A narrative essay is a story you tell about yourself, your experiences, and your thought processes.

The purpose of writing a narrative essay isn’t just to tell a tale but to figure out a deeper meaning behind each experience. Students are encouraged to find a moral or a theme that they can pull out from their experiences that changed their lives, even in the slightest possible manner.

In this article, we enlist personal narrative ideas for high school to get you started.

3 Personal Narrative Ideas for High School Students

Personal narrative essays are common writing assignments. However, the biggest roadblock high school students face is not being able to come up with interesting personal narrative ideas.

If your idea is weak, there’s no way you can write a high-scoring personal narrative essay. To make your lives easier, we’ve put together 13 personal narrative ideas for high school you can take inspiration from and kickstart your essay.


When writing about experiences, you have to look at both the positive and negative experiences you’ve come across in your life and write them in a professional and literary manner.

To come up with an interesting and appropriate topic for your essay, reflect on your thoughts concerning your life experiences, then expand on why the memory you’ve chosen as your topic is important to you and how it has left an imprint in your life.

Flow with your words and describe appropriately but in detail to make your narrative catchy and attention-grabbing for your professors.

Here are a few topic ideas you can use to write about:

  • an experience that taught you life lessons;
  • a frightening experience;
  • a life-changing experience;
  • success story experiences;
  • an experience that taught you to survive on your own;
  • an unpleasant experience;
  • an almost-death experience.


Most of the time, there are very few chances of remembering all or most of your childhood memories.

However, there must be a few that left a lasting mark, like a memory that was significant to you or your loved ones, a first-time experience that imprinted in your mind, or happy or fun days that still bring a smile to your face.

As a child, your imagination is very vivid and vast, and there could be scenarios that were dreamt or imagined. These memories are still considered a part of your childhood. Use them to write a great and fascinating narrative essay.

Here are a few topic ideas you can use to write about:

  • your favorite cartoon or animation show;
  • a memorable summer vacation;
  • what did you want to be when you grew up, and why;
  • a memorable birthday party and what made it memorable;
  • a childhood best friend.
Here’s an interesting video on how to talk about your childhood by Nessa Palmer.

School life

Your school years are your formative and developmental years. It’s the first step toward adulthood. During this period of your life, you learn and experience a lot of things, as well as get essential knowledge through teachings and life lessons that play a big role in the development of your behavior, cognitive thinking, and personality.

Everyone remembers their school years, be it a positive or a negative experience, and that is why it is the perfect topic example for writing a narrative essay that is funny, relatable, and makes you go back to one of the most important, unique but challenging times of your life.

Here are a few topic ideas you can use to write about:

  • What was your most favorite or least favorite subject, and why?
  • A teacher you idolized?
  • What was your first day at school like?
  • Describe the time you went on a school trip.
  • What was the funniest thing that happened in your class?
  • What was your worst school memory?
  • Did any of your teachers or peers influence you into becoming who you are today?


As you grow older, your relationship with your parents and siblings gets stronger; you make more friends -- new friends who become inseparable and get into deep relationships, casual affairs, and strong bonds.

Writing about your relationships and what they teach you, how they affected you, what mistakes you made, and what you learned through them will branch out into a variety of topic ideas that you can use to craft your narrative essay.

Here are a few topic ideas you can use to write about:

  • your relationship with your sibling(s);
  • the person who you’re most afraid to lose;
  • the friendship breakup that devastated you;
  • what is the worst argument you’ve had with your loved one;
  • your best friend;
  • a time you faced rejection.

Interests and hobbies

Everyone has a hobby or is interested in specific things, such as music, surfing, dancing, and art. Additionally, people can have multiple hobbies or can be very skilled at a couple of things they are interested in.

Through your interests and hobbies, people can understand you as a person and can relate to your interests as theirs. It causes your readers to get more hooked on your narrative and helps them correlate with your experiences and how you dealt with them.

