Writing your college admissions essay can be an intimidating prospect. What if you don’t know what to write about? How can you make your application stand out among the hundreds or thousands of competing applications? Hopefully, today we will help assuage some of that anxiety by offering a few ideas that should help you get started outlining, drafting, editing, and finalizing your college admissions essay. Here are some great college essay topic ideas to help you get started!

Who Are You?

This question should be your starting point as you prepare to write your essay. Asking yourself this question is a great way to start thinking about how you would describe yourself, and more importantly it compels you to focus on what you think is most important about who you are that others should know. You may have a particular background or experience that has been particularly formative, a unique interest or skill that has changed your life, or a certain accomplishment of which you are incredibly proud. All of these can serve as topics for your essay.

A Particular Experience

One source for excellent essay topics is a experience you’ve had that has proven to be significant in your personal development. This can range from something like a unique trip or vacation you went on, any sort of volunteer or missionary work you may have performed, or even just a memorable event in your own life that might, at first glance, appear rather mundane. The important thing to remember when writing your essay is that the topic itself can be rather insignificant and you can still write an excellent submission by capturing your own genuine interest in the topic through the way you write. For example, many choose to write about a trip abroad that expanded their horizons, a religious experience they went through, or even just a strong memory they have that has colored how they view the world.

A Particular Interest or Skill

A unique skill that you possess or interest you have is, obviously, a perfect topic to help admissions officers get to know who you are and why they should remember you. Some of the popular choices for this kind of essay include a creative talent like proficiency in a musical instrument or visual art, or an athletic skill that you have developed and displayed in competition. The important thing about this topic is to show how the development of this skill or interest has led you to grow as a person outside of that narrow skill. It is not sufficient to simply say that you have become a good clarinet player; a better use of this topic would be to show how you have developed consistency and discipline through rigorous practice.

An Accomplishment

When you think about what makes you proud to be who you are, a certain accomplishment may immediately spring to mind. Whether it be a competition you won, a prize you earned, or a personal victory, the focus of your essay should be to show how this accomplishment is indicative of who you are and who you want to become. This is not about bragging, and being arrogant in an admissions essay is a good way to ensure your application is moved to the bottom of the pile. Rather, the point should be to demonstrate that your accomplishment shows what you value in yourself and how you worked hard to achieve this success. It is also a great opportunity to show that you may define success in a more untraditional sense.

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