The Common App provides a list of essay prompts here: https://www.commonapp.org/blog/2019-2020-common-app-essay-prompts
A really great exercise (takes roughly an hour) is to sit down and spend 8 minutes responding to each essay prompt. From there, (take a break first!) go back and choose 2-3 you feel you could expand upon while evoking some sort of emotion from a reader (like I mentioned above). Over a few days, take some time to develop those topics and see which stands out to you the most.
Also - have someone ELSE (or several someones) READ your essay!! Don't be afraid to ask someone you think might be very critical - and keep an open mind to suggestions. It's also helpful just for grammatical tuning purposes.
Maggie recommends the following next steps:
- Try the quick writing exercise, which will give you a decent start on 7-8 topics!
- Pick 2-3 of those and work to develop those essays/statements
- Decide which ONE resonates with you most and fly with it
- Have someone (or two, or five) read your essay and give feedback
- Submit that statement!