I'm very horrible at starting out any type of formal writing myself, because I'm not very interesting, nor do I know how to hook people into my writing. But, I'll have to be applying for colleges soon, so i was given an assignment to write a practice college essay that is between 500 and 600 words. I chose the topic to describe myself, and I'm not sure how to start out my essay.
Can someone provide me with an example of an introduction to an essay of this sort?
As a writer, you shouldn't worry so much about getting your essay perfect the first time. It's a gradual process. You can be as open or as reserved as you want. How would you describe yourself? Are you an emotional person? What do you want to be when you grow up? Since it's a practice essay for college, you may want to talk about the type of person you are in relation to the university of your choice. What is it about you that makes you want to go to this university? Do you enjoy the outdoors? Do you enjoy collaborating with other like-minded people? Do you consider yourself to be a hard worker? Are you a simple person or do you prefer glamour, fame, and fortune?
Take some time to think about this. Going to college is a big decision, and you want to make sure that you're going to college for the right reasons. Spend a day or two thinking about who you are, what you want to do, and where you'd like to go. While you're doing that, also take the time to write down your thoughts in a journal. After 2 to 3 days, you should have enough material to write your college essay.
As additional input, I would like to advice you to look at the freely available samples of personal statements online. By reading the work of other students, you will be able to develop an idea of what your basic personal statement should be like. This will also help you develop a personal writing style. Additionally, you will gain some insight into the essay prompts used by various universities for their personal statement requirements. It would be a good idea for you to start writing about yourself using the samples that you read. That way you at least have a starting point for your practice papers and can get a clear idea of how you want to finally present yourself on paper when your time to apply for college comes :-)