right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Please help with essay topic ideas !

celia31celia31 6 replies4 threads New Member
edited September 2019 in College Essays
I don’t know how personal is too personal, or what is too overused. My dream schools are Barnard and UW, for reference. Here are some rough ideas I’ve tossed around!

-growing up with a functioning alcoholic father and how it’s shaped me/what I’ve learned/perspective on life

-dance and what it’s given me/ups and downs with hip fracture/recognition at a national level/disappointments/discipline

-death of my grandma when I was 10 and how it affected me

-achieving perfect attendance in 5th grade/only one in school/relate it back to determination in school and dance
edited September 2019
9 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Please help with essay topic ideas !

  • DhhhhhhhDhhhhhhh 23 replies1 threads Junior Member
    are you thinking about applying ED to barnard?
    · Reply · Share
  • izonryizonry 3 replies1 threads New Member
    I'm very underqualified and ultimately you will know yourself best and are the only person to choose which topic best represents you.
    However, I feel that the first two topics are the best. Good luck!
    · Reply · Share
  • aquaptaquapt 2281 replies47 threads Senior Member
    Cross off the last two, without question. (And any other topic based on anything that happened that long ago. Your Personal Statement should not be an elementary school memoir.) #1 *might* be possible to pull off but could very easily go awry in any number of ways. (Appearing to focus on grievances, failing to focus on who *you* are and what you could contribute to your potential college, or if you do focus on yourself, the risk of readers finding the use of a parent's struggles to make yourself look good to be in poor taste.) #2 is the best potential topic of the four, by far, IMHO. The challenge will be to find a specific thread/theme/image to hold it together, pare down a big topic to the required length, and avoid a cliche presentation. Make sure to include details/interactions that show your personality, so that it doesn't become a generic tale of "I love to dance but I got hurt but I persevered and achieved and deserve to come to your college." That may legitimately be the bone structure of the essay but your task is to flesh it out with features that are distinctively yours.
    · Reply · Share
  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 1984 replies27 threads Senior Member
    I agree - the last two should be eliminated because they are from too long ago when you were very young.

    Unfortunately growing up with an alcoholic parent is all too common. The dance idea might be most about your and help paint a picture of who you are as an individual.
    · Reply · Share
  • celia31celia31 6 replies4 threads New Member
    I am actually going to write about how I sleepwalked out of my dorm I was staying in at a ballet intensive in New York City (I live in Seattle so very far away) and locked myself out in the middle of the night. I had to problem solve and it was the first time I really realized how all the stress I internalized actually influenced my actions (I sleepwalk more when I am stressed) and how it revealed more about myself to me. My English teacher liked it and I feel like its unique so its all i have.
    · Reply · Share
  • aquaptaquapt 2281 replies47 threads Senior Member
    That's a good topic! You can show your sense of humor, fit in the stuff about how important dance is in your life, give a *little* context (without over-emphasis) about stresses you've overcome in your upbringing and positive coping strategies you've learned, and show your resilience and resourcefulness. This is an excellent way of pulling together all the things you wanted to talk about, but doing in the context of telling an engaging and unusual story. Sounds perfect to me!

    Your task now is to touch on everything you want to communicate, keep all of those components in balance, and do it in a way that disguises the "talking points" and makes the reader feel like you're just telling a great story.
    · Reply · Share
  • celia31celia31 6 replies4 threads New Member
    That makes me feel a lot better! I thought not a lot of people have encountered that exact same experience, so it would make my essay stand out, and through telling the story I feel like I can show off my writing skills and personality!

    After that night I zipped a key into my pocket of whatever I was wearing to bed, so I am going to somehow use a metaphor about always attempting to be prepared to mitigate stress at the end of my essay to tie it all together.
    · Reply · Share
  • PublisherPublisher 9577 replies120 threads Senior Member
    Agree that you should eliminate the last two of the four listed topics in your original post which started this thread.

    Love the idea of writing about sleepwalking & stress. This should tie in dance & household stresses & how it affects you.

    If you need someone to review a draft of your essay, I will be happy to do so. I suspect that I have a much deeper understanding of these topics than most.
    · Reply · Share
  • murray93murray93 204 replies22 threads Junior Member
    Love the sleepwalking idea. Definitely a winner!
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity