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Autobiography Example for College

Learn How to Write an Autobiography for College With an Example

Writing an autobiography to send along with your college application can be quite easy once you know what to write and how to write it. This article will give you instructions on writing one along with an example.
Sujata Iyer
Last Updated: May 12, 2018
A good autobiography is a documentation of one's life, in such a way, that it makes the readers imagine themselves as the person in it. Step by step, as the story of one's life unfolds, the readers are enthralled and get captivated by the experiences and emotions mentioned in the autobiography. They feel one with the writer and they go on a trip with him into his world and explore all the avenues that the writer himself has. As I said, a good autobiography will make all this happen. If you're looking for guidelines on writing one for college, then you must read this Penlighten article. It will give you some pointers.

The first step towards writing an autobiography is to sit yourself down and remember all the things and people that are important to you. Sit and remember incidents from your childhood. You know yourself best. Think of some of the habits that you have developed. Try to find out how you came to form them. Was it a particular incident that triggered the behavior or was it an inherent quality that you were born with. Once you start with this process, you'll come up with so many things that you'll want to write about. So, good luck!

Jot 'em Down
Once you think you have the required concentration level, sit with a paper and pen (or your computer) and write down every tiny little detail that you can remember about your life. Right from kindergarten, to high school, segregate your experiences. Have separate sections for school and home. Separate sections for the good and bad memories. Different sections for different emotions that you felt while growing up. All the times you were confused. All the times you were angry. All the people who helped, hated, loved, angered, annoyed, or pleased you. You'll be surprised at how much you'll remember once you start writing.

Once you have so much material, you need to start writing. You need to decide the theme or angle that your autobiography will have. For a college application, it is obvious that you need to create a good impression to the reader, as your admission depends on it to quite an extent. So, choose a theme that highlights your best abilities and shows that you are not afraid to admit that you have some flaws too, and that you're willing to work on them. Draft one based on these points.

Writing an autobiography means a lot of self searching and researching. In the course of this searching and researching, you are bound to come across a lot of people that will be worth mentioning. You can mention as many people as you want. Just make it a point to inform all the noteworthy people among them, that they have been included. By noteworthy, I mean all those who have got a 'special' mention in your write-up.


For Emma
I still remember that day. The day when I decided I wanted to be a writer. It was bright and sunny, and I was walking to school. My sweet neighbor, Mrs. Simmons handed me a candy as I passed her home, just like she did everyday. That day she gave me a red one. My favorite color. And I knew it meant something special. She kissed my forehead and told me (like she did everyday) that I reminded her of her grand-daughter, who had died at the age of 9. That day, she said she had a secret to tell me. She said that her grand-daughter, Emma always wanted to be a writer. Mrs. Simmons told me how much she missed Emma, and gave me a copy of David Copperfield, from Emma's cupboard. She said that was the least she could do and just smiled a mysterious smile. I was already a voracious reader at age 12 then, and was jubilated to receive a classic! So I just thanked her and left for school.

When I returned home, I immediately ran up to my room, finished my homework and began reading. I continued reading till my eyes closed and I fell asleep and the next morning, as soon as I woke up, I continued reading till I finished it. When I was done, I was in a completely different world. The trials and tribulations that I faced were nothing compared to David's experiences. And I simply could not help but admire the great Charles Dickens.

Just as I was beginning to imagine myself as a renowned writer, my mother came into my room. She was visibly distraught. When I asked her what the matter was, she simply hugged me and sobbed. After a few moments, she told me that Mrs. Simmons had passed away in her sleep the previous night.

It was the greatest epiphany I had (I was only 12, after all). Suddenly it all fell into place. Mrs. Simmons giving me the book. And her passing away into the next world while I was discovering a new one of my own. I do not remember if I cried. All I remember is, that day, I decided that if there was anything I could do for the sweet lady who pampered and spoiled me with candy every single day, for the lady who loved and missed her grand-daughter so dearly, it was to fulfill her last wish. It was that day that I decided that I was going to be a writer. And that is exactly what I hope to learn from your prestigious institute. By learning to write well, I want to ensure that wherever the sweet Mrs. Simmons is, she's wiping a tear of joy. From her eyes and from Emma's too.

These guidelines and the example are sure to have helped you and given you an idea about how to go about writing your own autobiography. Have a good time, reminiscing and writing. Remember, the key is to remember!