• Noelle Gordillo

Caught in a Cycle

By Noelle Gordillo // Dec. 20, 2019


I often find myself caught in different cycles. In high school, I was in a hamster wheel of overachievers, all striving toward the highest GPA and the best higher educational institution. Don’t get me wrong, I was in it—in it for the end-goal, consumed with the idea that if I reach college, my dreams will come true and I’ll live a successful and fulfilling life! I spent these years cemented to a chair, bound to an educational system that was meant to “benefit” me. Do I find value in knowing the difference between the implicit function and inverse function? No, nor can I remember. However, I had to memorize trig functions, Spanish conjugations, and historical events to be a front runner in the wheel.

I needed to memorize those random facts to ace the tests— I needed that GPA to get into my dream school. I needed that scholarship so I could afford my dream school.


Illustration by Christine Park

After I had dreamt up an idyllic future, it became a reality. Now, you may be wondering: So Noelle, was it worth it?


I think so. Why “think”? I’m not sure. I guess I empathize with my younger self—a version of me that was so set in her ways—convinced that the system would benefit her if she just tried her hardest. In a way, I guess it did. I AM living the dream! In my favorite city, with people that I absolutely adore; however, that doesn’t make it any less of a “cycle.”


I’m in a cycle of dreamers now—people have come here to pursue careers they are passionate about. I guess we all dreamt of being in the same place and generally have the same end goal: to get a job we love (a DREAM job, if you will). So as much as I’d like to think I’ve exited the hamster wheel, I’ve simply just run into another one. This time around, I’m running alongside some pretty amazing creative forces—future competitors and collaborators.



Now that I’m out of high school and I have more agency over my near future, I’m looking forward to taking advantage of the multitude of opportunities at my disposal—in college and with fellow creators (Hi Faith).


I enter this next cycle with apprehension and excitement for many reasons. Mostly because I can’t wait to fully immerse myself in my new creative environment that is Emerson College. But I remain fully aware of “the race,” hopefully prioritizing MY goals instead of chasing those of another.


I’m a dreamer too, but I stand apart from my fellow dreamers—as do they from me. Although we all want to tell stories or create something for the world to see, this doesn’t mean we are all going to do it the same way. I’m excited to see the varying paths we take to leave a mark on this world.


For now, I’m relieved to no longer be ferociously working to look good on paper for admission directors to judge my abilities or lack thereof. I know what I’m capable of, and that is the benefit of being in this new dreaming cycle.


In the meantime, don’t wake me up.



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