Do your knees buckle when you think about writing your college essay? Is it difficult to choose the best prompt? Since the main purpose of the college application essay is to help admission officers learn what makes you unique and capable to contributing to their school, it is crucial to think about what you want them to know. First, make a list of things that make you stand out. Do you play a musical instrument? Do you like cooking? Have you had any unique travel experiences? Are you passionate about a social cause? Second, journal about these items as you can organize your thoughts later but at least you will have some. After you have some ideas you can take the list of essay prompts and match your ideas with them. Then you can begin to expand them and begin to form a more structured essay. Try to not be too critical of yourself as you can always make edits after. Peer editing is also a great way to get feedback and improve your essay.
For 10th and 11th graders, it would be proactive to read the admission essay topics for the schools you are interested in so that you can gather ideas during the upcoming year for the next year or two.