The importance of the College Essay
The college essay is one of the most important aspects of your college application. This is because the essay gives you the only chance to talk about your unique qualities and why you should be accepted at the college. It is a self-branding opportunity for you. It is therefore important to carefully consider different college essay topics.
Whatever topic you choose, your essay should be compelling enough and be apart from the mediocre and uninteresting essays that end up in the rejection bin.
What are good essay topics?
In some cases, the college will provide an essay topic for you. But most leave the choice of topic to the applicant. When given that choice, many students struggle with what to write about. One important question to ask yourself is what are you interests? When selecting a topic you should consider the following:
- What hobbies and other extracurricular activities have had the most positive impacts on your life and why.
- What events have occurred in your life that can be related to your choice of academic field?
- What difficulties did you face growing up?
- Have there been any life-defining events that influence your view of the world?
Finding ideas for your college essay topic
When looking for ideas on what to write, starring at a blank page can make the task very daunting for anyone. The best way to get going is to jot down any idea that pops into mind. This way, you will not find yourself starring at a blank page and what you jot down will get your brain going very quickly. It will give you something to think about. If you have not been given a prompt to write about, you need to come up with your very own interesting creative essays.
- Think about that one person that has had the most influence on your life and has perhaps influenced the decision about your intended field of study.
- Have you participated in any volunteer or community work? How has this experience influenced you and what you want to become in the future.
- Maybe one of your teachers in high school has become a role model for you and you want to follow in their footsteps.
- You can just write about your extracurricular activities. Things you do that have nothing to do with school.
- Think about friends and family members. Maybe some extra-ordinary event took place in any of their lives that has had a big effect on you.
When selecting your own essay topics, pick one that is very creative and will stand out. But most importantly, select one that you can write about.
Whatever you think about, you should go ahead and write about it. You will be amazed what ideas pop into your head and how smoothly the essay can progress once you start writing.
One important thing you should do when writing your essay is to make it personal. Let it feel like you are really passionate about what you are writing about. You need to let the admissions officer know the subject matter really means something to you.
What if the college gives you an essay prompt?
In some cases, the college will assign essay topics for you to write about. These prompts are usually general questions like, “What is the importance of a college education?” Don’t just go and write a generic response like, “a college education is important because it helps you secure a better job.” It is the wrong way to approach the essay. You need to fully explore the subject and make it personal. Write about why it will be important to you and why you need to get a college education. Talk about experiences in your life that has influenced your decision to go to college and the intended program of study.
Examples of college assigned essay topics.
The list below highlights examples of college essay prompts given by various universities.
- If you could travel back into time, what time in history will you like to go back to and why?
- What advice will you consider as the best you have ever received? Why? What impact did it have on your life?
- Looking back at your years in high school, what will be your advice to a high school freshman?
- Talk about one adjective that you think those who know you best will use to describe you. Explain why
- Talk about the community in which you grew up and how it has influenced the person you are today
- What is the biggest risk you have ever taken and how has it impacted your life?
- Pick one invention that you think the world could do without and explain why.
- Talk about one of the best conversations you have ever had.
- What one moment in your life will you describe as the most embarrassing of you life? And how have you dealt with it?
- If you have to live without one of the five senses – hearing, sight, taste, touch and smell- what will you choose and why?
The above are just examples of essay questions that a college may assign. Whatever college essay topic you choose or are assigned, the key is to write a good stand-out essay. Don’t just write what everyone else is writing. Often, your essay can help the chances of getting admitted even if someone else has better grades than you.