Choose Your Path

Choose a character with whom you identify from a novel or a short story you have read recently. Explain how you identify with this character, what lessons he or she has taught you, and how you imagine this knowledge will be helpful as you enter college.

One literary work that I always find inspiring is Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”. In Frost’s poem the speaker, on the verge of making a decision, symbolizes this decision by using a reference to one road forking into two. Each road represents a possible decision. The speaker visualizes himself at this crossroad; he conveys his situation stating “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,/ And sorry I could not travel both/ And be one traveler” (Frost 1-3). “Sorry I could not travel both” clarifies that the choice, once made, cannot be reversed. The speaker further describes one road being less traveled than the other, insinuating that one decision is more popular than the other; “Then took the other, as just as fair,/ And having perhaps the better claim,/ Because it was grassy and wanted wear;” (Frost 6-8). The speaker also clarifies that nobody has made the decision lately, implying that there is no model to base his decision on: “And both that morning equally lay/ In leaves no steps had trodden black” (Frost 11-12). By stating “Oh, I kept the first for another day!/ Yet knowing how way leads on to way,/ I doubted if I should ever come back.” (Frost 13-15) The speaker reiterates that after a decision is made he will be unable to explore the other option. After making his decision the speaker reminisces “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I / I took the one less traveled by,/ And that has made all the difference.” (Frost 18-20).Much like the speaker in Robert Frost’s poem, I make decisions without the benefit of a model; many of these decisions are major decisions. One example of a current decision made in this manner is the decision to pursue a higher learning curriculum; as I considered entering into advanced coursework I had no real model to base my decision on. Although former students had given testimonials no one was able to predict how I would perform in an advanced curriculum. To make this decision I needed to weigh two very important issues; tougher classes meant it would be tougher to receive high marks while a more rigorous academic program meant I would be better prepared for college. The marks issue was of major concern for me as most colleges continue to put an emphasis on an applicant’s GPA in the application process. The counter-argument was that the preparations made for college through these advanced courses would be to my advantage and outweigh the risks of damaging my transcript. My decision was to pursue the advanced courses where I believed the benefit of the more rigorous classes outweighed the potential risks to my transcript. I chose the road less traveled, rather than worrying about my grades — which do not always accurately represent academic achievement levels. I decided I would challenge myself and try to learn as much as possible at the highest level possible.Frost’s poem has also helped me make future decisions, the lesson being to weigh carefully the choices before making a decision. A decision must be based on what is best, not just in the short term, but rather throughout my lifetime.

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