By XUYI ZHU and ERIN HOLLOWAY
Editor: MICHELLE DANNER
Midterms are quickly approaching for our students at NC State, and already the pressure is on! With that in mind, it was time for a little well-deserved fun for our UPP students. Defy Gravity is a one-of-a-kind trampoline sports arena that most UPP students had never experienced before, even back in China. In order to promote healthy exercise, build awareness of fun things to do in Raleigh and help students de-stress from their studies, UPP arranged a special trip to this indoor trampoline park. The event also helped students get more involved with what Americans may do for fun. Thirty-two students signed up for the event.
On Saturday, February 11th, new interns Xuyi and Lei met with students outside UT to get on the bus and travel to Defy Gravity’s Raleigh location. Students were excited, talking to each other about the possibilities. “Will this be fun?” “What exactly are we doing?” The staff at Defy Gravity were informative and friendly as students checked in and received their color-coded arm bands, which let them know when they could jump. Defy Gravity sports a huge gymnasium where the entire floor surface is trampolines, with specific areas for trampoline basketball, a giant foam pit, ziplines and more!
UPP students were amazed at how little American kids were playing and jumping without any fear! Although some students reacted with expressions like “What is this? Why are we coming to this little kid playing ground now?” most of the UPP students seemed excited to experience this.
“It made me feel like when I was little,” Simon Li said, “it was a good feeling at that time.”
As students rotated from trampoline basketball–by far the most popular–to other stations, groups formed and everyone enjoyed jumping with friends. Girls threw foam squares to each other and helped others when one of their friends had difficulty getting out of the foam pit. “I can’t believe little kids are jumping so high! They’re so brave to flip themselves in the air!” Ruth Zhao said while she was waiting in line to jump.
“This is also my first time jumping, it’s awesome!” Lei, the UPP photographer intern said.
When it was time to leave, Alice Luo said “I wish we could’ve stayed a little longer.” The event concluded at 4:00PM, when the students, interns and staff took a group picture. After making sure that everyone was on the bus, the students and staff returned to UT. Overall, everyone had a great time and enjoyed their first indoor trampoline park in the US!