The 32-year-old actress was bullied throughout her school days and claims fellow students would even spit in her face.
She said: "Girls spit in my face. People were so mean to me. I`d cry every day".
The `New Girl` star hoped her situation would improve when she began studying at Northwestern University but still struggled to fit in with her classmates at the New York educational establishment.
She added to Allure magazine: "I went to Northwestern because I had gone to a really non-traditional high school. I was like, `It`d be cool to have a traditional college experience.
"Then I was like, `Oh, but none of these people understand what`s cool about me. My specialness is not appreciated in this place".
Zooey has carved out a successful acting career thanks to roles in movies such as `(500) Days of Summer` but is currently appearing in new sitcom `New Girl`, and is amused that the show has seen her branded an `It` girl.
She said: "`It` girl is supposed to be something that only lasts a certain amount of time.
"They keep calling me an `It` girl, and at this point it makes me laugh, because they`ve done that so many times: `You`re it`; `you`re not it.` What is `it`?"