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. 

  1. 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.”

  1. 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.”

  1. 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.” 

  1. 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.”

  1. 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.”