Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.
There are good reasons to pay attention to people who are older or more experienced than we are, even if their opinions on important issues are very different from ours. Of course, not every person older than us is worth learning from, while many young people are. But if the only people we listen to are our age and are likely to see things the same way we do, we will miss out on something important.
Should we pay more attention to people who are older and more experienced than 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.
ESSAY BEGINS HERE
People with experience are invaluable wells of different perspectives because they have the benefit of hindsight. Someone who has personally experienced a phase of life gains a deeper insight into how he or she could have done things better, or made fewer mistakes. Although this insight can be garnered through personal experience, it is undoubtedly wiser to obtain it through others' experience. After all, why should more than one person repeat the same mistake? Thus, we should pay more attention to people who are older and more experienced than us to keep ourselves from faltering at exactly the same places as they did.
My older cousin always wanted to study medicine in one of the best universities in the world, but she did not have a very strong high school record. Not only did she restrict herself to very few extra curricular activities, such as Chinese Orchestra, Creative Writing Club, and Editorial Board, but she also did not take up any leadership roles in them. However, she was an ace student, and her family expected her to have a strong chance of being accepted at Cambridge. So it came as a surprise to her that her school counsellor and many other experienced people did not rate her chances as very high. In the end, in order to enrol at university, she had to take a government scholarship that came with a bond to work with the government that completely ruined her career plans.
Being very similar to her, I feel I would have ended up with a similar school record had she not advised me to develop a more holistic portfolio. Not only did her experience help her understand what sort of record universities look out for, her interactions with many students at her university made her realise that she should have started preparing even as early as the beginning of high school. She informed me that to clinch that acceptance letter, one not only has to be the jack of all arts, but also the master of one.
Feeling extremely grateful that I chose to pay attention to what she said, today I feel I have a much greater chance than her to be accepted into some of the world's top universities. Like her, I have developed a versatile interest in the performing arts and creative writing, but in addition to that I have also excelled in the performing arts and have held major leadership roles in the School Band and Student Council, in accordance with her advice. This, I feel, makes me a much stronger candidate competing for admission into university.
Had I not listened to my cousin, I would not have stood a chance of enrolling at my dream university. However, since I chose to make use of her personal experience that endowed her with a wiser and more insightful view of the admission process, I feel that I have benefited tremendously. Therefore I feel that we should definitely pay more attention to older and more experienced people.