All Eyes On Paula Le

Krystal Orehek, Reporter

You might know her for her edgy outfits, her rowdy sense of humor, her kindness, or her insane ability to do math. Or you might know her for all these things like I do, so who’s the lady of the hour? The one and only Paula Le. Paula is a very complex person, and even after knowing her for 11 years, sometimes I honestly have no idea what’s going on in her head. But that’s exactly why I was excited to show her off and interview her, so let’s dive into the wonderful world of Paula.

Look at this adorable picture of Paula I took secretly at her house! (Krystal Orehek)

Paula’s parents immigrated to the States from Vietnam before she was born to seek out the American dream, making her a first-generation American. This comes with a set of struggles that many people don’t experience. “When it comes to a language barrier and dialect, there’s a difference in culture and how you were raised,” Paula candidly explains. There are not only these things to worry about, but there’s also a lot of pressure to live up to the expectations set for you. “Having two immigrant parents pushing for the ideal American dream, becoming a doctor and being well off, it’s hard to keep up with the image.”

Paula is certainly the picture-perfect student, never missing a day of school (like, ever), and is adored by all her teachers whether for her academic abilities or her bold personality. She thinks what pushes her to be the best student she can be is “just me having pride in what I do pushes me to be the best person I can.” She throws in that even though her parents are strict, she would thank them for always wanting her to do her best.

Having known her for 11 years, I pointed out how much she stepped out of her shell the last year, and she started crying. I’m not really sure if these were laughing, sad, or happy tears, but either way, she agreed she’s grown a lot the last year. Her growth hasn’t just been in fashion, but it’s a great physical representation of it. Paula thinks, “Without quarantine, I would still be wearing skinny jeans and a hoodie every day.” Some days she’ll be seen wearing an all-black outfit with combat boots and the next it’ll be a pleated skirt with pearls, reflecting the many sides of her personality. “My fashion reflects my many alter egos.” Even though no one really enjoyed COVID, Paula does think that having alone time gave her time to find herself and “become a new Paula.” Despite her relaxed demeanor, as she finds herself more comfortable with whoever she’s around, she reveals her sarcastic and dry sense of humor. “You either accept all of Paula or you get the silent treatment,” says Paula about Paula.

POV you lose your airpods as Flashback Mary 🙁 (Krystal Orehek)

One of my favorite memories of Paula is when she dressed up as Flashback Mary for spirit week. I got her a Starbucks to go with her look and everyone was in such a good mood, until she lost her AirPods. I have pictures of her looking sad in freshman year biology with her whited-out face, only for her dad to text her and say she left them in his car. She’s actually always had bad luck on spirit days – another example is when she dressed up as Bob Ross the next year and dropped her full Hydro Flask on the ground right in front of me. But hey, at least she goes all out.

One last thing. Paula wants everyone who reads this article to know: “take care of your future self, do what makes you happy at the end of the day.” Also that, “You’ll never know if my RBF is intentional or if I’m just relaxing.”