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津田塾大学英語英文学科が主催する「第三回エッセーコンテストJr.」において、中学1年の早川 瑞希さんと前田徒和さんが見事受賞しました。


“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
Whenever I feel that life is boring or I’m in a difficult situation, I remember that I have to make lemonade. This has helped me numerous times. When I moved to Singapore, I felt as if the whole world was against me. I couldn’t understand what the teacher or my friends said. However, that was when my teacher taught us this quote, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.
Because I had written it down in my notes, I was able to understand the meaning. From that day, I took this situation as an opportunity to learn English. I studied as hard as I could, which now is a great help. This was when I learned that every difficult situation is an opportunity to make yourself better. Every difficulty that we overcome makes us stronger people.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, I felt as though I was trapped in a cell every single day. We have to wear masks, stay home, and social distance with our friends. I felt very unlucky that I lived in this world in this time. However, this was when I realized, the pandemic was a lemon and I had to make lemonade. When I thought about it, there were many positive sides to this pandemic. Since lockdown, I spend more time with my family, which I didn’t used to do a lot before. I can spend time pursuing my hobby because my life isn’t as busy anymore. I started to realize things that I didn’t think about because my life before was filled with events. I started to keep a journal writing what I had that was fun that day. I made a very sweet lemonade out of sour lemons.
Life is limiting, therefore, every single moment we spend is priceless. That is why we have to make ourselves better and better every second. The way to do this is to face problems but stay positive and take it as an opportunity. It is about doing whatever we can do to make today better than yesterday no matter what situation we are in. It is impossible to have fun every single day. However, what matters most is the fact that we do our best to do what we are able to do. Life is about how we overcome these obstacles and how much we can enjoy difficult situations.
Senzoku Gakuen
J1 Mizuki Hayakawa


“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
The lines above are quoted from the last stanza of The Road Not Taken. The Road Not Taken is the first poem written by Robert Frost that I had read, and that was how I encountered these words. It is also the poem that had opened my eyes to the splendor of poetry.
The speaker in The Road Not Taken first comes to two roads in a forest, and wishes to travel both. He eventually decides to travel the path he sees as less traveled, but later doubts his choice, knowing that he would not be able to return and take the other road. The speaker thinks for a while about the choice he did not make. However, in the end, he says that the result made “all the difference” in his life. Looking at only these three lines, the poet is telling the reader that we must accept our choices, regardless of whether it was correct or not. We sometimes do not take the path we desired, and we regret the choice we made. Like most people, we wonder if the other option would have offered something better. The “two roads diverged in a wood” represents a decision we all have to make in our life. In the verse “I took the one less traveled by”, the narrator chooses without any particular reason; he chooses with his instinct. In the final verse, Frost explains that our life would be altered in some way, whichever option we choose. Until the change occurs, we cannot regret the choice we have made, for we cannot go back and we cannot foresee the result.
If I had to make a decision, I of course would not be able to know the outcome of the choice. Whether it is correct or not, I will make the best out of it. I will walk down that road, face the challenges, and have the experiences that will make the change in both my present and future life. As the poem has taught me, that is what should matter to me in that moment I make the decision. The most important lesson I have learned, though, is that poetry has the ability to pass on knowledge to others.
Senzoku Gakuen
J1 Towa Maeda