Sample SAT Essay 3

Topic: Is sacrifice necessary to make progress?

Life is a journey in which human's strive to achieve greatness, happiness, and prosper. It is human nature to set goals for oneself in order to progress consistently throughout one's lifetime. In order to achieve a goal, one must work through obstacles and climb walls he is faced with. Life's obstacles can be strong and brutal but, in order to overcome them, one must give his all and sacrifice comfort and time. Progress cannot be accomplished without hard work and sacrifice, the saying "No pain, no gain" rings true for all people enduring all circumstances.

Jose Marti was a Cuban Revolutionary who fought tirelessly against Spain (and later America) for Cuba's long deserved independence. He sacrificed his home and lived in exile in New York leading his people because of the danger he faced living in his home land (Cuba). Marti later sacrificed his life when he was killed after the Spanish-American War. Marti could have easily sat motionless and watched his people suffer in Cuba, being beaten to death and manipulated by Spain. However, Marti was unwilling to accept his fate. In order to progress towards independence, Marti made sacrifices. Without those sacrifices, by him or someone else, Cubans would still be withstanding the cruel and unjust Spanish rule.

Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is the story of two "Star-crossed lovers" from two enemy families. Their love is strong, but they face many obstacles. They repeatedly sacrifice their easy and comfortable lives to grow together and strengthen their love. In the end, they both die, sacrificing their lives to be together in heaven. Neither of them would settle for taking the easy-way-out. Without the sacrifices they made, the young lovers relationship would be shattered leaving the two miserable.

Ian Thorpe was once again a hero during the 2004 Olympic Games when he continued to win goal medals. He started a mediocre swimmer, however, after practicing everyday, multiple times a day for years; he progressed becoming one of the world's greatest swimmers. Every morning at 5:00am Thorpe would wake up to go to practice, sacrificing both his sleep and his comfort. He would work so hard in practice he would sometimes vomit, again sacrificing his comfort for progress. Moreover, his sacrifice paid off and years later, he is one of the most recognized athletes in history. There has never been an outstanding athlete who didn't sacrifice something to progress.

In conclusion, progress is impossible without sacrifice. Sacrifice is what enables one to outdo what he believes he can do. Progress consists of tiny steps where each step represents doing something just a little bit better than the time before. It is ridiculous to say that one can exceed his prior step without sacrifice. Sacrifice is the means to any end and the key to any form of success.

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