autumnsoliloquy90: (straight through the heart)
[personal profile] autumnsoliloquy90
Toefl Official Practice Test #2

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

Young people enjoy life more than older people do.

Start: 20:07
End: 20:37

While it is true that younger people have more of the physical capacity to enjoy life's pleasures than older people do, I believe that age does not necessarily dictate how much a person could enjoy his or her life. There are many factors influencing a person's ability to enjoy life, such as gender, socioeconomic status, amount of responsibilities, personality, and age is also one of those factors. Nevertheless, I disagree that younger people enjoy life more than their older counterparts do.

It is undeniable that young people in general have the advantage when it comes to physical abilities and health status, compared to older people. It is true that one needs these to enjoy life to the fullest, and that many elderly who have health problems and lost their faculties, thereby making it difficult to care for themselves independently, may no longer have the capacity to enjoy life. Nevertheless, there are also middle-aged people who still possess a clean bill of health, and there are more who, despite the usual health problems that come with aging, such as high blood pressure and arthritis, are still able to enjoy life to the fullest until their golden years. Moreoever, poor health does not discriminate, thus young people may also be afflicted by diseases, and therefore could also be incapacitated. It appears as though health and physical abilites, and therefore age, are not the only factors determining a person's ability to enjoy life.

Besides, what exactly does enjoying life entail? Each person has to determine for her- or himself what it means for them to enjoy the sweet nectar of life. For older people, they might envy the younger ones for their youth, perhaps reminiscing a time when life seemed sweeter for them in the past, or regretting their lost youth. However, our memories of the past are never always accurate. An older person might regret having spent too much time working away his youth instead of having more fun, but without the comforts reaped through his hard work in old age, he might instead regret not having worked harder in order to enjoy his retirement better. Hence, I believe both young and old have the capability to enjoy life if they so wish to, but it depends on their personality if they want to enjoy life in their youth or in their old age.

Furthermore, older people usually have the financial means to enjoy life, compared to the younger people. They already have established lives, a stable career, a family by the time they reach their forties. This provides them some sense of security about their standing in life, compared to younger people in their teens or twenties, who still have the rest of their lives ahead of them, and are often filled with anxiety and insecurity about how to navigate their lives to the right paths. Older people might be saddled with more responsibilities and therefore have less free time, but they are able to maximise their free time with high-quality activities due to their advantage in authority and spending power, such as traveling luxuriously, or spending quality time with their families. Younger people do not have this luxury, as they have yet to carve out their career, dedicate more time to establishing themselves, and simultaneously find the time to start a family. Due to their lack of experience, younger people do not enjoy the authority that older people have, and therefore do not have access to all the rewards a profession might afford. Younger people lack the security of being in a marriage, transitioning between their original families and starting their own, and they often live in poorer conditions than older people in general. Thus, I disagree that young people enjoy life more than older people.

To conclude, there are many ways to enjoy life, and even more factors that influence a person's enjoyment of life. Age is definitely one of them, but it is not the most important factor in dictating how much a person enjoys life. More importantly, younger people are less equipped with the necessities that makes it easier to enjoy life, such as an established career, social standing, a nuclear family, experience and the authority which comes with it, as well as the financial means to support their endeavours. These things give older people more opportunities to enjoy life, even if advanced age might sometimes deter them from doing so, due to health reasons.

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December 2016

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