Day 28: Why I Came to Microcampus

For my last journal post, it will be about why I came to Microcampus. 

In the beginning, Microcampus was what I thought would be a fun learning experience. However, I did not realize that it is much more than just fun. Microcampus is about engaging in and understanding a whole community of people, and, through that process, learning both about yourself as well as Xizhou. 

I came to Microcampus to get out of my comfort zone. There are so many experiences here in Microcampus that requires you to push yourself out of your 'bubble'. There is the physical part, with the three-day hike. The hike was a challenge as it tests your limits, but it teaches you to perservere, to not give up. It taught me that the only way to achieve satisfaction is if you continue to work hard towards the goal you have in mind. 

When I was first conducting my interviews, I was afraid that it would be awkward and uncomfortable. However, I began to realize that by getting out of your comfort zone and making an effort to really connect with the locals, you will not only have an amazing experience but also gain a new friend. This was when I began to get out of my bubble, to engage with other people and to learn their story. 

Microcampus has taught me to be independent. I needed to clean up my own messes, instead of waiting for someone else to do it for me. It showed me that the only way to gain freedom and trust is by discplining yourself as well as becoming responsible. It gave me valuable life lessons,  including the fact that you need to work hard to make something you are proud of. I needed to solve my problems independently without the help of others, which gave me so much more responsibility. 

This experience taught me that everything is bigger than I am, and that I cannot only think about myself. I need to think about the whole picture. Xizhou was an amazing  community to figure out what that meant, and the locals' stories showed me that people have had it way worse than I do. It has taught me to be compassionate towards other people, and to always thank people for all that they have done. 

Microcampus was certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I am truly grateful to have had the chance to participate in. 

Hi! My name is Kristen and I'm currently 13 years old. I'm in the 8th grade at SAS Pudong. I was born in Palo Alto, California, but moved to Shanghai the summer before 4th grade. I've been living in Shanghai for more than four years already. Since elementary school, I've been learning Chinese, although I don't consider myself fluent. Also, I have an older sister who is in 12th grade. My interests include reading novels, such as the Harry Potter series, writing short stories, and traveling to new places. Xizhou was such an amazing experience, and I'm so thankful that I had the opportunity to embrace all that it had to offer.