Tell us about your educational history, work experience, present situation, and plans for the future. Please make sure to reflect on why you consider yourself a nontraditional student and have chosen to pursue your education at the School of General Studies of Columbia University. Successful essays should identify and describe specific elements of the program, academic or otherwise, that meet your needs as a nontraditional student. The admissions committee is particularly interested in situations in your life from which you have learned and grown. This may include past academic experiences, professional accomplishments, or turning points and transformative events: new beginnings and personal achievements, but also events that may have affected your education, such as health and family challenges, personal obstacles or even issues with the justice system. Our expectation is that your reflection on your experiences will demonstrate your potential to add a unique perspective to the Columbia classroom.