Divorce: Were you parents divorced? What changed when this happened, did you choose to live with one or the other of your parents? Were you given a choice?
Sibling rivalry: How many children are in your family and where do you fit in? Did you fight with your siblings or were you best friends? Are you an only child and wish you did have brothers and sisters?
Vacations: what is the earliest vacation you can remember taking with you family. Was is a place that was fun and exciting or boring and rainy.
Holidays: did your family host the big holiday dinners or did you go to other family members houses to celebrate?
Illness: has anyone in your family ever suffered through an illness that kept them in the hospital and at home from more than a few weeks? How did it make you feel? What did the family do to get through such a painful time?
Family Pet: what was it? Do you have a funny story behind how the pet became part of the family? Did the pet favor one person in the family over any other?
Your house: was it an apartment in the city or a place in the suburbs? Did you live in the same house for all of your life or as long as you can remember?
Creepy Neighbor: who was the creepy neighbor, every street has one? What made kids think they were creepy?
Did you walk to school or were you bussed?
Did you parents sit on any committee panels and if so how did this impact your later goals?
whose house was the most popular on your block? Where did all the kids hang out? Are you still friends with the first friend you made in kindergarten?
Town Personality: if they wrote a T.V. show about your town what would it be called?
Alone in your town: have you ever been out walking and seen something that you never noticed before? Have you found something that was lost by someone else on your block, like a ball, or money, and were able to return it to that person?
Fire: were there ever fires on your street or in your neighborhood that impacted a family so hard that there had to be a fundraiser for them?
Hoarders: Whose house was filled to the rafters with so much stuff, although it was crazy visiting them you liked that they had so much stuff?
Hideout: when you want to be alone where is your favorite place to go? Can anyone find you there or have you kept it secret?
Bestie: Who is your best friend in the world and how did you meet? Have you ever fought with them? Lied to them?
Hangout: where do you and your friends choose to hangout? Do you change up the meeting place? is there a funny story or tragedy that can be told about the place? Do famous people ever come in there? Is there a favorite song on the juke box you all like?
Road trips: Have you and your friends taken long road trips? What happened, anything outrageous?
Love and relationships: Have you ever had to help you friend through a break-up? Helped them get confident enough to ask someone out? Introduced them to someone on a blind date?
Your first job interview: Were you nervous? How did you do and what was the interviewer like? Were you late? Early? What was the job description and were you already trained for the position?
Funny job story: are you a waiter or waitress and have a descriptive essay you can write about one of your patrons? Did you ever make a really big spill on someone?
Money: what is the most you made and what did you feel about learning what the tax codes meant on your paycheck? (FICA etc.)
What did you buy with your first paycheck?
The boss: were you ever left in charge of your workplace? How did that work out? Did you ever have to fire someone? Were you ever fired?
Learning how to drive: Who taught you how to drive? What was their temperament like? Was it a parent or did you go to driving school?
Where did you go the first time you were able to drive alone?
Were you ever stopped by the police? What happened?
Were you ever in an accident, were you hurt? Was anyone else hurt?
What is the farthest you ever drove to get to where and why?
How did it feel to get your first car? Did you name it, describe how it smelled to you when you first got in and what station you played on the radio.
Explain what you do well and how you do it
Papier Mache’: have you ever had your work displayed? What did you create? Did you do it at home or in school?
Music: Do you love your instrument or were you made to study music as a child? What do you play and how often? Are you in a band? Have you ever performed. How many instruments do you play?
Painting: Do you think that you are good enough to have a show someday? What do you paint? Why? Is art your major and if so why should someone who is gifted choose art as a major?
Computer games: are you addicted to computer games? What about computers makes them a good hobby to pursue?
Residence: When deciding on college will you go away or stay at home and go to a local college?
What did you write about on your entrance essays for the college of your choice?
Were you accepted by the college you wanted to go to, and if not how did it make you feel?
What led to choosing the college you are attending?
Have you changed your major since beginning college, if so why?
Do you work and go to school? How is it working out for you? What advice can you give those who have to work and attend classes?
Are you a fanatic about your GPA? Why are the numbers important and why should they be important to those wanting to attend grad school?
Are you working on your degree to build up your own business or do you plan to work for a corporation?
Has the environment effected your community or your personal family experience? If so how?
Have you ever volunteered to help clean up your community? How important is a clean environment to your community?
What has your community done to be considered a “green” community?
Does your family recycle? Did it take you long to convert to doing it when it became mandatory in your community?
What are your personal feelings on global warming and why?
Winning a race, or losing one.
Family winning the lottery
Special talents you have
Losing is more common than winning, what did you lose? How did you feel? Did you get back up and try again?
Turning points in your life: were you a bully, what made you stop, did you do drugs, are you now clean and sober? Turning points in life are very intense narratives and pull at the gut for emotional content.
Proms, dances, were you the queen / king of the prom or on the cleanup crew?