“I got the gut feeling that this is where I was going to go to school.”

Leily Zhu (USC Photo)
Leily Zhu (USC Photo)

What did you do when you first found out you got into USC?

My entire senior year, I had pictured myself going to the Northeast for college. When I found out I got into USC, I had actually just come back from visiting seven colleges up in Boston and New York. I actually kind of forgot I had applied here. But when I saw that big red envelope, I called my mom, and we all were really excited, and I got the gut feeling that this is where I was going to go to school.

What are you most excited to learn/do/experience/etc. while at USC?

I am most excited to gain a global experience by traveling abroad, both this upcoming spring through the Global Leadership Program to China, as well as possibly studying abroad.

What is one thing you brought with you to USC that means the most to you?

I brought a Curious George book with me called “Curious You On Your Way!” It was a gift from my entire high school newspaper staff, who I had a very tight bond with as their Editor-in-Chief. In the book, each staff member had written me a sweet note, and on the front page, they had printed out my favorite newspaper story I wrote and pasted it so it would serve as a memory of my time on The Hoofbeat (the name of our newspaper).

What piece of advice were you given about starting college that you’ll follow?

Make the most of my college life and where I study. And “Take a picture with someone famous and email me about it.”

What do you think/hope you’ll be like four years from now?

I hope I am prepared to enter the professional world and that I will have grown as a human being. However, I still will be me, the bubbly, social, positive person I am that enjoys laughing all the time.

Leily Zhu, a Business major, was editor-in-chief of her high school newspaper. Her admission essay described her experience learning to drive her car “Bubba” on the streets of Omaha, Nebraska as a metaphor for path in life.