Update from our 2015 Scholarship Recipient—Anthony Zhao

November 2015


I am writing from the midst of my freshman fall semester, and yet, there is so much I can talk about. I was nervous coming into this school year. I am far from my friends and family and the thought worried me; I had never truly been alone. Luckily there were others like me who I met through icebreakers scheduled by the dorm. These connections helped me get through each week. We spent most of our time together, and my new friends made me feel comfortable here. Because of them, the university has grown on me, and I consider this my home.

There is more free time here in college. My courses however, take a majority of my time. I have needed to hone my time management skills in order to involve myself outside of academics. I allocate some of the remaining time to a fraternity I pledged to. I am also hoping to pick up another extracurricular, but I am not entirely sure which to choose from. I checked out a couple of the clubs and those I do not see myself wanting to stick with. I am hoping I find something, though now might be a difficult time to do so. Most clubs are highly invested already. If I cannot find something soon, I am targeting the spring semester. I have high hopes that it will work out; out of the absurd amount of extracurricular activities offered, I believe I will find a gem.

I am ecstatic here at Urbana-Champaign. Yes, there may be rough patches here and there but ultimately I love it here. I must give thanks to PBKACA too since their generosity is a big factor in why I can enjoy myself here. Their belief in me has enabled me to focus solely on college. I hope to be able to live up to their expectations as I look to make the right choices for my future.

Thank you,
Anthony Zhao
Freshman, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign