Day 28: Why I came to Microcampus

There were many reasons why I wanted to go to Microcampus. Before I even knew what topic I was going to choose, I knew that I wanted to go to Xizhou because it was such a small and peaceful village. When I signed up, I did a bit of research. The pictures of the landscape were just amazing and I realized that this was somewhere I wanted to go to. The lake and the mountains were such an amazing view, and I haven't even seen the actual thing. Another reason I wanted to go is because of the experiences that I will have. My mother told me that the kind of things we will do in Microcampus is the things high school and college students do. I wanted to see what people that are 4-5 years older than me do every day. I also wanted to make new memories, do something others would not be able to do, something new. Although these are all reasons why I went to Microcampus, the main reason is to get outside of my comfort zone and learn something new.

There is a famous quote that says "life begins at the end of your comfort zone." I think that my most memorable moments or my most proud achievements are when I take a risk and succeed. It is usually not a boring activity or event, rather a challenging hike or a long swim. This falls into one of the four Microcampus pillars: Working through challenges. I feel that at school, there are not many challenges that are not academically related. In Xizhou, it is very different, the challenges that we need to overcome are not necessarily more difficult, but definitely different. Traveling can educate me in different ways. When I travel, I can learn something new. In a place where no one speaks any language other than Chinese, I can improve on my Chinese abilities to communicate and read as well. This is another of the four pillars: Expanding Intercultural Understandings.

I think the whole point of Microcampus is based around the four pillars, the other two being Personal Growth and Awareness of Impact.

The three main reasons I think Microcampus is a great experience now after 28 days is because you get to enjoy and do things that other eighth graders cannot do, to improve on my communication skills, and to get outside of my comfort zone. Shanghai is like a cage, where you do whatever the adults tell you to do. In Xizhou, there is a lot of trust and freedom, allowing us to accomplish more by ourselves rather than an adult doing it for us.

My name is Lifan S, but I prefer Evan. I am part of the Wildfires microcampus group which traveled to Xizhou for 28 days in 2019. I loved the trip, all the challenges, and the easy parts as well. I encourage others to attend the program because it is truly a once in a lifetime experience.