A reflective essay calls on the writer to express your own views of an experience.
Sometimes, reflective writing will ask you to think more deeply about a book, movie, musical work, or piece of art. Other times, the topics will invite you to reflect on a personal encounter or other experience.
These four reflective essay prompts for high school students are more personal in nature. For your essay, choose a topic that speaks to you the most.
1. The Wind Beneath My Wings
A role model is a person you look up to—someone you respect or admire more than anyone else. Who is your role model? Your grandpa? Youth pastor? Coach? What have you learned from this person? Which of their character qualities or traits do you hope to one day have yourself? Write an essay explaining how this individual has influenced who you are today.
2. Can I Get a Do-Over?
By the time you reach high school, you have already experienced some of life’s ups and downs. You’ve seized some great opportunities and turned your back on others. Though you’ve made good choices, you have also made poor ones. You’ve both rejected and heeded good advice. Looking back, surely there are things you wish you had done differently. Write an essay sharing your most important piece of advice with a younger sibling or friend.
3. The Time of My Life
Have you lived or traveled overseas? Held an interesting or unusual job? Participated in a sport that challenged you physically and mentally? Think about an unusual experience or incident from your life. Write a reflective essay explaining how that experience has impacted you and caused you to grow as a person.
4. Picking Yourself Up
No one is immune to failure—scientists, authors, athletes, surgeons, and great leaders can all recount times of falling flat on their faces. Describe a time when you failed at something, and write a short essay explaining what you learned from this experience.
If you enjoyed these reflective essay prompts for high school, be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays! Once a month, we feature topics especially suited for teens, such as: