OP: Either “topic” can work. Write a draft & I will give a brief critique.
I need to know the level of schools to which you are applying.
I do not want to share with you the critical elements that should be contained in an essay appropriate for the most highly selective schools because I want to see from your own work & your own perspective certain qualities.
Trying to select the better or best essay topic reveals a misunderstanding of the purpose of a college application essay. The topic can be about almost anything from a broken shoelace to a meeting with the Pope in which you both collaborated to devise a cure for all types of cancer. Both topics can succeed & both topics can fail.
A current example is from the student of the week. A student from a sought-after, under-represented state with stellar grades, outstanding SAT scores, top class rank, great ECs, accomplished athlete, but a very ineffective application essay even though beautifully written & enjoyable to read.
This student’s well crafted, but ineffective, application essay was praised by family & by her English Literature teacher. But, it resulted in being denied entry into all of the most selective schools to which she applied. The student ended up at one of the least competitive schools in the nation surrounded by sub-par classmates who drop out at an alarmingly high rate from this uninspired academic environment.
Why did this student who had a winning hand lose at college admissions ? Bad lottery luck ? No. It was what was missing in her college application essay which so many had praised.
I cringe when I read of students who spend weeks or months writing & rewriting their college application essay. They simply do not understand what certain schools seek.
Different levels of schools seek different qualities in one’s application essay. This is why I need to know to which schools you are applying.