This past month has literally been a whirlwind because I was given the opportunity to switch gears from my marketing responsibilities to teaching. Two camps, 1 month—it’s been hard work, but it’s all been worth it. Why? My kids.
Me at work everyday…
I spent 5+ hours everyday reading essays, making improvements and suggestions. I became more than just a college applications mentor, I became a coach, cheerleader, counselor, motivational speaker, lecturer, yoga instructor, DJ, etc. You name it; I did it! I wore so many caps over the course of the camp, each time adapting to new situations.
Speaking of adaptation, I’m trying to cope with life post-camp. I’m literally having withdrawals, which is crazy because I didn’t think that I would be this attached to my mentees.
Me Waking Up Realizing I’m Not At Camp Anymore
After the Chengdu camp, I was very skeptical about how I would feel about my mentees in Guangzhou. I was like a mother giving birth for the second time. Second time moms always worry that they won’t be able to love their second child as much as their first, feeling as if their heart is already full. However, after giving birth, they quickly learn that their heart grows so that they’re able to love both children equally. Like them, my love for my first mentees didn’t falter or diminish after I bonded with my new ones—my heart simply grew to accommodate more love.
More Room For Love
I’m so very blessed and grateful to have been able to bond with so many people over the course of my internship. Whether that’s other interns, office workers, other students, school staff, or even strangers—I’ve had the opportunity to learn and grow in so many ways. So to everyone, thank you. To my fellow interns, thank you for being amazing companions on this journey through China. To the office workers in Chengdu and Shanghai, thank you for showing me the ropes. To the other students, especially Betsy, I met in Guangzhou, thank you for kindness. To Vernon and Ting (school staff), you guys are family. Thanks for helping me re-learn how to ride a bike; I’ll never forget riding through the streets of Guangzhou late at night. To the strangers who took pictures of me and even let me hold their baby, thank you for making me feel like a superstar.
Whenever I think about the people I’ve met here :)
Finally, I would like to thank my mentees. You all literally made everything worth it. Thank you for bringing so much joy in my life. Thank you for making me laugh. Thank you for giving me life advice and reminding me that I’m still growing. Thank you for challenging me to be better mentor. Thank you for your honesty and your questions. Thank you for trusting me enough to let me in. Simply put, thank you for being yourselves.
Alexis is a senior at Harvard University. Her passions include raising awareness about human trafficking, women’s issues, and gender equality. When she is not emulating Olivia Pope, Alexis revels in watching Netflix and taking insanely long naps.