Students give up pleasures, sacrifice for Christian Lenten season
Giving up something for Lent is an old, Christian tradition, and many students find themselves up to the challenge.
Since Ash Wednesday on Feb. 13, many Christian students have focused on self-examination and strengthening their religious beliefs with periods of fasting and sacrificing something pleasurable for Lent until Easter on March 31.
Central Michigan University students sacrificed some of the most common pleasures for Lent from candy to arguably more tempting items, such as alcohol.
Taylor senior Kaitlyn McCombe attempts to give something up every year and is now eliminating meat from her diet for the first time.
"I have always wanted to try giving up meat, but I have never actually done so," McCombe said. "I figure Lent would be a good time to try because it would be 40 days, and then if I have the willpower to go without it for that long, I can hopefully attempt to become a vegetarian."
McCombe explained that over the years, it has become harder to stay focused and not give in to temptations, but she is determined and giving it a definite try this year.
Some students are breaking the social norms this year and getting creative with their sacrifices.
Spring Lake junior Shelby Shafer is among many who partake in Lent every year. Now, she is walking away from Starbucks for 40 days to focus more on her religion.
"I go to Starbucks at least three times a week," Shafer said. "And giving that up, I will be able to use that money to support my mission trip to Costa Rica."
Shafer explained it is sometimes a challenge to stay true to the Lent sacrifices.
"It teaches you a lot about self-discipline, that's for sure." Shafer said.
Dearborn Heights senior Keith Jones is giving up all alcohol for Lent because of a challenge set by a friend.
"This is the first time I am doing this because a friend challenged me to it, and I want to prove I can do it," Jones said.
Jones is also using Lent as a way to get healthier and develop better habits.
"I have never been the typical party guy, but I want to detox my body and feel healthier," Jones said.