With August nearing, it’s important for students who will be in 12th Grade in the fall to at least be thinking about what they are going to write their college essay on. It doesn’t need to be complete (yet), but it’s important to start to flesh out ideas.
A lot of students will look at the questions provided on the Common Application as prompts for their essay, but it’s my belief that that type of thinking is backwards. The question that students should really be asking themselves when they are ready to write their college essay is this: who am I?
On its face, answering that question might seem simple. But you should be thinking beyond simple characteristics and instead looking deeper at your character. What do you stand for? What event helped define that? Which people helped define that? What do you see yourself doing because of who you are?
These are not easy questions to answer, and, to be honest, they might not have a single answer right now, and the answer may change sometime in the future. But it’s important to do your best to narrow your ideas down as much as possible. If you do, you’ll often find that there is a common thread running through all of them. And when you find it, you’ll know exactly what you should be writing about.