How many college applicants wrote about the Rubik’s Cube in their personal statements and impressed admissions officers? It turns out there are many out there who turned their hobby and skill set into something that brought tangible results! This blog post is the second in a regular series of real essays by real cubers, featuring college application essays about the Rubik’s Cube. Today, we read from reddit user hmp123 who is currently studying engineering at an Ivy League school.

What is red, yellow, blue, green, orange and white, and always within three feet of my hands? Anyone who knows me would know that the answer to this is a Rubik’s cube. In fact, one of my campers this summer observed that a Rubik’s cube is never more than an arm’s distance away from me! I don’t mind being known as the Rubik’s cube girl; in fact, I embrace it, as the cube has become part of my identity. And with an average solve time of around thirty seconds; I am quite proud of my ability to master the puzzle.

My Rubik’s cube passion started when I received one as a gift in kindergarten. With the help of my dad, I was able to solve one side. Even that was very impressive to all my six-year-old friends. When I entered middle school, I became interested in learning how to match the colors on the other five sides. I carried around a packet of instructions I found on the Rubik’s website and studied it whenever I had a free moment. Within a week I was able to solve the whole cube in less than three minutes. After a few months, I was no longer satisfied with knowing how to solve the cube; I wanted to be faster. So, I bought a cube that was specially designed for speed solving and watched endless tutorials on YouTube. Year by year, my average solving time dropped and I am still improving.

“Don’t you even get bored of it?” is a question that I hear day after day. With quintillions of possible combinations on the 3×3 cube alone, I have to say that the answer is no. I have also incorporated the Rubik’s cube into my other interests. I have made stop motion videos, desserts, and art projects all centered on cubes. Most famously, I used Photoshop, Excel, and way too much free time to create a mosaic of my camp’s logo (my other love in life). Each 3×3 pixel group was equal to one Rubik’s cube. After days of twisting my cubes, snapping photos, and stretching sore fingers, I had a mosaic made up of 400 Rubik’s cubes.

Besides my early showings of tendonitis, the Rubik’s cube has added, in very positive ways, to my life. Sometimes, the simplistic, yet complex “toy” is a de-stressor, providing a welcome distraction from complex reading passages and history time-lines. Other times, the cube is a conversation starter by allowing me to meet new and interesting people who are amazed by my speed, dexterity or focus. I am also excited to meet other “cubers” who share my passion for Mr. Rubik’s device and teach new enthusiasts how to solve the puzzle. Mostly, I am drawn to the challenge of solving the Rubik’s cube. I believe cubing represents my inner drive to creatively solve complex puzzles, improve my skills, and satisfy my inner mathematician. Discovering all of the 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 ways to scramble a Rubik’s cube has become one of my goals – and I am quite proud of that.

Reproduced with kind permission.

Please leave a comment if you also wrote a college application essay about the Rubik’s Cube and want to be included in this series!


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