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.”