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  • Writer's pictureKate Robertson

The College Application Essay: Getting Started

Figuring out what to write about is often the most difficult step. Sitting at the kitchen table with parents hovering and a blank screen staring back at you doesn’t help. So get up and step away. Take a walk or relax in your favorite easy chair. With a simple notepad in hand, do a little thinking.

First, make a list of all the major events and meaningful moments of your life. Include all events that stand out: an accomplishment, a trip, a special birthday, a memorable visit with a grandparent. Ask family to help jog your memory. Flip through a family photo album.

Next, make a list of your favorite things. If you had a day to yourself, what would you choose to do? If your house was on fire, what five things would you grab from your room? What clubs or sports do you most enjoy?

Finally, make a list of the things you dislike. What was the worst thing you’ve every done? What was the worst day of your life? What was the saddest day? What was the hardest challenge you’ve overcome?

Now gather up those lists and head back to your computer. (See Brainstorming)

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