What are DePaul students giving up for Lent?


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Celebration of Ash Wednesday in Westminster Cathedral.

It is late February and Ash Wednesday is in the rearview mirror, which means Lent has begun. 

Lent, for those unfamiliar with the religious term, is a 40-day season of prayer, fasting and almsgiving that begins six weeks before Easter on Ash Wednesday. It ends at sundown on Holy Thursday. It is a period of preparation to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection at Easter, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. 

Lent involves giving up something for 40 days because Jesus Christ fasted outside for that long, according to Britannica.

There are almost 62 million Catholics in the United States, and that makes Catholicism the country’s largest religious body, according to the Catholic News Agency.

DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the United States. According to the university’s mission statement, “among the largest Catholic universities in the United States and the world, our mission proceeds from the heart of the Church and remains grounded in the values and life example of Jesus of Nazareth.”

There are students like senior Jake Kaufman on campus who observe Lent as a result of their faith and have to make choices on what to give up.

“Well for me, I think I’m definitely going to give up or at least watch my intake with carbs this coming Lenten season because I have a perfectly good reason,” Kaufman said. “In May, my uncle is getting married, and I just got asked to be one of his groomsmen, and we’re all wearing the same tuxedo, as well with me graduating.”

Kaufman believes that helping himself will prove to be a positive choice, especially for his body.

“That is the same suit that I will be using to apply for jobs so it’s just a great excuse for me to help get into better shape, and then another way that I’m going to try and get better with this Lenten season is try and exercise more while also giving up junk food, carbs, anything like that,” he said.

For other students like DePaul junior Niles Arrington, Lent is an opportunity to give up multiple things in order to be better.

“I am going to give up multiple things,” Arrington said. “I think I’m going to give up video games, I’m gonna give up sweets, probably going out and partying. I feel like things that I like to do, I’m going to sacrifice those things. Instead of doing something that’s just something I don’t do or that would be counterproductive, I’ll do something that’s both productive and something that I value.”

Not only is Arrington making a decision for himself during this season of Lent, but also in the name of Jesus himself.

“If Jesus made a sacrifice, why can’t we make a sacrifice?” Arrington said.

Not all students who observe Lent make decisions based on religious thoughts. DePaul graduate student Kate Polucha said she wants to make decisions that make her more productive with school work.

“For Lent, I am trying to cut my phone usage time in half,” Polucha said. “The reason for this is I feel like I mindlessly swipe for hours each day when I could be doing things far more productive and healthy for myself. I have a lot of school projects coming up and with the quarter quickly coming to an end, this is a great time to limit my phone use as much as possible.”

Lenten season can be one of hard choices and decisions to make. It is important for people and students at DePaul to balance giving up what they want and also weighing what is necessary for them to live with or without.