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 topics 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:
Compare and Contrast Essay Prompts
Persuasive Essay Prompts
Expository Essay Topics
15 Reflective Essay Topic Ideas Worth A Discussion
A reflective essay is one that explores someone’s personal insight on a particular topic. You want to describe the event, experience or moment in life and then explain that experiences or what you learned from it. The first thing to help write a great reflective essay is to make an outline. By making an outline can organize your ideas into paragraphs.
An outline breaks down your essay into sections:
This is where you will present your topic and then work towards your thesis. The thesis is the main part of the paper. It is usually one or two sentences in length and it lets the reader know what the paper is about. You can give a little background information to set the scene.
- Body Paragraph I
- Body Paragraph II
- Body Paragraph III
An experience or event that effected you
The effects of the experience or event on you or others
What you learned from the experience or event
By laying out your essay like this first it makes it easier to rearrange your ideas to better express your point. By organizing your essay like this it makes the writing process a lot faster and easier because you don’t have to think about what to write next because you’ve already done so.
Reflective Essay Topics
- Watching lighting late at night.
- High school experience you can’t forget.
- Event that broke my heart.
- The most challenging homework task you ever had to do.
- The moment you realized you were in love with someone.
- The day my sister/brother was born
- My children are my purpose for living.
- Why I still love my high school sweetheart.
- The little thing that I will do to make the world a better place
- My special qualities that make me stand out in a crowd of people.
- Why I’m not the same person I was when I was younger.
- How I’m working towards leaving a great legacy.
- Methods of dealing with increased crime in your country.
- The value of adult education in a society
- What role has education played on your personality?
This essay reflects on a past experience that you have had. You will want to let your reader relive the experience so that you can get an idea of what you went through.