By Paul Marquez
SAN ANTONIO, TX—As a Catholic university, Our Lady of the Lake offers many opportunities to study and share your faith. Ash Wednesday will occur Feb. 14, which also is the start of Lent. Lent is a time of reflection and fasting during which you abstain from activities and certain foods. Lent this year will end March 31. The reason for fasting is to remember Jesus during those 40 days in which he fasted. As college students, there are many things that can be given up Lent. Here are a few ideas to help you decide.
Social media is a daily fixture for many students. Many use social media to connect with family and friends. Giving up social media for 40 days will be challenging, but the reward is worth it. Remember this too will end. Instead of giving up social media completely, you could limit yourself. This means instead of checking it so often; you check it one a day. This limits your time on social media and allows time for reflection and prayer.
Eating junk food is a habit that has followed many since childhood. That means soda, candy, chips and snacks. During Lent, those who choose to go without junk food, will likely see a changes. While cutting out soda can help in the weight loss, cutting out junk food will also make you feel better about yourself. Your body will adjust to the low intake of sugar and salt and start to process your food faster. In turn, this can allow you to shed some pounds while fasting from junk food. Remember to include fast food in your fast.
For those who are legal age to drink, giving up alcohol might be an option. Alcohol can be a social habit of drinking when going out with friends. Giving up alcohol for Lent will only work if you replace it with another option. Instead drinking your regular beverage at the bar, order something like Red Bull or club soda. Cutting out alcohol is not for everyone. Giving up alcohol means learning to drink something else. You could also add service to your alcohol fast by becoming the designated driver for your friends.
While there are many more options to give up for Lent, these are only a few. Just remember the reason why your fasting. To remember those 40 days Jesus fasted and to pay honor to it.