If someone were to ask me about an aspect of my life that has changed the most since coming to college, my answer would have to be my relationship with religion. I was raised in the Catholic faith. I’ve been baptized, received my First Holy Communion, and had my Confirmation. I remember hating being forced to go to mass every Sunday, and we always went to mass on major holidays. I also attended Catholic all-girls school from 8-12th grade where we had to say a prayer every morning before the Pledge of Allegiance, take a theology class every year, and attend mass and religious gatherings during the school day. I have never considered myself a devout Catholic, but religion has always been a big part of my life, whether I wanted it to be or not.
Coming into college has definitely changed that. Last year (my freshman year) I tried to go to mass on Sundays and even participated in the Ash Wednesday service. But now, I never go to mass, I never pray, I never even really think about God or my faith. I still go to mass on major holidays but that’s about it. I simply just haven’t made time for religion in my busy college schedule. It’s weird to think something that was such a huge part of my life is virtually gone from it now. And now, especially with the start of the Lenten season (on Ash Wednesday) I have been thinking a lot about my relationship with religion. I have decided that I want to take a deeper dive into and explore it more. I want to see if I can reconnect with it in a new way. For this reason, I have decided that I will be praying more during Lent. I want to use prayer as a type of meditation and reflection for myself. A way to reconnect with myself, not necessarily with God. Because only through myself will I be able to truly know what I believe in.
**Lent is a 40 day religious observance that starts of Ash Wednesday and continues until Easter (the day when Jesus Christ resurrected). It is intended as a time for personal growth and reflection. Typically, Catholics perform a Lenten sacrifice where they either abstain from something they enjoy, whether it be a habit or food, or they commit to do something more such as pray, volunteer, go to church, etc.
If you want to join me, Lent can be a time to rekindle that New Years resolution you may have forgotten about. It doesn’t have to be religious. Here’s some ideas if you choose to accept.
No more plastic
Give up sweets, chocolate, or soda, etc
Give up some type of technology (social media, Netflix/Hulu/Disney+, etc.)
Volunteer once a week (many college’s offer weekly service opportunities)
Call your parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, etc. more often