In this Q&A meet Laila Samy from the Class of 2018.
Q: You came to Wesleyan from your hometown of Cairo, Egypt. Can you describe your life growing up in a foreign country? What was your secondary-school education like?
A: Growing up in Egypt and going to school there made me feel very grateful because I had a great opportunity to both play squash and get a decent education which lead me to move on to the next experience which is completing my last two years of high school in the U.S. and that lead me to be able to attend Wesleyan.
Q: You have already established yourself as one of the top newcomers on the collegiate squash scene with a 12-0 record at No. 1 and a title in the Division III National Championships. When did you begin playing the sport and when did it become apparent you were far from a run-of-the-mill player?
A: I started playing squash when I was 7-years-old after watching my older brother play. It started to be apparent that I want to take that sport seriously at the age of 11 or 12.
Q: What goals have you set for yourself as a squash player as you head into the second half of your rookie season?
A: My goal is too keep working hard and be in the best shape that I could be in because the second half will be more challenging than the first.
Q: Can you tell us about your college selection process as you were looking to extend your education? What about Wesleyan caught your fancy?
A: I chose Wesleyan because I really liked the diversity and when I visited I got a great feel for it. Also meeting the squash team added to that because I really felt that it was not just a team it was a family.
Q: Now with a semester of college under your belt, how would you describe your experience at Wesleyan as both a student and an athlete?
A: My experience at Wesleyan so far has been great. It was very challenging academically, but professors were very helpful and supportive. My programming class was the most challenging but it was my favorite. Athletically it has been very exciting to be with my team and to learn in and out of the court.