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Students reflect during Lenten season

Meg Handelman | Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Whether giving up their favorite food, kicking a bad habit, or working to incorporate something positive into their daily routine, Notre Dame students are coming up with new and unique ways to recognize Lent.

Sophomore Pat Haggerty said that for Lent, he intends to quit using Tinder, the newly popular iPhone dating application.

“It’s a total time killer and distraction,” Haggerty said. “Plus, it makes for awkward sightings on campus. Also, I don’t want to get ‘Lennay Kekua’ed.'”

Sophomore Jack Souter, a resident of Fisher Hall, said he plans to give up going into other male dorms for the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter.

“I feel that this will help strengthen my Fisher identity,” Souter said. “The community in Fisher is the only place I can truly be myself.”

Sophomore Thomas Kleiber is prepared to refuse discussion over the controversial change in dining hall menus on Fridays during Lent.

“I’m giving up arguing with people over whether the dining hall should serve meat or not,” Kleiber said. “It’s pointless and annoying.”

Some of the most popular ways to observe Lent this year are plans to give up drinking soda, cutting swear words out, working out daily and making a point to attend church more often.

“This isn’t very original but I’m giving up sweets and soda,” sophomore Claire Cosgrove said, echoing many of her classmates. “I have a sweet tooth and like to drink soda, so it’s always really hard and challenges me through all of Lent.”

Junior Susan Nichols said she was planning to quit swearing for 40 days for the second year in a row. Nichols said cutting curse words out of her vocabulary is a good thing to remember in daily life and Lent provides a perfect opportunity to motivate her to stick to her goal.

Sophomore Allie Gerspach decided to use Lent as motivation to be more practical in daily life.

“I’m going to give up up buying coffee,” Gerspach said. “My flex points will benefit, [and] it’s a luxury that I don’t need when I can just make coffee in my room.”

During Lent, many activities will take place to help students observe the period of reflection, including meat-free dining halls on Fridays, daily rosary prayers at the Grotto and a weekly “Stations of the Cross” event. Notre Dame Campus Ministry encourages students to use Lent as a time for self-reflection and improvement.

“Whenever we talk about Lenten sacrifices, then, or even about the environmental and liturgical changes that mark the season, we can put all of those in the context of preparing ourselves – as individuals and as a Church – for the new life we all put on at Easter,” Campus Ministry’s website stated.  

Sophomore Susanna Floyd, who is involved with Campus Ministry, said Lent is a good time for students to think about the meaning of Easter in the days leading up to the holiday.

“The best thing about Lent is being given an opportunity not only to make daily sacrifices, but to reflect on why I’m sacrificing,” she said.