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  • Writer's pictureaeraustol

I Love Runny Eggs: A College App Brainstorming Exercise

One of my favorite exercises to help ease my college app essay clients out of their heads and into a more safe, creative, authentic space is what I call the, I love…. exercise. It’s probably the most sophisticated and complicated brainstorming activity on the planet. Just kidding, it’s probably the simplest thing you’ll do all day and potentially one of the most comforting and enlightening things you’ll do if you fully let go of an agenda and allow an authentic spontaneity to take over. And I recommend finding a buddy to do this with. You will learn something about yourselves and each other. But it's just as effective for the purposes of getting you ready to begin planning your college app personal statement if you do it alone.


Here are the steps:

Get a blank piece of paper or your computer.

Set your timer for 5 minutes.

Write "I love…. (fill in the blank with things you love)" over and over.

Share your loves with your friend or family member if you are the sharing type.

Go back to your list and circle the five loves that you found most compelling.

Pick one of the items of the five. Write a true story about that thing or just list descriptive words under the thing you love to further open the door to this part of who you are and a time when you felt this love.



Don’t think too hard.

Don’t lift your pencil for too long between each love.

You can use people, places, things, ideas, or activities.

Try to be as specific as possible.


Here is my list:

I love runny eggs on buttered toast.

I love morning coffee with company.

I love wind in the morning.

I love the soft velvet of my dogs ears.

I love watching my children laugh.

I love tomato basil pasta.

I love Friday night movie nights.

I love helping people feel empowered and valued.

I love reading in bed.

I love getting to the top of a mountain.

I love eating a sandwich on the top of a mountain.

I love figuring out the ending to a story.

I love the way my children tease me.

I love the way my lungs feel after a run.

I love doing words with friends.

I love a bath in the winter.

I love warm socks.

I love Norway in the summer.

I love doing puzzles with my parents.

I love witnessing people doing what they love.

I love free-writing with a friend.

I love volleyball.

I love the inky-turquoise of the ocean at dusk.

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Kelli Miller
Kelli Miller

Absolutely love this! Easy, clear-cut steps to get words on paper. Thank you!

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