I’m not exactly sure how most students go about telling their main idea for a college essay, for example: Common App
I guess it depends. If your anecdote was meant to be illustrative (e.g. you volunteer at a hospital --> anecdote is about your interaction with a religious family --> point is to show the conflict between cultures, and how you developed a passion for ethics), then you wouldn’t return to the anecdote. Because the essay’s not about the specific experience; it’s about the passion that the anecdote just happened to kickstart. You’d just go on to explain more about the passion and what you did to grow it.
But if the anecdote is the focus of the essay (e.g. you say something to the religious family out of frustration, since you don’t understand their beliefs --> you realize that you were wrong for treating them that way, and apologize to them the next day), then the essay is about what you learned during that specific experience. So the essay would be like one long anecdote with your thoughts / beliefs interjected throughout.
Thanks for the help, man