Day 28: Why I Came to Microcampus

It is hard to believe that 28 days has passed, but it has. There are many reasons why I came to Microcampus, the main one being to step outside the bubble of the modernized city of Shanghai. I knew this was what I wanted to do, but I was not quite sure what that exactly meant. I knew that it would be tough, that it would not be a smooth experience all the way through. I also knew that it would be an 'amazing experience' because all the Alumni said so. Another reason why I wanted to come to Microcampus, although it sounds childish, was to spend more time with my friends and get to know my peers better. I also just wanted a peek into the 'Real China' which most people used to describe Microcampus. 

Microcampus is the type of experience that you simply cannot understand until you really do it. When someone asks me, "How was Microcampus?" I am speechless. There is too much to say and words cannot describe everything that it is. I came to Xizhou knowing that I was exiting the bubble of Shanghai to see the real China, but what I found out was that seeing cannot be done only with my eyes. One simply cannot understand Xizhou just by seeing. Although the skies are beautiful, the food is delicious, the facilities are great, the thing that really attracts me about Xizhou are the people. The people in Xizhou are the nicest, most noble and welcoming people in the world. Although it was a bit uncomfortable for me at first, I made several connections by the second week. These connections were not just connections but also friendships. Before the trip, I never would have imagined creating such connections that I have over the past four weeks. 

I have also grown as a learner and a person throughout this trip. I realized that I am much more capable of doing independent work than I ever thought I was. I also know myself better, my strengths and my weaknesses. I also learned that it is not possible for one to succeed without the support of others. My peers, teachers, and local contacts played a huge role in my completing my final product. Before this trip, I thought I knew myself and what my role in the Microcampus program would be but the truth is, I really did not. 

Everything that has happened over the past four weeks has transformed me into a completely different person from the beginning of the trip. I have learned about Xizhou, I have learned about my peers, and I have learned about me. When I thought I was stepping outside of the bubble of Shanghai, I will admit I was a bit afraid of the unknown, but after this experience I realize that that fear was completely unreasonable. There is simply nothing to be afraid of, every down that I had on this trip has only helped me grow. I have realized so much more about myself, about China, about my peers, and everything about this trip has made this experience truly phenomenal. 

Hi, my name is Tiffany Z. and I am 13 years old. I was born and raised in sunny California until 5 years ago, when I moved to Shanghai. I attended SMIC for the first 3 years and joined the SAS Pudong family during my fourth year. Some of my hobbies include listening to music, reading, playing sports (although some not so much), spending time with friends and family, learning new things about the world, and traveling to new places. Wow! This Microcampus trip nails at least half of those hobbies! The 28 days that I spent in Xizhou were some of the best in my life. I had the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and do things that I never would have done back in Shanghai. This experience has truly been remarkable and I will never forget the memories and connections our Phenomena group has created.