Many Hillsdale College stu­dents are par­tic­i­pating in the Christian tra­dition of Lent.

The Catholic Edu­cation Resource Center describes Lent as “a special time of prayer, penance, sac­rifice and good works in prepa­ration of the cel­e­bration of Easter.” A tra­dition that began at the birth of Chris­tianity and gained pop­u­larity after the legal­ization of the faith in A.D. 313, Lent is a forty day period in which Catholics (and some Protes­tants) give up or add things to their life in order to focus on God.

There are many dif­ferent ways in which people cel­e­brate Lent. Here are five examples of what Hilldale stu­dents choose to alter about their lives:

Sophomore Rosemary Pynes

Pynes is adding an addi­tional devo­tional book to her everyday set of readings in order to prepare her for Easter. She says that it allows her to refocus on what is important and to remember the impor­tance of Easter and what Jesus did for us on the cross.


Sophomore Teddy Birkofer

Birkofer isn’t cutting things out of his life — instead, he is adding. He’s including more fruits and veg­etables in his diet, as well as incor­po­rating more prayer into his daily routine. “Lent is about being healthy, both spir­i­tually and phys­i­cally,” he says. “This way, I can do both.”


Sophomore Josephine von Dohlen

Von Dohlen is refo­cusing her time. She isn’t eating between meals, she has given herself an eleven o’clock bedtime, and is reading more spir­itual books so that she can cut out dis­trac­tions and focus.


Freshman Avery Lacey

Lacey is sleeping on the floor for the next forty days of Lent. Instead of ending the day cud­dling up in her warm bed, she is laying beside it on the cold, hard floor. “It’s going to be a hard thing to do every night,” Avery says. “But it’s a good reminder that Jesus went through a lot of physical pain for us, and every time I feel uncom­fortable, I will remember what he went through for me.” She is also picking a person specif­i­cally each day to pray for and inten­tionally focus on, putting herself aside to focus on someone other than herself each day.


Sophomore Andrew Pierce

It isn’t just the Catholics that give things up for Lent — Pierce, a Protestant, is giving up social media. He realized that there were better ways to spend his time and that it would provide him with more time to interact with those around him. “The absence of the social media will be quite prominent,” he said. “When I don’t go on it or can’t find the apps on my phone, I’ll be quickly reminded of why I’m doing this.”