Lent: Not just about giving up the chocolate!

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The time of Lent has finally fallen upon us, leading many to throw out packets of digestive biscuits, chocolates, alcohol, or other unhealthy comestibles. Today, Lent has become a time to cleanse our bodies and undergo a much needed health kick. The reasons for giving something up vary. A number still take on the challenge with Jesus in mind, hoping to give something up to honour the suffering he took upon himself when he ventured forty days and forty nights without food. However, a large number of people commit to Lent to better or challenge themselves. Either way, Lent teaches us gratitude for the things we have and can be beneficial for Christians and Non-Christians alike.

If you’re a student at University, giving something up for Lent can be even harder. Your flatmates may not participate in Lent with you and if you’re going to give up alcohol, well…a dry night at FND may not sound like the best of plans. The temptations to give in are stronger, but surely this would make the completion of Lent more rewarding. With the vast amount of students on campus, you’re also bound to find support and others undertaking the difficult task.

If you’re not keen on giving up an unhealthy food or drink item, there are other things you can sacrifice. Lent is customisable and there are no strict rules revolving what you give up. You could, for example, give up social networking. No facebook, twitter, Instagram for forty days and forty nights. If you consider this unthinkable (let’s be honest, we are far too reliant on social networking it’s a little scary…), you could simply reduce the amount of time spent social networking. You could give up porn…You could give up something small such as swearing, or you could give up your car and make use of your feet or public transport instead! The list is endless.

One wonderful idea is to do the opposite: take something up! Although not conventional, this is a spectacular idea which can open our horizons and lead to personal development. Instead of sacrificing time spent doing something, you could devote your time to a cause, a hobby…anything! Let your imagination run wild. Whether you learn to appreciate something in your life through the loss of it, learn discipline or discover something new through giving it a go, Lent provides many with an opportunity to learn and grow. Not to mention, university students are drawn to challenges! Prove yourselves, teach yourselves or love yourselves to better health. Lent might be important to Christians in the lead up to Easter, but it is something we can all take part in.

Serena Gainda

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