I have never been particularly religious, but I have always given up something for Lent. Maybe I’m more God-fearing than I would like to think I am, but I have found that whenever I choose to give something up for the forty-day period I tend to stick to it. I think this has something to do with knowing you can indulge yourself when it gets to Easter! The last few years have involved giving up crisps, chocolate biscuits and, reluctantly, coffee.
Lent is a period in the Christian calendar that lasts for forty days before Easter weekend. Fasting, which is represented in a contempory sense with giving up a favourite treat, is used in preparations of Easter to reflect the period where Jesus fasted for forty days in the desert before beginning his work for God.
This year I have chosen to give up alcohol for Lent after agreeing this with my friend and housemate, Ellie. As university students, we can’t deny that alcohol, and sometimes binge-drinking, is a part of life in university. Alcohol is everywhere, from the pubs we socialise in, the predrinks we have at home to the clubs we go to on our nights out. We want to experience all of this during Lent and prove that we can have just as much fun without a drink!
For me, it’s also about finally sticking to my New Year’s resolution of being healthier in general, and I think having a short forty-day plan is the best way to stick to something. Hopefully, the alcohol free period will leave us feeling fresher, help us lose some weight (alcoholic drinks are deceptively high in calories) and help our mental well-being, as well as not having to deal with those Sunday morning hangovers!
I’ll post an update in a few weeks’ time to discuss how we are finding the experience, as well as noting how different university social life is without alcohol. Let us know what you are giving up for Lent this year and how you resist the temptation to give in by commenting below, or by tweeting me @andrea_avena