How to Choose Great Personal Experience Essay Topics

Personal narratives are common assignments for high school essays and personal statements for university applications. The personal narrative you choose to write should be real and should include powerful descriptions and different styles of writing. There are many topics that you can choose from. This article discusses a few of those and what each should have in order to be a powerful personal narrative.


A normal family vacation where you went to visit other family members may not actually be a good narrative. If you and your family went to an unusual holiday destination or you described a time when you came across an unexpected thing or event then that would be something you can write about. Make sure you:

  • Write clearly
  • Have a good essay structure
  • The essay should flow as smoothly as the trip itself, hitting the point home with the conclusion.
  • Highlight what you learned from the trip and what changed after the trip for you and your family


This is always a good essay topic but students avoid it because they get uncomfortable writing about it. If you are comfortable writing about something along these lines, then it would be handy to write about it since you will have a lot to say. An added benefit is that since the moment was difficult, the essay will be powerful if written properly.


This essay gets your audience to empathize with you. It is a very popular college app essay because it gives you the chance to describe triumphs and successes that the college admissions team may otherwise not know about. Talk about your initial successes and the hours you put into preparations, the pitfalls, and the moment of success. Make sure you paint a vivid picture of the moment itself. Events you could write about include:

  • Hosting a charity event
  • Playing music for a crowd
  • Saving someone’s life


However common this sounds to you, it can lead to a brilliant insight into a person’s character. It is an out-of-the-blue topic and your reader will be relieved to read one of these after stacks of other essays. Make sure you link the events together as a flowing narrative and not scatter them into bits and pieces of description. This is definitely a difficult topic and hence it isn’t chosen often, but when done well, it can be a brilliant read.

Play to your strengths when you pick a topic. Write about something that you can easily let flow from your system so that you don’t have to think about it much and whatever you are writing make sense. Enjoy the experience while it lasts.

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