The story of Echo Lu

My name is Echo Lu, an international student from China. I studied public relations and photojournalism at Indiana University Bloomington. I am a passionate storyteller. I love to use visual elements like photos and videos to tell stories. I was a staff photographer at Indiana Daily Student and Arbutus Yearbook. I shared my unique IU experience with potential students on WeAreIU.com blog space. I also worked as a reporter and photographer for the Indy Asian American Times, a English/Chinese semi-weekly newspaper for the Indianapolis metropolitan area. I am seeking public relations and multimedia job opportunities. 

I was born in a cold winter day of the year 1991, in a city named Guilin, which now has become one of the top ten tourists cities in China. When the nurse handed me to my mother, my mother said, “Are you sure she is my baby? Why she is so ugly?” Well, it was my mother’s first time so she did not know how new born babies look like. But after a couple months, her worry disappeared, and she started to think I was the cutest baby in the world. Chinese families often say, babies who are born in the wintertime are stronger than others because it is hard to survive in the cold weather. It turns out they were right; I have grown up to be resilient, strong both physically and mentally.

When I was in elementary school, I liked to be the first one to arrive at school, because in the early morning the city looks and sounds so different. I saw sanitation workers cleaning up the streets, I saw people running with their dogs, I saw flowers covered in dew, I heard only birds singing their morning songs, and when I arrived at school all the buildings were still covered in fog. It was incredibly beautiful. What I loved more was my friends and teachers always saying, “Wow! You are the first one again!” I spent most of my spare time reading books and singing in the school chorus. I read all kinds of books: fiction, encyclopedias, manga, and literature. In the summer, I usually started reading books after lunch and read until sunset. I also loved to write. My Chinese teacher always read my articles in class. And, I believed the more I read, the better writer I would become. My Shih Tzu dog “Cutie” loved to lie down on my legs when I read. My parents were absence most of the time in my elementary school years because they were busy at work. But, I was happy they bought me tons of books and gave me “Cutie” so I was not bored. I have a collection of 500+ books, and I got 300+ of them in elementary school.

I was in the school chorus for 5 years. Being in the school chorus was my proudest time. When other students were still taking classes, my teammates and I were in the music hall singing. We traveled several times every year to attend competitions. We always won first place, and the mayor would come and hand us the prize. One thing I didn’t like about the chorus was that we had to wear make-up during performances. I thought make-up made me looked like a monkey, and the boy I liked would think less of me.

I went to the most expensive bilingual (Chinese and English) boarding school in town when I was 12 because my parents got busier at work. In middle school, I fell in love with basketball and piano. There wasn’t much to do in the boarding school because mountains and lakes surrounded our school. There were only three places I could go: the classroom, the dorm and the dinning hall, so playing basketball and piano became my favorites.

In my third year, I was elected to the student association as the vice president. In there I found my talent in performing and public speaking. I also gained the skills of event planning and hosting. I started to have fans that asked me to sign my name in their notebooks because I won first place twice in the singing competition at school. One thing happened in this year that had changed my entire life. Three months before graduation, I was selected by the school to go on a study abroad trip to England. That was my first time leaving my home country to explore the world. The teachers, students and I spent one month in a beautiful town named Brighton, which has the most beautiful beach and sunset in the world. In the daytime we take English classes. After classes we had parties with students and scholars from all over the world. I was fascinated by the western culture, and I told myself I will study abroad again in the future. During that month, I stayed with a sweet old couple; the husband is a retired country music star and the wife lost her ability to speak because of illness. What amazed me was they could still communicate with each other very well using eye contact and body language. The first time in my life I have learned the beauty and power of love; it is all about patience, understanding and sacrificing. After I went back to China, I kept sending them postcards, but they never wrote back. I hope they are still well and happy.

So now I am here, studying abroad at Indiana University Bloomington after being admitted to the school in 2010. After four years in the journalism school, journalism ethics has become my bible. With all my talents and skills, I am so excited to enter the world of work and to become an independent woman. I believe companies who declining my job application are a loss to them, because I am such a hilarious, energetic and hard working person who will turn any office into a happy and fun place.