Make a list of 21 details from your life, interesting facts that describe some small, random part of who you are.

Here are 11 of my 21 details:

  1. We moved 20 times while I was growing up and I attended 13 schools.

  2. My biggest pet peeve is when the waiter takes my food before I’ve finished.

  3. I eat salad with my hands. And never with dressing.

  4. The worst feeling in the world is the dentist’s air suction tube sucking air over my teeth.

  5. I love popping bubble wrap.

  6. When I was young I used to use my finger to wipe off the top layer of toothpaste that I shared with my sister so I wouldn’t get her germs.

  7. I’ve never, ever seriously contemplated suicide.

  8. I find most people fascinating and can talk to just about anyone.

  9. I’ve won several awards in my life, but I’m most proud of these two: finishing second in the elementary school Spelling Bee when I was nine and being named MVP of the middle school floor hockey All-Star game when I was eleven.

  10. The most painful thing I ever experienced was breaking my kneecap in the 10th grade during a basketball game. The physical pain wasn’t the worst part, though: it was losing the rest of the season and watching my team go 0-18.

  11. My three younger brothers and I have never, as far as I can remember, ever had a fight.

See how each is a little tiny glimpse into my world? It’s impossible to capture all of who you are in 25 or even 500 words, but with a few, carefully chosen details, a portrait begins to emerge. Think of these 21 details as a collage.

Once you’ve written your 21 details, look for themes. Is there anything that comes up again and again? That may be a good theme for your essay.

What are some random facts about you? Comment below.

Or click here to learn how this can lead to a great Roommate essay.