Victoria Waller, the more outwardly vivacious resident of Room 209 in Goen Residential Hall, identifies herself colloquially as “Waller” or the “honorary Asian.” Originally from Tupelo, MS Waller can now be found, besides in the humble abode of 209, either stuffing as many rice krispie treats into her backpack as the laws of physics will allow or bemoaning life in her calculus teacher’s, Dr. Philip Benge (PhD)’s, classroom. Although she makes her presence known wherever she goes, to some I’m certain she only exists as a comical rarity, and I hope the following will perhaps demystify the character of Victoria Waller into not so much a character as a real, beautiful person:
Victoria Gong (interviewer): Let’s talk about school. What are some of your favorite subjects?
Victoria Waller: I like Creative Writing, Late American Drama and Debate—basically my easy classes. I also have an intense love/hate relationship with Cal. III, although it’s mostly hate for the content and love for Dr. Benge.
VG: Outside of school, then, what are some things you care about or work hard on?
VW: Recently, I’ve been trying to cut down on plastic usage, and I’ve also started caring more about the unnecessary waste we produce. I want to start doing the whole reusable straw, reusable cups, bringing my own bags to Walmart, not buying fast fashion sort of thing. I haven’t been very consistent with it yet, but it is definitely something I want to start implementing in my daily life.
I’m also really passionate about my job! I work as a waitress at U & Me Asian Groceries in Tupelo. My friends will tell you how much I always talk about how much I miss working there and being able to eat free delicious Thai food. I’m really excited for the summer so I can start working full time again.
VG: That’s true. Whenever we go out to eat you’re always comparing that restaurant’s customer service to U & Me’s.
VW: Yep, I do. I think it’s really important for every teenager to get a job (particularly in customer service) so they can understand what it’s like to be on the other side of the counter and what a long way politeness and kindness go when treating people who are working minimum wage jobs. Getting a job as a teen has also helped me learn a sense of responsibility and money management.
VG: What are some things you enjoy or do in your free time?
VW: I love music! Particularly BTS at the moment. I also love going to Coffee House on Fifth, drinking their bubble tea and getting teased relentlessly by the baristas. Since this semester began, I’ve also been trying to go to the gym consistently! Exercising makes me feel better about myself, and I want to get into the habit for the future.
VG: Now let’s get deep. What’s your definition of success, and what are your dreams for your future?
VW: Honestly, my definition of success is to just be happy. I don’t have super huge dreams, and I don’t know what I want to be in life yet. But my definition of being successful is just being able to look around at my life and be content. A lot of people need ambition, or they have to always be striving for something to feel content and happy with themselves. While I understand that and admire it, that kind of life doesn’t describe me. I want a decent job and a good set of friends and family to rely on— oh, and also a pet. Maybe a cat, maybe a gecko, who knows? That’s my very simple idea of success. I guess you could call it personal fulfillment!