As I woke up, I could not help but smile at the fact that in the past two weeks, I had experienced so much that I have never done before. It is experiences like these that make you realize the beauty of life and how unique it actually is. I felt so incredibly lucky to have been able to witness all that I have in these past few weeks, and so excited to live the last day in China to the fullest. There was definitely a very noticeable bittersweet atmosphere amongst us as we ate breakfast, and I realized that all of us had grown so close that it was unimaginable to think that we would all be split up the following day for summer vacation! I made a mental note to myself to really recollect everything that had happened in China, and wanted to truly live the last day to the fullest. After we ate breakfast, we headed off to the Yu Garden Visit, which was truly beautiful. Throughout the bus ride, I intently stared all of the traffic and thought to myself, “how can someone make a city with so many people and so many cars so beautiful?” for throughout the roads, there were multiple parks and beautiful lush vines growing on every parking lot intersection. As we went inside the Yu Garden, I could not help but think that China is truly every nature lovers dream. The garden was filled with multiple ponds and scenic hills. It was fascinating to hear about the history of the Yu Garden, and even more interesting to compare and contrast parks in the United States to the parks in the Yu Garden. Throughout the visit, we took lots of pictures and even wore our communist hats! I Swear-a lot of people must have wondered why people seemingly from the U.S. were wearing so many hats haha!
After the Yu Garden visit, we had some time to explore the nearby street shops, walk around, or go back to the hotel as needed before having to meet at 4 pm in order to give our presentations. A few of my friends and I decided to do a little more street shopping, and I got a multitude of handicrafts that I customized with my friends and families names to give as gifts. I love Chinese handicrafts, and I believe that the love and care that they are made from is truly precious. Afterwards, one of my friends and I decided to go to Pudong District to visit the tallest building in Asia! As she had already gone the day before and wanted to come along to give me company, I walked around by myself and soaked in the view. It was one of the most foggiest days due to the intense pollution, and I must say that the view that I was able to see was probably extremely unique. Although I was a little sad that I would not be able to see the view during the night time when all of the lights were on, I was able to get a different perspective on Shanghai. It was so enthralling to see everything from so high up-my favorite part were the colorful canoes which dotted the river, along with how quickly and effortlessly the scenery changed from extremely urban high rise buildings to smaller abodes. After coming back to the hotel, we all readied ourselves for the presentations and all walked together towards another hotel which had our conference room.
I enjoy giving presentations and hearing other peoples views, especially on the topic of entrepreneurship. Our task was to come up with a solution for a problem that we noticed in China, and decide which market to sell our service or product in, along with the other details that every entrepreneur has to think about. My role in the presentation was discussing our company’s SWOT and PEST analysis, as well as talking about my own personal views about China and how they have evolved throughout the trip. Our group did well in terms of the time crunch that we had, and it was so interesting to hear everyone else’s ideas and the approach that they took in terms of completing the group project and presentation. It is always remarkable to me how everyone can get the same assignment, but each interpret it in different ways-which to me shows the versatility of humans. The presentation component truly came full circle, as when we first presented, we were still in freshman year discussing about our views regarding different cultural sites in China. Now, we were analyzing different business and societal issues we saw and trying our best to come up with a profitable business to solve them! This process to me was fascinating.
After our presentations, we all headed off to have one last family style meal together. It was truly delicious, and I tried a bunch of new dishes and delicacies that I otherwise would have not had the chance to try. I will always remember our first and last family style meal together-just in our chopstick eating skills alone we had grown so much! After the dinner, we all went around and gave some of our closing remarks and thank you’s about the trip, and it was so wonderful to hear everyones perspectives and how much we all enjoyed. I loved the entire trip-there is not a moment that I would have changed. I will always cherish these moments for a lifetime, and I was looking forward to spending our last few hours in China together having lots of fun! Coming back to the hotel, it was time to pack to head back to the United States after such an eventful journey, and I was looking forward to telling my family and friends all about my travels.