Here are a few topic ideas you can use to write about:

  • If you were a TV character, who would you be?
  • What is that one talent you’ve always had?
  • Talk about your favorite hobby and why you enjoy it.
  • My favorite musician or band.
  • What movie impacted you greatly?
  • How do you know if your interests made you who you are?
  • A sporting event you attended or participated in.

High school life

High school is an interesting time in everyone’s lives.

You get to create amazing stories as you’ll meet new people, you’ll learn new subjects, you’ll have a new routine, you’ll get a new sense of independence and a set of new expectations that need to be met.

Here are a few topic ideas you can use to write about:

  • The first day you moved into your dorm room;
  • The toughest exam you gave;
  • Most embarrassing moment in class;
  • A lecture or a seminar that left a lasting impression on you;
  • What challenges did I face while writing a research paper or a thesis in high school?

Imaginative (Imagine if..)

Brainstorming topics like these need your full-fledged imagination so that you can come up with interesting, hypothetical, and quirky topic ideas for your narrative essays.

This is one of the more popular topic ideas because you can make up anything.

Here are a few topic ideas you can use to write about:

  • Imagine if you won the lottery. How are you going to spend it?
  • Imagine if you experience something paranormal. What would you do?
  • Imagine if you were a superhero. What would you do?
  • Imagine if you had a time machine. Where would you travel to?
  • Imagine if, one day, your favorite character came to your home. What would happen?

About you

This subtopic is also a favorite amongst students as they can write about themselves, delve into deeper meanings and understand the experiences they went through.

Here are a few topic ideas you can use to write about:

  • what is the weirdest thing about you;
  • what is your biggest fear, and what was your first encounter with it;
  • what unique talent do you have that very few people have;
  • what do you do when you spend your time alone;
  • what is the worst/best day of your life;
  • things you love about yourself;
  • things you could tell your younger self.

Travel experiences

Travel experiences are a big hit for narrative writing topic ideas. You can write about local places that you’ve been to, countries or cities you have visited, different cultures that you have experienced, or even places that you would like to visit in the future.

In these topics, you can expand using excerpts from your memories or use photographs to think about your experience and write it down in a narrative structure.

Keep in mind to focus on one event or experience, as writers usually make the mistake of writing about their entire travel experience which your readers may stray their attention from your essay when they get less interested in the subject.

Some topic ideas that you can include in this section are:

  • What is your ideal vacation?
  • Have you ever been pick-pocketed? Describe your experience.
  • Would you like to live in another country? Where and why?
  • What was your impression when you visited a major historical site?
  • Describe a day you were traveling, and something terrible happened.
  • Write about your favorite summer vacation trip.
  • What was your first flight experience on a trip abroad?
  • Have you ever gotten lost in a city? How did you find your way back?
  • How is food different in your country than in your favorite foreign country?

Moments of inspiration

Have you ever had a moment in your life that inspired you to do great things? Whatever your source of inspiration is, whether it's about a trip, a beautiful view with a backstory, a classic literature novel, your peers and friends, or an unexpected incident -- you can always use these to frame an interesting piece of writing.

Moments that cause you to be inspired about something always have a significant meaning behind them. It may help you succeed in something you were nervous about, it may help you face your fears, it may help you to feel motivated to work toward yourself, or it can just make you feel happy about the life you’re living.

Some topic ideas that you can include in this section are:

  • Write about a person who inspired you to keep trying and never fall back.
  • What’s your favorite inspirational movie?
  • Have you ever felt like you could do better? Write about what inspired you to do better.
  • Have you been inspired by a character in a novel? How do you empathize with this character?
  • Who is your role model outside your family members?
  • What is the best advice that you’ve gotten from someone? Expand on how it changed you.
  • Write about the teacher in your life who has played a major role in inspiring you.

Personality traits

Every person has their own personality, and every personality is unique, varied, and has its own story to tell. You can write a narrative essay about your strengths, weaknesses, your different moods, characteristics, important traits, etc.

