Day 28: Why I Came To Microcampus

As I stepped off the school bus on a typical afternoon, the city of Shanghai towered upon me. There were the tall metropolitan buildings, the booming noises of the cars, the suffocating traffic, the people with their earbuds on, going on their own roads and softly singing along to their tunes…and then there was me, my feet coming to an abrupt stop and gazing at the pinkish, orange sky of the evening. The clouds were low as the ground, clinging to the buildings while the sun was sliced in half and gleaming with a lighter shade of yellow. People passed by one at a time as my feet were planted in the cement ground. It was a gigantic world with an endless sky that covered everything at once. 

I was living in Shanghai, the flourishing city of commerce and great economy in a country called China, the country destined to take on a big role in the future centuries. Living in Shanghai was already a rare opportunity, but I knew that there was more to this world that was so unique, diverse, and foreign. There was so much more than the iconic metropolis components to China; the true originality was only unveiled, not yet revealed to the world. As someone who lived in China for more than ten years, I felt an obligation to get into closest contact with the core of the country’s history and distinctive characteristics. There were moments out there waiting for me to witness both subtle and grand feelings to act as turning points in my life, to reveal and extract another aspect of myself. That moment, I was engaged in such a strong connection to the world and an urge to break through a boundary and encounter the unordinary, for I believed that there were remarkable events going on both inside and outside of me. Once those two contact each other, I foreshadowed supernovas to occur. 

I was confident that I was able to awake and discover another part of me, a true and trusting feeling of an identity that no longer revolved around fixed mindsets and stubbornness. So as soon as I was introduced to Microcampus earlier in the year, I was immediately captivated. For I knew that if I wanted to make a change, I had to start with a small step to achieve that goal through a 28-day journey called Microcampus. 

I think the feeling of being alive is a great feeling. I can pretty confidently say that I was reassured of my existence many times during the trip. For instance, the moments arrived when biking along the canola fields, observing the thousands of stars illuminating the dark night sky, and walking around the lively markets and roads in which the people are busy buying vegetables or having casual conversations. These were the moments I loved and will always remain vivid in my memory. 

There is a unique atmosphere in Xizhou. A calm serenity follows along the clamorous noises of the tourists and vehicles. The people are open and humane. The sky portrays some sort of unknown grandness that resembles mother nature. Ultimately, they happened in front my eyes; I was well alive at that moment. 

One of my favorite quotes is “To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life.” from the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I have been greatly inspired by this quote for the past few years. What really is significant to me is integrating the fragments of life into my identity. I pass by the moments, I remember them, they become a part of me, and I carry on, drawing closer to each second of my life, seeking for the truth and realization. There does not have to be an explanation of the mysteries of the world. Why is not essential because every experience, beneficial or harmful, provides us with its special moment of warmth that we never anticipated. A willingness for a spark and growth was enough motivation for me to embark on this journey. 

Through Microcampus, I have also embarked on a life-long journey to explore the unknown of life. 

I am fourteen years old and this is my 10th year in China. I have stayed in Xizhou for 28 days to learn about the unique historical background and culture of the Bai minority. My goal by the end of the trip was to develop into a stronger, open-minded individual. This opportunity provided me with different insights about China. I am glad I made this trip a valuable learning experience!