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SAT essay - Is preparing for the future more important than enjoying the present?

Prompt 4

Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.

No one knows how the future will turn out. Faced with this uncertainty, some people choose to live as though the only thing that matters is now. Instead of planning for the future, they devote their energy to enjoying the present. How misguided! They should spend their time today preparing for the future. Knowledge, skills, and resources they work to acquire now will serve them long after the pleasures of today are forgotten.

Assignment: Is preparing for the future more important than enjoying the present? 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.


2013-5-28 9:46:38

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

Re:SAT essay - Is preparing for the future more important than enjoying the present?

Let's just for a brief moment think about chocolate cake. I’m not talking about your generic run of the mill, slightly dry because it spent a week sitting on your counter under a blanket of aluminum foil cake. No. I’m talking about three layers of moist luxurious dark chocolate cake separated by rich mocha-chocolate whipped filling, topped with bittersweet icing and garnished with perfect delectable dark chocolate shavings.

Throughout our experience in secondary education the word preparation is as common as acne. We are constantly being told that our work here is preparing us for the future. We become blinded to anything but what is in front of us, the bright future that we are told lay just beyond the horizon, obtainable if we keep galloping straight ahead. The fear of failure takes hold of our reins, keeping us from straying from the path. But what happens when suddenly we stumble and collapse, when we land on our backs, chest heaving, desperate for air?

I have spent my entire academic career doing exactly what was drilled into me, preparing. A homework prepares us for a test, a test for a midterm, a midterm for a mock, a mock for an exam, an exam for college, college for a job, a job for a career, and on and on and on until we find ourselves in a home for the elderly preparing to die. At least that is how I have recently begun to view it.

What happens when we stumble and we fall? We see the world from the flat of our backs, but for the first time, we see the world. We see a sky above us and life around us, life that until now had been ignored, forgotten, pushed aside for in the future we will have time to live.

But if there is one thing I have learned, life does not freeze until you are ready to start living, it goes on around you whether you are blind to it or not, whether you are living it or not, whether you are prepared for it or not. For too long have I forgone enjoying my life for the sake of my future, for too long have I saved living for later, and would have continued to do so had I not tripped on rejection. Had I not been knocked off my feet I would never have realized the importance of the present, perhaps even over the future. Life is not meant to put off for later, it is meant to be lived every single day, every single minute, and every single second.

What would the world be like if everyone stopped preparing for the future and enjoyed the present, if they stopped focusing on the big picture and allowed themselves to indulge in the simple things that brought them pleasure, for instance, a piece of chocolate cake? Perhaps Marie Antoinette was on to something


2013-5-28 9:53:00

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

Re:SAT essay - Is preparing for the future more important than enjoying the present?

Yes the present life is sweet and satiable in every way. But equally, I believe in preparation for the unknown, that out-of-reach yet understandable future that awaits me just around the bend. No one really knows what will happen. It’s like walking down a dark tunnel. There might be a dim light at the end of the tunnel, but most likely we will just stumble around, be surrounded by utter blackness. Yet, that is what life is. Falling down in that gloomy tunnel is just the way to become stronger in life. People can guess, assume, wonder, and dream what awaits them down that tunnel, but in reality, only the future knows what will happen. I don’t think I will know what the looming future has in store for me, but I am quite confident that I can take some time and prepare myself for anything that I might run into.

I was about 16 and 1/2 years old when I had my first girlfriend. On a cold, snowy night at the end of Christmas break, my car pulled into her driveway. We had just left a small party together. Fresh snow laid neatly on the front lawn, while a street light cast shadows along the pavement. I pulled my key out of the ignition and jumped out of the car. I walked her purposefully to the door because it was getting late, but she stopped me at the doorstep. She looked me softly in the eyes and leaned towards me. She kissed me sweetly. I have to say my first kiss exhilarated and frightened me at the same time. Even though I had promised myself that I would not get a girlfriend and taken many precautions to ensure it, she and I unofficially paired off after that evening and it went on from there. I didn’t figure out exactly if it was a good thing or a bad thing until about three weeks later when she broke up with me. The break-up devastated me. I cried for days and I learned yet again, that life sometimes doesn’t go the way I plan, no matter what precautions or measures I put in place.

Just a few weeks later, I received a letter from the ACT company, regarding my scores on the test I had taken in December. I ripped open the letter and found disappointment, utter disappointment. I earned a 25, a poor score in my mind even though it was far above the national average. I hated the feelings of sadness and regret that seeped into me. The regret of not preparing myself more fully for that challenge swelled inside of me and overwhelmed my mind for a time. But soon that feeling of failure filled me with hope that if I studied, if I worked, I could succeed. I wanted better and I knew I could do better. I knew deep down that if I prepared myself, I could be more than ready for the test the next time I took it.

Life doesn’t always give us the best situations to work with, but there is always a solution, if not many more to solve the problem at hand. Although I can’t prepare for every little thing, I know I can prepare for some of the challenges everyday that are sitting right on my plate, ready to be taken on. Those problems and challenges that we have some information about are always a little easier to tackle than the unknown. Preparing for our lives each day is like packing your for a trip. There are many things that could be useful or enjoyable on this trip but you don’t know them all and you don’t have room in your suitcase for them. So, you pack the things you know that you need and just hope for the best. That is exactly what I have to do in my life. I know I can’t solve every situation that comes my way, but for all those things I prepared for, I have an easy solution.

I learned through many experiences that with just a little time and thought on the problem, a great reward can come. During that troublesome junior year of high school, I had enrolled in a college biology course. The class required a great deal of studying and preparation to pass the tests. I spent many sleepless night wondering if I would be ready for the tests and quizzes. But after the first test, I learned that if I just spent a few minutes every night reviewing the material, I was very capable of passing the tests with flying colors. These high test scores gave me a solid A in the class. That biology class gave me hope and showed me that with just a little preparation and some luck, many doors of opportunity and success can be opened.

Preparation cannot always guarantee success in any field or endeavor, but I believe that preparation gives me an edge in the race against the future. I know that with just a little effort and some thought, great rewards can come into our lives. Once we conquer those issues that we know about, we can focus intensely on those things that might spring up in our lives. Sadly, I have yet to travel into the future and see those surprises that awaits me, and I really wouldn’t want to. The future is mysterious and it should remain a secret. It may give us a few hints once and a while, but it needs to stay hidden from us. Otherwise, it wouldn’t really be the future. I believe in preparing myself for the obscure and challenging future that’s coming my way.


2013-5-28 9:51:40

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

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