Lent is a Christian season of fasting and prayer, has arrived. The 40 days evoke a remembrance of Matthew 4, when Jesus spent 40 days in the desert fasting from food and drink. Out of sacrificial love for Jesus and a desire to become more like him, many Hillsdale students will be prayerfully fasting until Easter. Skipping out on candy and avoiding meat on Fridays are well-known Lenten sacrifices, but here are five different ways some Hillsdale students will be participating in Lent this year.
- Fast from social media
Set aside social media sites like Instagram, Snapchat, Tiktok, and Jodel to create more time during the day for prayer. Instead, bringing spiritual reading up the hill and spending spare time with a book offers more time for God throughout the day.
Deleting social media can also help with productivity.
“I spend way too much time on it, so it’s practical,” sophomore Sam Schaefer said. “Do I need to look at this thing I’ve probably already looked at before, again? No, I could be using my time much better. Honestly, I think it’s been very good. I’m not on my phone as much.”
- Take cold showers
Cold showers are particularly tough fast to choose. It’s a great opportunity to focus on sacrificing that gratification for love of Jesus, but it’s tough to say goodbye to enjoying the comfort of hot water. However, it’s also a simple, doable switch that can be made for the forty days of Lent.
“It really sucks to be cold,” junior Brandt Siegfried said. “I get cold really easily. It’s definitely sacrificial trying to give that up.”
- Drink only water
Skipping the line for soft drinks in the dining hall or avoiding A.J. ‘s newest flavored latte is a straightforward but notable daily fast, perfect for denying oneself in small ways. Saying no to restocked kombucha brings to mind Christ’s presence instead.
For Siegfried, giving up all drinks besides water and milk means giving up enjoying his sense of taste.
“I still don’t have all of my taste back from COVID, and one of the things I could taste really early on was lemonade,” Siegfried said. “So that’s been something I’ve gotten a lot of at Saga.”
He picked his fasts thoughtfully so that they would be unique to him.
“They’re legitimate sacrifices, which are going to teach me to long for Christ like I long for the presence of these things,” Siegfried said. “We should long for Christ’s presence like we long for lemonade or hot water, and most of the time we don’t. So Lent wants to be a transformative season where we step outside of our comforts, we deny ourselves, so we can learn to long for Christ in that way.”
- Don’t add anything to your coffee
Everyone takes their coffee in a specific way, with cream, sugar, honey, or something unique. Fasting from sweet lattes or flavored iced coffees and drinking bitter black coffee instead is a difficult but simple daily fast and a prudent switch for college students also looking to save money at Rough Draft.
“My motto for Lent has been ‘the sacrifice is sweeter,’” sophomore Hannah Cote said. “Because even if I want a fun latte, or even if I want something sweet, the sacrifice I’m making is actually much sweeter than that.”
- Stop snoozing your alarm, and try out the “heroic minute.”
Hitting snooze and rolling back over for another eight minutes of sleep is routine for some college students, and jumping out of bed right away instead of comfortably falling back asleep provides the opportunity to offer the first decision of the day to God.
“The heroic minute means you are not allowed to snooze your alarm, and you have to get up on the first alarm,” Cote said. “It’s been a very painful process. I haven’t accomplished the heroic minute yet this Lent, but I still have time. The reason I’m doing it is to give the first few minutes of my day to Jesus, not to myself.”