(May 30, 2006)
Life is full of unexpected surprises. There are many opportunities when one can secretly wish for something exciting to happen – something out of the ordinary. The real surprise is when the wish unexpectedly comes true. I never believed that something like this could ever happen to me; such a thing that would make me stop and look back at the events in awe. I think you would agree that something as simple as being lost in the forest for less than ten minutes should have no influence on my life. If you do agree, that makes both of us wrong.
Throughout my childhood, I loved the wild. My family and I would always go for a walk in the downtown forest of Coote’s Paradise. There were many times I thought of what could happen if we were to lose our way from the trail and have to live off of the land until we found our way back to civilization. I thought it would be the greatest experience ever.
As my brothers and I grew older, we continued to go for these walks with our parents but the dreams of living in the forest I soon forgot. That’s when it happened. We decided to take a different path off the main trail. Before I knew it, the path had disappeared and no one in my family could tell where we had come from. It was so unexpected. It gave me a feeling of excitement that can’t be described. Everything in the forest seemed different. The trees were a deeper shade of green. The birds chirped in a different tone. Vines covered almost every inch of the ground. One part of me never wanted this moment to end. I felt completely free from the stress of my life outside of the woods. It was this moment that I realized that I would much rather stay here for the rest of my life than go back to society.
I think that another reason that I felt carefree was because my parents didn’t panic. They took the situation under control and headed for any open area in hopes to find a map (many of these maps were found throughout the grounds, telling you where you were). From my point of view, at the time, it seemed as if they were excited as I was about losing our way. In the end, it only took my parents ten minutes to find such a map and we were back on the trail in no time.
An experience like this made me think about my place in life. I’m the type who loves seeking out adventures. When we were lost, I realized that I had everything I would ever need with me – my family. They’ve always supported me in everything I do. This experience made me realize that families need to stick together; you don’t realize how much you need them until, for a moment, you think they’ll be the last people you see for the rest of your life.
It’s incredible how much a simple thing like being lost in a forest for ten minutes will affect your outlook on life. Things like not being able to find your way back to where you came from make you appreciate the little things in life. Looking back on the day, I realize now that it was fate. Moments like that are few and far between and should be taken as a lesson. Surprises like this were, and always will be, an unexpected gift for all.
question they think is manageable only to realise, later, that theycould have handled another question with more ease.
Choose a topic you are familiar, or comfortable with, which is withinyour scope of experience, so you do not have to struggle withcontent.
Opt for something that is within your linguistic ability. Do not selecta topic just because you think it is challenging. This is not the timefor experimentation. As for weak students, it is generally advisableto write a narrative.
Plan your essay: the outline, points/ideas/thoughts and supportingpoints (if you are writing an argumentative or factual essay).
Remember to use a variety of sentence structures (simple,compound and complex).Competent candidates should use more of the latter as your competencywill be made obvious by your ability to use these structures accurately. Donot use too many simple sentences as, at SPM level, more is expected of you.
Use sentences of varying lengths. A short sentence can be veryeffective after several long sentences.
Choose words carefully. You should be able to use words withdifferent nuances. For instance the word “walked” can be replacedwith synonyms such as ambled, strolled, sauntered, staggered,strode.
Write out your essay in neat, legible handwriting. There is nothingmore annoying than small or untidy handwriting, or a combinationof both, as the reader has to spend valuable time deciphering whatyou have written.