of Seoul in 2009 where a trip to a music festival in Korea turned into an orchestra holiday because of SARS.

Our 2014 Christmas Gathering at our dearest President and chef/baker Muffin Qin Yi's house

NUSSO Outings to one of my Esplanade Concourse performances in 2008!

Sometimes we push forward in life, having the confidence that if or when we fall, we have friends and family around us to turn to, not to mollycoddle us with lies, but to help us face reality, stand up again and move on.

I'm thankful that my time in NUS has earned me a bunch of people who mean a lot to me. <3


Tee '17

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