PAIGE LISTON | OPINION COLUMNIST
As a spiritual preparation for the Easter holiday in early April, the Lenten season is traditionally known as a time of fasting and self-sacrifice.
During Lent, some will choose to give up their favorite sweets while having cheat days on Sunday, or maybe some will abstain from meat every Friday.
Overall, I believe the season of Lent should be a time for self-reflection and self-improvement.
It is a good idea to stick with the traditional Lenten views of giving something up, but it would be beneficial if people chose to do something in order to better themselves rather than simply deciding to not eat chocolate for 40 days.
Sophomore Sarah Lenahan is choosing to take both approaches this season by giving up sweets and meat, but also making a promise she plans to stick with throughout these 40 days.
“I decided to start a prayer wall this Lenten season, and I try to add something to that every day as well as at least one thing that I am thankful for,” she said. “I think this wall will help to remind me how blessed I am and realize how much I have even on the rough days.”
Lenahan said it is a slight challenge to be able to keep up with this every day as a busy college student, but the peace it brings her makes it all worthwhile in the end.
Something as small as taking a few minutes out of your busy schedule to consider what you are thankful for is a good way to improve upon yourself.
This forces you to take a step back from your busy day-to-day life and to look at things from a positive perspective.
Sophomore Gabrielle Vinyard views Lent as a time to reflect on the way she has been living her life thus far during the year.
“Overall, I think Lent is a good time for me to focus on what has been going on in my life,” Vinyard said. “It helps me to decide how I want to continue on with the rest of the year, and I am able to focus on my important goals.”
Lent is a good time to put yourself to the test and challenge yourself to become the type of person you would want to be all year.
For example, during this season I want to focus more on helping others, so I am trying to volunteer more. Not only does this help the people I volunteer for, it helps me to feel better about myself internally, thus improving myself as a person.
As it is only 40 days, it could serve as a trial run that you could perhaps get more and more used to, and then actually incorporate your improvements into your daily life after Lent. Use this time as a way to improve upon your character for the other 325 days out of the year.
It takes about 66 days for a new behavior to become a repeated habit, according to an article in the Huffington Post. If you have already started with the 40 days of Lent, you are already more than half way done. This will help you to improve upon yourself for the rest of the year.
Instead of, or maybe in addition to, giving something up for Lent, make an effort to do something beneficial for yourself and for others, so that you can grow as a person.
I think that is the real reason for the Lenten season.