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Tips For Choosing Your College Essay Topic

Where to start with those college essays—that is the question. If you’re stuck on what exactly to write about, this is the post for you!

Your college essay — probably the most daunting, dreaded and time-consuming part of the college application process. You might find yourself asking: What am I supposed to write about? How do I know if the admissions office will like it? These are just a few of the many questions you’re likely asking yourself and could be the reason why you might be procrastinating writing your essay.

Unfortunately, your application isn’t complete until the essay is done, and it might be the one thing that sets you apart from every other applicant and gets you into your dream school. Choosing the essay topic is the hardest part, but once you start, it’ll be done before you know it! Here are my five tips for coming up with topics for your college essay.


1. Show them who you are

Your college essay is a time to show the admissions counselors who you are. If you have a unique interest or hobby that stands out and that most other applicants won’t have, talk about it. It shows the kind of person you are and tell the admissions office that you’ll add character and diversity to their school.

2. Think about a life-changing event

You might still be young, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t learned a valuable lesson in your life. If you’ve had an experience that changed your life or taught you a valuable lesson, explain what that event was and why it made an impact on your character.

3. Discuss future career goals

If you already know the career goal you have and it’s something you’ve known for a long time, you’ve got a topic! It shows the college why you’re choosing them and that you’re a driven person with goals you’re trying to achieve.

4. Address a gap in your résumé

So maybe your activity resumé is a little on the bare side — that’s okay, but talk about why that is. If you were really dedicated to something outside of school or had a personal issue that held you back from being involved, this is your time to tell them. Colleges want students who are well-rounded and involved, if your activity resumé doesn’t show that, you want to tell them why.

5. Use humor

This one isn’t a topic or situation, but is something you can incorporate in your essay. If you are creative and have a great sense of humor, let it show. If you can make someone laugh in your essay, it’s a way they will remember you when it comes time to send out those acceptance letters.

Author bio: Written by Annalise Cosco — a writer for NextStepU.com. Cosco attended St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y. She has a love and passion for writing and is a complete “news junkie.” She’s the kind of girl who loves shopping, chick flicks and pumpkin flavored everything, but is also a complete sports fanatic!

For more college planning advice, visit NextStepU.com!


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One Response to “Tips For Choosing Your College Essay Topic”

  1. Julie Petersen says:

    Such great pieces of advice) Especially the 5 one, that should be used really carefully:)

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