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The Celebration of Lent Among Nashoba Students

Olivia Magliozzi, Contributor

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The celebration of Lent has long been practiced by avid Christians throughout the country. Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday (the day when foreheads are marked with ashes to remind Christians that life passes away on Earth) and ends on Holy Saturday (the day Christians commemorate the death of Jesus Christ and prepare for His Resurrection) with the celebration of Easter the next day. Christians use this forty day period to get back to basics in their life and reconnect with their God. The spiritual nature of the Lent season is embraced with open arms by the Christian community. But, do Christian students at Nashoba welcome Lent so freely?

In an interview with twenty Lent-celebrating students at Nashoba, secrets were revealed about students celebrating the holy holiday for the right reasons. The questionnaire was split in half; 50% of students said they celebrated Lent because they really want to and the other 50% said they celebrated Lent because they felt like they had to. Casey Hallberg was asked why she felt inclined to participate in Lent, “Peer pressure has played a huge role into my choice of celebrating Lent; my parents do it, my sisters do it, my grandparents do it…”. This idea of a collective religion among families seems to reign true for all of the students surveyed who may not be practicing the Lent holiday for the right reasons.

Out of the twenty students surveyed in Nashoba, fifteen kids decided that what they had given up for Lent was becoming very rewarding to them. The other five students said it was way too difficult to give up their item to enjoy the positive effect of living without their vice.

The next question touched upon the idea of Lent turning into a lifestyle change. The five  students who decided their Lent challenge was way too difficult to notice the positive effects also decided that their forty-day Lent celebration would never turn into a lifestyle change. Brianna Murphy, who gave up dessert for Lent, shares her Lent season has been incredibly challenging. She expressed her concern, “I used to eat dessert every day. I can’t imagine continuing this torture for any more than forty days!”. On the flip side, students who wanted whatever they gave up for Lent to become a lifestyle had very different views on how challenging Lent has been. Nashoba student Mary Sabourin has been so pleased with her “no-swear-streak” she enthusiastically expresses she will never swear again. She shares why her Lent will turn into a lifetime, “It’s such a bad habit! I hope not swearing will influence me to be a better person.” For some Nashoba students Lent never ends.

There was a strong correlation between students who didn’t want Lent to become a lifestyle change and students who cheated. Out of the twenty students interviewed, nine admitted that they cheated. Out of the pool of nine kids who cheated on their Lent promise, eight of those kids also admitted that whatever they gave up for Lent would never become a lifestyle change. Conversely, out of the eleven students who said they have never cheated on Lent, eight of them said they would love to spin Lent into a better life style. Junior Brooke Perisho expresses why she feels Lent is the building block to a better lifestyle. “I sacrificed something [oreo cookies] I loved but knew was having a negative impact on my life. Therefore I hope to give it up for good.”  Based on the survey, the students who were most devoted to Lent and never cheated wanted to squeeze every last bit of positivity out of the holiday. They will do this by continuing to not consume, use, or do whatever they gave up for Lent for longer than the set forty day period.

The long tradition of Lent is being carried on by many Nashoba students. Regardless of the fact some students cheat, and some students don’t celebrate for the right reasons, the student body of Nashoba is full with happy Lent celebraters.

Photo courtesy stpeternaples.com

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