SAT essay - ease does not challenge us and that we need adversity to discover who we are

“Tough challenges reveal our strengths and weaknesses.” This statement is certainly true; adversity helps us discover who we are. Hardship can often lead us to examine who we are and to question what is important in life. In fact, people who have experienced seriously adverse events frequently report that they were positively changed by their negative experiences.


Assignment: Do you think that ease does not challenge us and that we need adversity to help us discover who we are? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

2011/4/29 11:53:34

Posted by DoctorZ | 阅读全文 | 回复(2) | 引用通告 | 编辑

Re:SAT essay - ease does not challenge us and that we need adversity to discover who we are

I love a challenge, and the difficulty faced in one. Many people back out of a challenge because of its toughness and the aftermath of one. Why fear a challenge? From every challenge you take, you learn something new. Whether or not you fail or complete the challenge, you will always master a new skill. This is why I believe that in every difficulty or challenge, there is opportunity to learn something new.

I’ve faced many challenges throughout my life, most of which I have failed. Failure is not an option, but something I should learn from if I do. I remember a few years ago, when I had to go to this competition where the students would do various algebraic expressions. I was young and didn’t understand anything they taught. After it was all done, we had a competition where I ended up getting dead last. Now in Algebra, I’m able to solve those problems easily as they are now very simple for me. Because of that challenge, I learned something new, which I can use for the rest of my life.

Another challenge that I faced that was difficult was playing my favorite sport, basketball. I love to play basketball, and can play anytime, any day. Basketball is a very exciting sport, and requires a lot of skill and talent. I started playing basketball at the age of eleven, a comparatively old age, but because of the challenges I have faced playing basketball, I have become a much better and focused. Ever since I started playing basketball, I have played with good players who were much better than me. For instance, I once played a group of 20-year-old college students who were very good. They practiced basically everyday and were very tall in size. When I went to the indoor court, and saw no one but these people, I got really scared. I stood on the court for a little while, until they asked, “You wanna play some ball, dude?” I wasn’t very good back then as I answered, “ Sure, but I’m not that great.” I accepted the challenge as I ended up being very pathetic. Although I played miserably against them, I have no fear now to play better or similar players. Because of this challenge, I found opportunity to become better and play others with no concern.

The most important challenge in my life is being a good son, friend, and person. This is a challenge everyone including me is trying to get better at. When I introduce myself to someone new or do something good to the community, I know that I’m learning something great. Whenever I go to a place where I don’t know a lot of people, I introduce myself and try to make a friendship. This really helps me and the people around me. I also love to talk out loud and make speeches. This can be a challenge, but is really fun and gives me great exposure. Also, making an impact on my community may seem like a difficulty, but all I have to do is follow the rules and be a good citizen which itself is a big impact. As I continue to get better at this challenge, I will work extra hard to be the best person I can be.

When a challenge is given to you, you should never back down. Learn from the challenge so that it won’t be a difficulty anymore. A challenge is made for someone to learn and lose fear from it. This is why I believe that in every challenge or difficulty, there is an opportunity or lesson to be learned.

2012/12/4 11:24:10

Posted by doctorzhang | 个人主页 | 引用 | 返回 | 删除 | 回复

Re:SAT essay - ease does not challenge us and that we need adversity to discover who we are

Sample Essay - Score of 6


Everyone goes through their lives seeing and experiencing different things. At times, these different situations may cause one to act differently than another would in the same situation. It can be readily stated that “Ease does not challenge us; adversity helps us discover who we are.” Through literature, itself the condensation of human experiences, one can see how this statement proves to be true.


In the play, “The Enemy of the People”, by Henrik Ibsen, the protagonist, Dr. Stockholm, faced adversity, and through that, was able to discover his true beliefs and who he was. Before Dr. Stockholm was put in a situation where he had to face adversity, he had lived his life with mildness,  ease, and regularity. He acted just like everyone else in the town he lived in. Years later, he discovered that the popular bath houses was infected with bacteria. Determined to spread his findings, Dr. Stockholm went to the newspaper and the local governing office to try and make his discovery known. However, both the paper and the government weren’t as inspired to really let the public know about this serious problem due to the popularity of the bath houses. As a result, Dr. Stockholm was forced to face adversities including discouragment, ignorance, even threat. Only through perseverance and devotion to the truth did he find a way to achieve his previously set goal. Through adversity, Stockholm was able to truly see how his personality was. He was able to under-stand his severe discontent with the government and society as a whole. In essence, Stockholm was able to discover his actual self. This, however, only happened when he was faced with a challenge.


The book, “Where the Heart is” by Billie Letts also used adversity to portray it’s characters true being. The protagonist, Novalee Nation, was placed in a situation where she had to realize and conquer adversity. Novalee was a young girl of 17, who was pregnant. She had experienced extreme hardship her whole life in the trailer park environment that she had previously resided in. She also received lots of abuse from her boyfriend who impregnated her. In the story, he had left her stranded in a K-Mart all by herself, while she was pregnant. All alone, Novalee had to find a way to keep herself and her baby alive. Along the way, through adversity, Novalee found her true, kind self. She also made countless discoveries through meeting different people. Among those things was her true love for photography and literature, and most of all her yearning for love in her life.


In the face of adversity, we all act differently. We each have different ideas and methods that we are accustomed to use for different situations. By acting and making decisions on our own, as we are often times forced to do when given a challenge, we are able to find out who we truly are and what we truly believe in. The characters Dr. Stockholm and Novalee Nation are examples of that kind of people in literature. How-ever, in literature and life, it is all the same. Ease does not challenge us; adversity helps us discover who we are.

2011/4/29 12:00:07

Posted by doctorzhang | 个人主页 | 引用 | 返回 | 删除 | 回复


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