autumnsoliloquy90: (straight through the heart)
[personal profile] autumnsoliloquy90
Toefl Official Practice Test #3
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

It is more important to keep old friends than to make new friends.

Start: 17:00
End: 17:30

I believe that it is important to maintain friendships regardless of their length of existence, because the length of time spent with a friend does not necessarily correlate with the depth of the connection or the quality of the time together. Nevertheless, I do agree that it would be more prudent to place older friendships in a higher priority than new friendships for various reasons, which I will elaborate on later. While there are rare instances in which fresh connections become more significant within a short timespan compared to a long-lasting old friendship, it is undeniable that a long history attached to an old friendship is hard to beat.

It is important to have friends who have known you for at least ten years or more. For many people, especially in my age in their mid-twenties, this would mean friends who have known them since they were in their formative years, such as in their teenage years. This is such a crucial period of development, where a friendship goes through the trials and tribulations of puberty, fast-paced life changes and other challenges related to developing personalities of teenagers. Thus, a friendship which has lasted at least ten years of such rigorous tests and survived, is definitely worth keeping. Long-lasting friendships of such high quality are hard to come by, and they often get even stronger as time goes by, no matter how life, distance and responsibilites limit the time spent together physically. These friendships are no longer about having a clique to hang out with, or a way to avoid being alone, but rather, about having a confidante with whom you could share worries, aspirations and dreams. In contrast, a new friendship is fragile and has yet to go through the trials that every relationship has to go through to become the diamond it is after many years. That is, of course, not to claim that a new friendship will never be as worthy of keeping as an older friendship. But at any given time, it is definitely more important to cherish older friends than new ones.

Indeed, it is important that we never stop finding new connections with people. This world is populated by seven billion people, and there is probably a significant fraction of that number with whom we have yet to form meaningful relationships, perhaps deeper bonds than the ones we already have. By all means, we should aspire to make new friends, but definitely not at the cost of sacrificing our time with old friends. There are many people who find it difficult to juggle responsibilities to various people, like their families, older friendships, new acquaintances, work colleagues, other connections formed at the most random of places. That is why it is important to prioritize our time and know which groups of people are the dearest to our hearts. Of course, family is perhaps the oldest of friendships that exist -- one that is often not chosen, but naturally given to us. Similarly, friendships formed in our youth are likewise not chosen; they developed in close circumstances and proximity, and were polished into gems through pressures and common experiences. As we grow older, it might be easy to make new acquaintances, but it is also more difficult to find true friendships. We might perhaps never form friendships again like the ones we made in our gullible, idealistic youth, when we truly cherished the importance of friendships in our lives, and petty squabbles between friends meant the world to us. Thus, I wholeheartedly believe that while it is important to make new friends, it is more crucial to our emotional well-being to keep our older friendships closer to our hearts.

In conclusion, we should aim to make new connections, but it is more important to prioritize older friendships instead of letting them go for the sake of new ones. Despite changing life circumstances, when older friends might not be as convenient to spent time with anymore, the value of high-quality friendships which have withstood the test of time, the life challenges thrown at them, as well as inconvenience, is definitely undeniable and makes them worth keeping for a lifetime. New acquaintances might be exciting, more convenient and may indeed hold the potential to develop into a deeper connection in the future, but they are also more likely to be fleeting, fragile and stagnate at a superficial level of intimacy.

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December 2016

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