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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

College: a time for risks and adventure

<ntemplating their options for next year, seniors find themselves with many paths to choose from. Some will head directly to graduate school or professional training programs. Others will begin engagements with non-profit or charitable organizations. For all, however, leaving Carleton marks a significant transition, one accompanied by the fear of what comes next. The following few months represent one of the last good opportunities to seek adventure, before the constraints and responsibilities of real adulthood set in. For two of us, this transition will begin on the sandy roads of central Asia.

Imagine yourself deep in the plains of Kazakhstan, in a car ill-equipped for a long journey, its battered sides holding up against the dust storm rising from the dirt track your map insists is a motorway. This is the Mongol Rally, a 10,000 mile car rally from Western Europe to Mongolia. With 500 teams departing July 24th from London, Barcelona and Milan, the sixth edition of the rally is designed to raise funds for charities active in Mongolia, including the Mercy Corps. In addition to donating their vehicle, all teams commit to raising a minimum of $1,500 per team for the official Rally charities. Many organizations are grateful for the vehicles as the low cost of labor in Mongolia makes it economical to repair and run old cars that would otherwise be scrapped in Europe. With no pre-set route, the event takes about four weeks to complete. Teams have gone as far north as the Arctic Circle and as far south as Afghanistan to reach Asia. Find out more about the Rally itself and check out the route we are taking at

The Rally is an opportunity to see parts of the world and experience cultures that remain underrepresented in the Carleton community. While some have been quick to write off the project as the delirious folly of two recent college graduates, leading a project such as the Mongol Rally to completion in a meaningful way – that not only provides a break from the ordinary, but also provides needed relief to a disaster-stricken country – is a practical implementation of the philosophy of a liberal arts education.

Ours is simply a reminder to those Carls preparing to take their first steps into the real world, and those underclassmen who will be there soon enough. College, however seriously we take our studies, is a time to take risks and seek out new experiences. Though the two of us are starting with the Mongol Rally, we know this and future generations of Carleton students will find other creative and memorable ways to begin their lives after Carleton.

-Christian Kaas and Alec Roman are fourth year students.

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