Many things in life – but specifically the college application process - are easier for people who have a very strong sense of self and know exactly what they want. Unfortunately, there are very few people – especially 17-year-olds facing the college application process – who have a very strong sense of self and know exactly what they want.
Now, I actually think this “indecisiveness” is a good thing. It means you are flexible and well-rounded and would do well in many settings, and that’s awesome. Unfortunately, applying to college makes this a difficult trait to live with. When you begin looking at schools, for example, people ask you if you want big or small like it’s something you should inherently know; as if you’ve known how big you want your college class sizes to be as long as you’ve known your eye color. When you leave a campus tour, your parents ask you if you could “see yourself” on that campus. “Of course I can,” I used to tell my mom. “I was just there.” And when you look at supplemental essay questions, you’re asked “What makes you happy?” and “What are your dreams?” as if you only have one thing that makes you happy, or one dream for the future, and you should be pumped someone has finally asked you about it!
My point is: essay topics aren’t going to come easily to you if you don’t know exactly who you are and what you want. And that’s OK, because I can help. Here are five steps to finding the perfect supplemental essay topic. All it requires is a piece of paper, a pen, and some reflection:
Turns out a blank piece of paper and a pen can really clarify this process, even for those of you out there who can’t choose a restaurant, let alone an essay topic for the question: "What are your dreams?”