Day 28: Why I Came to MIcrocampus
I came to Microcampus with 15 other students. It is already the last day and today, we are going back to Shanghai. MIcrocampus was an experience that included so many lessons and challenges. I now realize that all the other students had similar reasons they came to Xizhou for 28 days. There were so many reasons that motivated me to apply and come to Microcampus.
The first reasons were because I wanted to try new experiences and new challenges. When I first heard of the Microcampus, I knew that it would be tough and challenging, but I really wanted to know how I deal with new experiences. I really like challenges, because I always try to enjoy the challenges and learn something from it. Especially, I always dreamed of a trip with some friends and going through challenges by ourselves. Furthermore, I needed something, a stimulation that would change myself as a human being.
The second reason is that I wanted to learn. Before I came to China, I heard an interesting phrase from my friends. It was, ‘Genius cannot defeat the one who tries hard; he who tries hard cannot defeat the one who enjoys.’ This is something that applies to learn. I believe that this phrase was talking that the person who enjoys is the best person to learn something. I always thought that the best way to learn is to go through that experience and challenge. Since this is my first year in China, I felt like if I came, I would understand more about the country deeply. Especially, I knew that the most important part of our trip was to learn, whether it is the weather of Xizhou, or the history, or the geography. In my case, I really wanted to learn about the hobbies and managing stress of the people in Xizhou.
The final reason I came to Microcampus is to enjoy. I always wanted to enjoy my life and everything in my life. I wanted to enjoy learning, enjoy new experiences, enjoy new challenges, and enjoy to meet new people. Part of the enjoying part was to make new friends. I thought that if 16 students live together for 28 days, they will definitely become good friends. When you make new, good friends the journey will become something I will be able to enjoy and come back with more valuable lessons. Another part of the reason is that 16 students are going together. I was not sure why the number was 16 at first. But as I thought about it, I felt that with 16 students the teachers will be able to manage the students, and is not too much like a school trip. The number 16 was not too much and not too less. With 16 people there would be more interesting experiences, more different ideas, and more opportunities to learn from the 15 other friends.
Before I came to China, my friends back in Korea said, “Why are you going to China? Why don’t you just stay in Korea?” They talked about all the bad features of China, and I also thought that China would be a terrible place to live. However, I was also excited because I was going to meet new people, new places and new experiences. I also thought that not everybody in China will be bad. When I came to China, I was surprised by how China was developed and that it was not that different from Korea, except the language. Similarly, my friends in SAS said, “Why are you going to Microcampus? It is a waste of money. It is not going to be worth it.” However, this time I really wanted to go to a new place because I knew how it will feel like from my own experience. When I came to Xizhou, it was a shocking experience for me. I feel so sorry for my friends who did not even apply to this trip. The schedule was perfect and very comfortable. The work was something I was able to learn and understand. Especially, the four rules, ‘Working through Challenges' ‘Personal Growth' ‘Expanding Intercultural Understandings’, and ‘Awareness of Impact’ was something we do not often realize. It was a total surprise to me that there I would be learning helpful life lessons. The weather was something I really liked, as well as the food and people of the community. The projects were more interesting and exciting than I thought. Even though the experience was tough and difficult, I was able to enjoy the whole process.
The most thankful thing about my journey is that I was able to achieve all the reasons that made me apply to Microcampus. Furthermore, it was an experience that changed my mindset, my future, and my life.