Tisinger: Boo Caribou, repent for Lent

Sarah Tisinger

Lent, for most Christians, is a time to reflect upon your faith. It is also a time when adult members of the Christian faith give up something they enjoy so that they can better understand what Christ went through during his 40 days and 40 nights. You get the picture.

Last year, for those very few who would remember, I wrote on the importance of non-religious members of the community participating in Lent. Giving something up can be beneficial for you in so many ways. You can not only reflect upon your religion, as the holiday was created to do, but you can reflect upon yourself.

Let’s face the hard truth here. Every year you make a resolution. Every year around this time, it starts to wane. Lent is the perfect time for some students to reflect upon their resolution, their strength of will to continue on with the resolution, and best of all, it’s the one time of year where you’re friends will be making sure you stay on track.

Addictions are crutches. Webster defines “addict” as such: to devote or surrender oneself to something habitually or excessively. Addictions come in all shapes and sizes. One could even be addicted to Facebook use, for example. I hate this definition because I know I’m addicted to a few things — the biggest for me being caffeine. 

It’s a drug and I need it, I don’t just want it. Honestly, if I don’t have caffeine by around 2 p.m. I can feel a headache swelling in my brain. You know you’re a caffeine addict when you start planning your next intake. When you spend just as much money on caffeinated beverages as a smoker spends on a pack a day. When you literally can’t go a day without it because you just don’t feel right.

Anyway, back to the point. Lent could be a great time to get yourself to start that exercise regimen you always promised to yourself, or give up that specialty coffee you get every morning, or to stop smoking. Because things like smoking, buying lottery tickets or specialty coffee — or yes, even pop) — are things that people get used to.

It becomes something we don’t even think about anymore. It’s early morning and you’re on your way to class? Grab a Caribou Coffee! The effects aren’t just bad for your health, it’s bad for your wallet, too.

Add up the costs. If you spend $3 on a coffee three times a week, that’s $9 a week. That’s more than $450 in a year spent just on buying coffee in the mornings. Lottery tickets don’t cost much, but if you buy one Powerball ticket for each drawing, that’s still $100 more than you could be spending, especially since no one usually wins back as much as they spend.

Cigarettes just keep getting more expensive, so there’s never been a better time to quit and save your bucks. Even going out and drinking on the weekends adds up to quite a bit if you drink every weekend, especially if it’s going out to the bars. Maybe you could try only drinking at home instead of at the bars and see how much money you save after a month.

This year I’m giving up something that’s very hard for me. I’m giving up skipping classes. I mean it. I have to make it to every class. It’s hard for me as I suffer from chronic migraines and arthritis in my neck, which causes many severe migraines. But it’s getting bad.

I looked at my U-Bill to see how much I paid in tuition for the semester — $3,051, not including fees, etc. — and how many times my classes meet during that semester — 12 a week x 16 weeks = 192. So, dividing those up, I am paying about $16 per class period. $16 is a lot just for one class period.

So medicate me up, slap on the Band-Aids and send me on my way. I’m getting my money’s worth. And as for hitting up Lied Rec for that workout, check out your U-Bill to see how much you’re paying for those services. It might make you just a little more willing to jump on the track for a few rounds.

Find something that needs to be re-evaluated in your life as a student, as a Christian, as an addict. Start today. After all, excuses are like assholes. Everyone’s got one and they stink.