Picking an essay topic is overwhelming. With 17 or 18 years of stories, how can a student narrow it down to just one? One fun way is for the student to imagine their life like a movie. What scenes stand out? And what personal qualities and values are expressed through those scenes? Once they jot down a rough draft of a few short scenes, they can have someone else read them and tell them which they find most compelling. And that's their topic.
"When you’re starting a college essay and you’re not sure what to write about, how about imagining your life as a movie? Pick out three of the most compelling scenes from your life, set a timer, and write about them for five minutes each. Once you’re done, have someone else read what you wrote [...] and say which one was most compelling—and write your essay on that."