Day 28: Why Did I Come To Microcampus?
The question that all Microcampus students eventually ask themselves and have asked themselves several times throughout their trip, both on the ups and on the downs, is why did I come to Microcampus? Why did I decide that I want to be a member of this month-long journey? Why decide that I wanted to miss out on Shanghai for a month, only to find a new home in Xizhou, and then have to leave it within days of realizing I love it? Well, here are my reasons for it.
I am going to be blatantly honest with you right now. In the beginning, I had no reason. I did not know why I wanted to sign up and why I wanted to go. The only reason that I turned up at that first lunch with Mr. Tafel is because I was curious. I like to think of myself as a person motivated by curiosity. If someone says “You might get a bit hurt, but doing it will be really fun” and I am not told what that “it” is, I would do it. I had that same feeling towards Microcampus. We were told what we were told, but I still was not quite sure what “it” was. We were told that we might not like it, that having a good trip is not guaranteed, but I was still drawn to it. At first, that was my only motivation to come.
As I started learning more and more of what “it” was, I started having reasons other than curiosity starting to drive me. I always am extremely enthusiastic to have new experiences and Microcampus would definitely be able to offer that. I also was interested in stepping outside of the bubble and trying new things because I always love pushing myself.
After coming to Xizhou, I realized that there were many other reasons why I came too, and reasons that I was happy to be a part of the Voyager group. I got to really step out of my comfort zone and try new things. In Shanghai, my life is not new things every day, more like a factory chain, the same thing every day, but repeated. Sure, there were times when I got to do new things, but for the most part, everything just stayed the same. Microcampus was a different thing each day. Never did I do the exact same thing from day to day. Never did I feel like I had done this before. Never did I feel like there were other things more interesting to be doing. Life here is genuinely different.
Another reason that I am extremely thankful for joining Microcampus is that I got to feel true trust. In Shanghai, we are supervised throughout the whole day by either a teacher, a bus monitor or a parent. In Xizhou, the majority of our day is spent unsupervised by Mr. T or Ms. Mai because they trust us. They do not say that they trust us, but secretly keep an eye on us because they think that we are doing things that we are not supposed to. They have a legitimate trust in the students that allows us to do what we want, unsupervised by them. If they feel like there is an issue or that they can not trust us, they will not hide it from us and keep it a secret, they will tell us and allow us to make changes so that we can restore that trust.
All in all, there is not one reason why I came to Microcampus, but rather, many. Through being at Microcampus, my views have obviously changed about what “it” is, but the fact that I loved what “it” was and that I would do “it” again never changed. Not once will I regret coming to Microcampus, and if I had the opportunity to go again, I would not hesitate. Microcampus has been an experience that I will never forget and that I will always look fondly upon. Microcampus is something that can never be replaced. Ever.