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The season of Lent can prove to be a tough month-and-a-half for many Christian students, whether they’ve given up something they consider to be a vice — like alcohol — or a certain kind of food they enjoy on a regular basis.

The period of Lent began March 9, over spring break.

Spanning from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, the season calls for the devout to abstain from something they consume habitually, in order to demonstrate a sense of piety.

For instance, College freshman Heidi Eggert has had a penchant for natural peanut butter since high school but chose to give it up for Lent.

“I eat peanut butter like it’s my job,” Eggert said. “My parents always send it to me in my care packages.”

While the regular consumption of this product seems hardly a vice, excessive consumption, Eggert noted, is never good.

“It’s like a backwards way to eating healthier,” she said. “[Peanut butter] is bad for you in large quantities.”

“You’re supposed to give up something you really like,” she added. But, “it varies from person to person.”

Newman Center minister Michael Chovanes concurred. For Lent, he wrote in an e-mail, you are supposed to give up something you like as opposed to a vice, “since we’re always supposed to be striving to rid ourselves of vice.”

According to College freshman Jennifer Chaquette — who has given up baked goods — dessert foods are a standard thing to give up during Lent.

“My dad gives up brownies every year,” she said.

The commitment to Lent will hopefully help “temper my sweet tooth,” she added.

Not all students give up a specific food product for Lent. Some give up entire food groups.

Such a student is Nursing freshman Kathryn Dowling, who has given up carbohydrates for Lent.

For Dowling, Lent is a family practice. “My dad gave up meat [and] my mom gave up carbs.”

Dowling hopes that through abstaining from carbs or “comfort foods” — like French fries — she will learn to deal with her stress levels differently.

“I turn to carbs whenever I get stressed,” she said.

By not “hiding it” and talking through the issues that cause stress like schoolwork, Dowling hopes to deal with her stress “in a more productive way.”

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