Brushing Off Lent for Spring Break

This week marks the last of college spring breaks around the country, and as many students leave the shores of South Beach, they are also leaving behind vows made for Lent.

For many, the Christian tradition has become 40 days of penance-minus the week of club hopping and wet T-shirt contests.

“I actually broke it on accident during spring break,” senior marketing major Baker Blanding said. “I’m going to extend my Lent observance by a day to make up for it.”

Blanding planned to give up candy, but said he was sabotaged by a friend during his one week stay in Cancun. “Had James not had gummies lying around, I wouldn’t have eaten one,” he said.

The term “Lent” is derived from the Latin word “quadragesima”, which translates to “fortieth day.”

Lent begins every year on Ash Wednesday and concludes on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. Commonly a Catholic observance, Lent’s purpose is to show acts of penance. Many chose to do so by fasting from foods and abstaining from bad habits. Commonly, people give up red meat and smoking for the forty days.

Malika Michaud, an assistant to Howard University’s Rankin Chapel, said that everyone, regardless of religion should participate in some form of Lent.

“I feel great about it,”she said. “I think it’s a respectable act and shows maturity for an individual.”

Another Lent survivor during Howard’s middle-of -March- break was sophomore psychology major Paris Weeden. She deactivated her Facebook account and has abstained from playing her Sims 2 video game.

“Surprisingly over spring break, I didn’t think about Facebook or playing the Sims,” she said. “It’s harder now that I’m back at school. Everyone is on Facebook.”

Weeden said people should think before committing to Lent and not take it lightly.

“Some people feel like since they’re on vacation, they’re also on vacation from their promise,” the Harlem native said. “I think people who break their promises are hypocrites. It’s something serious if you break a promise made to God. But people are influenced by peer pressure over spring break.”

Michaud was a little more forgiving. “We are still human and make mistakes, but I do feel as though it’s disappointing that people aren’t able to hold out.”