Dear Mr. Scott Fitzgerald,
Growing up, I was always an avid reader. I would read just about anything, but I most dearly loved fiction–fantasy to be exact. The ability to be transported to a whole different world meant I didn’t need to face the pressure of succeeding in reality. I could experience a more carefree life by seeing through the eyes of the main character, moving from one silly conflict to another, knowing that I would always be triumphant in my ambitions. This passion of mine soon began to dwindle more and more with each passing year.
Middle school marked the beginning of the end. No more were there line-leaders or cubbies. Education was taking a front-seat over reading, and soon enough, my free time to read was becoming more and more limited. When high school swung around, the amount I read for pleasure decreased while my stress levels increased. I now had crushing pressure to do well on tests in order to get into a good college. Good grades would determine my future, not the amount of fantasy books I read.
But in my tenth grade English class, when I read The Great Gatsby, I felt rejuvenated. It was as if the words of that magnificent book soaked into my mind and washed away the walls which had turned away reading and kept school-work locked tight within. But it was more than that. The Great Gatsby’s plot depicted a fundamental truth about human nature that resonated with me. Our dreams will never satisfy us. Once we achieve this dream, there will always be a next ambition in life. We will never be content. From this I learned that, sure, having a goal to strive toward gives me a purpose in life, however, I must not forget to live life during this time or else I will have sacrificed everything to achieve something that becomes nothing. The reality check from this book was so great that, for the first time in my years at the high school, I checked out a book from the school library. No more was I going to focus on getting good grades if it meant relinquishing all that I cherished such as reading. Meanwhile, I found academics to be less frightening and easier to cope with, and all I did was pick up a book!
In just the past two weeks, I have willingly read the books Unfolding and The Tournament At Gorlan, which is two more than my entire freshman year. My passion to read was reignited by the inspiring words of The Great Gatsby, and I have only this book to thank for revealing something essential about myself: reading doesn’t worsen my chance of a successful future but strengthens it instead; the ability to decompress in an alternate universe means a more focused and sharper mind when transitioning back to the real world.