It is a rarity to find a large group of people in the same place who are all dedicated to the same cause. I’ve often told people that my favorite thing about Hopkins is the collaborative nature of the student body. The willingness of my peers to help one another when problem sets are tough and when classes don’t make sense always brings a sense of comfort, so when something much more urgent came up a few weeks ago, I called upon my friends to help me.
This pressing issue was the Rubik’s cube.
Way back in August during orientation week, a group of my friends was sitting in a Commons living room trying to pass the time. We had all arrived on campus well before classes started, and we were beginning to realize that we had little to do in the days leading up to the beginning of the semester. It was then that somebody brought out the six-colored cube and one by one, I watched the majority of my friends solve it, most of them in two minutes or less.
My friend Katie was immediately intrigued, and she spent one of the final days of orientation holed up in her room mastering the cube. Within a day or so, she had added herself to my list of people that knows how to solve the Rubik’s cube.
I tried not to let it bother me; it was just a silly set of algorithms that my friends and sisters tried (and for the most part, failed) to learn in middle school. But now here I was, sitting in a room full of people who would toss each other the cube.
“So Hopkins,” I thought to myself.
But it taunted me. With exams, problem sets, and other extracurriculars, I tried to convince myself that it wasn’t important.
“Cube me,” they would say.
I pushed down my feelings of jealousy and inadequacy for weeks, until finally in mid-October, I decided to surrender to the cube. Without one of my own, my friend Jose handed me his first Rubik’s cube and said “Don’t give it back until you can solve it.”
I enlisted Jose, Katie, and my friend Izzy to teach me how to solve it. I probably could have learned how to solve it by myself, but why do things the hard way when there are people at every avenue to help you figure it out?
For three days, during study breaks and between classes, at meals and before I went to bed, I practiced. I mastered the first layer and the second, and then one day, on a bus to Towson, I completed the cube. All by myself. Now on lazy Friday nights when my friends are tossing around the cube, I can join in the chorus of “Cube me”.
It’s a simple thing to do, and unimportant as it may be in the scheme of life skills, this is one of many things that I probably wouldn’t have wanted to do without my friends. Hopkins is special in the collaborative nature of its student body; I’ve never cherished this sense of collaboration quite the way I do here. So if anybody needs help solving the Rubik’s cube, I’m glad to help.