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The gap year: volunteering

The Seniority Report

Anna Gunther

Issue date: 11/20/09 Section: Opinion
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Typically utilized by recent high school graduates, the "gap year" has been adopted by recent college grads. This is in part due to a difficult economy, indecisiveness about our futures, or just because we feel the need to embrace the freedom of our youth before we start families and have real jobs. Either way, the gap year is more popular than ever.

It's true that my own plans for the future includes some sort of "gap," I'm going to be strapped for cash and winging it during some form of travel/work/grad-school applications process. Usually this involves traveling abroad, but teaching in various countries or joining the Peace Corps is the standard to fall back on. Teach For America's website states that their requirements include a bachelor's degree, a 2.50 GPA, and an American citizenship. Little requirements make this option a tempting one, especially when we have no set plans for the future and we feel confident that we can conquer all. Volunteering your services to better our youth is beyond admirable, especially when we often sit around thinking about how our college degrees are about as useful as a gold star once we leave the nest of university life. However, it is surprising how many students opt for programs like this as a stand-by, without a real grasp of what they are getting themselves into.

This is not meant to discourage students who are passionate about volunteer work, either in the Peace Corps, or going abroad to teach English in a foreign country. These can be wonderful and life changing experiences. On the flip side, I all too often witness students who flippantly decide on a whim that they are ready for such a decision. When talking to a friend, who already graduated and is working a nine to five office job, about graduating, she casually suggested I sign up to volunteer in a foreign country. While I commend the people who go through with a volunteer position, I doubt my own abilities to do so, and would therefore be doing everyone around me a disservice.
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In This Issue


  • Can you name this place?
  • Class inspires students to start CSEC
  • CWRU's Eco-Party
  • Eyewitness: Editor-in-chief for a day
  • Have you heard about Grupo de Capoeira?
  • Spectrum's sixth annual Drag Ball takes place Saturday
  • The college student's guide to credit cards - Part 3
  • USG creates transparency committee to improve communication
  • USG Brief


  • Colts and Saints are NFL's teams to beat
  • Five thoughts on the '09 season
  • Football's success is built on this senior class
  • Men win Veale Classic
  • Spartan Spotlight: Erin Hollinger
  • Spartans cap perfect 10-0 regular season
  • Spartans get first-ever win against B-W
  • Women's basketball drops lidlifter

Fun Page

  • Combo Scramble Solution
  • Crossword Solution
  • Sudoku Solutions


  • Discriminating against smokers again
  • Editorial: CWRU athletics' accomplishments praiseworthy
  • It takes two to have unsafe sex
  • Nothing much humane about humanity
  • SEC referendum deserves impartial consideration
  • The gap year: volunteering
  • Where is your favorite campus spot to chill, nap or relax?


  • American Music Masters Series wraps up week with Janis Joplin tribute
  • CIM graduate returns to Cleveland with jazz, cabaret aspirations
  • Delta Gamma swims for sight
  • Green is the new black: eco-friendly fashion
  • Hitting the spot: Atlas Sound
  • Holiday season with a cranberry craze
  • Latest installment in popular Call of Duty series improves on already high quality franchise
  • Sigma Psi hosts Mr. CWRU competition to benefit local communities
  • Starving Student: simple grub
  • The Buzz

Cross Country

  • Women finish third in region, qualify for nationals


  • Bracket Breakdown
  • Football Gameday: Case vs. Trine

Sex and Dating

  • Passive pregnancy prevention plan


  • Crooks UAA's Coach of the Year
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