There are many topics that you can use when writing about your personality and you can expand on them thoroughly using your own experiences, memories, other perspectives, and how you define your personality. Some of them include the following:

  • What makes you happy?
  • How much self-control do you have?
  • How well do you take criticism?
  • Do you have any personal rituals?
  • Do you perform better when you’re competing or when you’re collaborating?
  • How competitive are you?
  • How often do you cry?
  • What is an irrational fear of yours?
  • What is your experience in solving a dilemma?
  • Discuss what assumptions people make about you.
  • List and discuss your personal superstitions.
  • Have you been a leader all your life, or are you a follower?
  • Do you take risks? Are you a daredevil or just spontaneous?
  • Do you have a phobia? Describe an incident where you faced your fears.


Music is a very vital part of human life. It spreads happiness, soothes your soul, it can make you feel relaxed, motivated, peaceful, and emotional. It can also be your escape, your only method to working without being distracted, your way to take off the entire day’s energy. Music is therapy for a lot of people who use it to feel calm and joy.

You must have turned to your favorite song or genre whenever you needed a helping hand with your troubles or influenced your friends to listen to a song that you relate to on another level.

Music is a part of people’s journeys, and multiple experiences and stories can take place in your life because of it. Here are some topics on music that you can write your narrative essay on:

  • Who in your life introduces you to new music?
  • Is there a music composition that cheers you up instantly?
  • What’s your go-to music genre for work?
  • Do you prefer listening to lyrical or instrumental music? Why?
  • Who is your guilty pleasure music artist/band? List out reasons why.
  • What’s your favorite karaoke song?
  • Which pop star inspires or fascinates you?
  • How much is your taste in music similar to or different from your friends?
  • Do you have specific songs which always remind you of a memory?
  • Write about the most exciting experience you’ve had in your life related to music.

Sports and games

Sports and games are both essential for the mental health of students. It increases your immunity, increases blood flow in the body, and makes you adaptable to exertion. Sports are generally played outdoors, whereas games can be played indoors.

Through sports and games, your mind recharges and starts thinking of strategies to succeed. It helps you become more creative and makes your body and mind agile. It helps you keep your body fit and increases stamina.

Similarly, through sports and games, you can learn team spirit, leadership skills, ambitions, and competitiveness. You also develop analytic and strategic thinking. You learn to work toward your goals and build character.

Here are a few topics for a sports or games-related narrative essay:

  • What was your first sports event like?
  • List out the sports you are good at and why?
  • Have you ever had a bad accident while playing a sport?
  • How has your favorite sport changed your life?
  • Is there a board game that you always win? Which one is it and why?
  • What is your one go-to game or sport for any weather, any mood?
  • Who is your favorite sports player? Why and what makes them stand out?
  • How have you changed since you started playing a sport?
  • Are you good at card games? Describe one experience where you were outstanding.
  • Write about sports that don’t interest you. Explain why you do not enjoy them.
  • If you could play for any team in any sport, which team would you pick and why?
  • Write about a friend you made by being involved in athletics.


To conclude, personal narrative essays are in a league of their own. They are simple, engaging, relatable, and always have a moral or learning behind each story or each experience.

These personal narrative ideas for high school and college students will initiate their imagination to write a top-grade quality essay that their professors will come to love and remember through their way of transforming experiences into thought-provoking content.

If you find yourself stuck, reach out to Writers Per Hour. Our expert essay writers will help you write a compelling personal narrative essay that will not only bring out personal experiences but will also get you the grades you desire.

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Achieve Academic Success with Expert Assistance!

Custom Essays:

Crafted from Scratch for You.

Plagiarism Removal:

Ensuring Your Work’s Originality.

Rewriting & Paraphrasing:

Transform Your Draft into Excellence.

Editing & Proofreading:

Perfecting Your Paper’s Grammar, Style, and Format (APA, MLA, etc.).