Many events, large and small, can make good essays. My sample essay takes a small event, going to the beach, and expands on the meaning that has had in my life. Often, the easiest and best essays are written about something which is ordinary but which has shaped you. That can be a place you visit all the time, a family tradition, a place that makes you feel peaceful, or a one-time event which you feel changed your direction in life.
Sometimes, students worry that they don't have any dramatic story to tell. However, I often find that the dramatic stories (especially if they are recent) are harder for students to actually pull the meaning out of. In fact, some large events in our lives are things we don't fully understand until we are much older (like a parent's divorce or the loss of a loved one).
One way to get a topic is to think about your emotions towards something or some place or memory. If you have strong emotions, then you will probably have a meaning you can draw from that experience.