Star Spotlight: Emma Gustavson

Junior Emma Gustavson discusses her interest in solving Rubik’s Cubes.


Junior Emma Gustavson solves a Rubik’s Cube on the quad Oct. 6. Gustavson competes in timed competitions to solve the Rubik’s Cube. photo by Maddy Medina

by Gwyn Doran and Maddy Medina

story by Gwyn Doran

How did you start solving Rubik’s Cubes?

“I knew about [Rubik’s Cubes] and so I always wanted to learn. Then, I watched an episode of “The Carrie Diaries” where one of her best friends was [competing], and I said, ‘I need to learn how to do this!’ I was already obsessed before even touching one… Once I actually held it in my hands, it took me about a day to learn. The next time I did it, it took me five hours, off and on. Then I could get it down to ten minutes.

It was the summer before sophomore year that I really got into [solving Rubik’s Cubes], learning how to do a megaminx, pyraminx, 4 by 4, 2 by 2 and 5 by 5 [cubes], not just the basic 3 by 3 [cube].”

Is there a trick to solving them?

“It’s all algorithm based…The algorithms aren’t hard to understand, but before you even learn how to solve it, you have to know the basics of the cube…It’s really not that hard, it’s more time consuming. You have to really want to commit and learn, but I think it’s so much fun because I find it so fascinating. People always ask me if there’s a trick to it, but once you learn the trick, you can solve it.”

What are competitions like?

“I’ve actually only been to one competition [over the summer]…Anybody can [compete]. It’s not gender based, or age based. At the competition I went to, there were around 100 competitors. I was one of three girls. So it was just me and a bunch of dudes! Everyone was just sitting at their tables being dorky together…There’s crazy stuff like [solving] one handed, doing it with your feet, even blindfolded.”

How much time do you spend solving Rubik’s Cubes?

“I have a lot of different hobbies so I’ll be obsessed with [Rubik’s Cubes] and do them all week, and then I’ll read for the next week. It depends. I don’t do [them] that often. I just go through kicks…It’s really just me, sitting by myself, learning how to solve Rubik’s Cubes.”