“What Brings You Joy” College Essay (Structure, FAQs)

As a college applicant, you may be tasked with writing a personal essay that tells the admissions committee more about who you are.

One common essay prompt asks, “What brings you joy?”

This question allows you to reflect on what makes you happy and how you find joy.

This article will explore critical things to consider as you write your “What brings you joy?” college essay.

Here’s How To Structure Your College Essay On ‘What Brings You Joy’

You can find out what gives you joy in the following ways:

1. Reflect

One way to define joy is to reflect on past experiences that have brought us joy.

Think about a time when you felt pleased and content.

What were you doing? Who were you with? What made that experience special?

This can help you identify what brings you joy and define what joy means to you.

2. Identify

Another way to define joy is to identify the things in your life that currently bring you joy.

This could be anything from spending time with friends and family to participating in a hobby or activity you love.

List the things that bring you joy and reflect on why they make you happy.

This can help you better understand the joy and provide examples for your essay.

3. Importance

It’s essential to understand the importance of joy in our lives.

Joy has many benefits, both for individuals and society as a whole. Joy can improve mental and physical health, strengthen relationships, and increase happiness.

Understanding the importance of joy can provide context for your essay and help you explore why joy is worth pursuing.

4. Challenges

It’s important to discuss any obstacles or challenges you have faced in experiencing joy.

This could involve exploring the role of resilience and determination in finding joy.

Sharing your experiences with overcoming obstacles can provide insight into your character and help you convey the importance of joy in the face of adversity.

5. Share Joy

Discussing how you have shared your joy with others can provide examples of how joy can be shared and spread.

This could involve discussing the role of joy in building connections with others and how joy can be used to create a positive impact in the world.

How To Use Personal Anecdotes In Conveying The Feeling Of Joy

As a writer, personal anecdotes are one of the most effective ways to convey your experiences and ideas.

When writing about joy, personal anecdotes can help bring your words to life and showcase the moments that have brought you happiness and positivity. To use personal anecdotes properly, you should:

1. Brainstorm

One effective way to incorporate personal anecdotes into your writing is to start by brainstorming moments in your life that have brought you joy.

These moments can range from everyday occurrences to larger, more significant events.

Some examples might include an exceptionally memorable vacation, a family gathering, a meaningful conversation with a friend, or even a simple moment of gratitude.

2. Illustrate

Once you have identified a few moments of joy, think about using these personal anecdotes to illustrate your points in your writing.

For example, you can write a personal anecdote about when you unexpectedly found happiness during a difficult time.

3. Don’t Overuse

It’s important to remember that personal anecdotes should be used strategically to support your overall message.

Avoid overusing personal anecdotes, as this can detract from the effectiveness of your writing.

Instead, choose a few key moments that are particularly powerful and relevant to your topic.

4. Consider your audience

When incorporating personal anecdotes into your writing, it’s also important to consider your audience.

Think about the experiences and interests of your readers, and choose personal anecdotes that will resonate with them.

This can help create a sense of connection and engagement with your readers.

Importance of Joy in the “What Brings You Joy” College Essay

As human beings, we all strive for happiness and positivity in our lives.

One of the most potent sources of happiness and positivity is joy.

When writing a college essay on ‘What brings you joy?’, you should remind yourself and your audience about the importance of joy in our lives and its benefits to individuals and society.

Here are some of them:

1. Joy Is Essential For Our Overall Well-being

When we experience joy, our brains release chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, which are associated with pleasure and happiness.

These chemicals help reduce stress, improve mood, and boost our immune system.

In this way, joy is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health.

2. Personal Growth And Development.

When we experience joy, we are more likely to engage in activities promoting personal growth, such as learning new skills, pursuing hobbies, and building meaningful relationships.

Joy helps us stay motivated, focused, and engaged, leading to greater purpose and fulfillment.

3. Better society

When people experience joy, they are likelier to be kind, generous, and empathetic toward others.

This leads to a greater sense of community and social connection, essential for building strong, resilient communities.

Moreover, joyful people are more productive, creative, and innovative, which ultimately contributes to the growth and prosperity of society.

Overcoming Obstacles To Joy

These are the obstacles to joy and how to overcome them:

1. Stress

Stress can make it difficult to experience positive emotions, as we are often preoccupied with negative thoughts and feelings.

To overcome this obstacle, it’s important to prioritize self-care and stress management.

This may involve engaging in activities such as meditation, exercise, or spending time in nature.

Caring for our mental and physical health can create a foundation for experiencing joy in our lives.

2. Negative self-talk

Sometimes, we may tell ourselves that we don’t deserve to be happy or aren’t capable of experiencing joy.

However, we must challenge our negative self-talk and replace it with positive affirmations to overcome this feeling.

This may involve seeking support from friends or loved ones or working with a therapist to address underlying issues contributing to negative self-talk.

3. The belief that we need external factors to be happy

We may need a specific job, relationship, or material possessions to experience joy.

However, the reality is that joy comes from within, and we can cultivate joy in our lives regardless of our external circumstances.

By focusing on gratitude and positivity and cultivating a sense of purpose and meaning, we can overcome this obstacle and experience greater joy.

How to Share Joy With Others

While experiencing moments of joy can be profoundly personal and meaningful, sharing that joy with others can amplify the feeling and create a sense of connection and community.

In your essay, you must explore how you shared joy with others and how others shared joy with you.

1. Through acts of kindness and generosity

This may involve sharing a smile or compliment with a stranger or going out of your way to help someone in need.

By extending kindness and positivity to others, we can create a ripple effect of joy and inspire others to do the same.

2. Celebrating our accomplishments and successes with those around us

This may involve sharing news of a promotion or achievement with colleagues or celebrating a personal milestone with loved ones.

Sharing our joy and accomplishments can build stronger connections and inspire others to pursue their goals and dreams.

3. Participating in communal activities and experiences

This may involve volunteering for a charity event, attending a concert or festival with friends, or simply enjoying a meal or activity with loved ones.

By sharing these experiences, we can create a sense of shared joy and connection that can deepen our relationships and bring us closer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) On ‘What Brings You Joy’ College Essay

How do I get motivated to write an essay?

You can draw inspiration to write a college essay by reading other essays, reading a book, and using your personal experiences.

What is the primary factor that can inspire you to put in your best efforts in college?

The personal sense of achievement that comes with attending university/college is a significant factor motivating you to attend college.

What do I talk about in my college essay?

Always spend a large chunk of your college essay discussing your strengths, personal experiences, or hobbies. Moreover, you can also talk about your weaknesses and how you are working hard to correct them.

What are the tips for succeeding in college?

To excel at college, study with others, maintain a schedule, attend all the classes, and draw closer to your professors.


‘What brings you joy’ college essay is a great platform to express yourself, educate, and enlighten your audience through personal experiences.

It’s important to note to your readers that joy is a complex emotion that can be derived from various sources, both big and small.

For some, joy may come from achieving personal goals or experiencing new and exciting things.

For others, joy may be found in the simple pleasures of everyday life, such as spending time with loved ones or enjoying a quiet moment alone.

Regardless of where joy comes from, it is an essential part of our lives that can bring meaning, purpose, and fulfillment.

We can cultivate a more joyful and satisfying life by reflecting on what brings us joy and actively seeking out these experiences.

Awesome one; I hope this article answers your question.

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