Easter away from home at Hampton U.

By Miah Harris

Easter has been classified as one of few special holidays traditionally celebrated in an array of ways. While some students may remember shopping for their Sunday best Easter suits, or ruffled socks to match that bright yellow dress in preparation for unforgettable Easter speeches, others have just seen Easter as after church spring Thanksgiving dinner.

Here at Hampton University, a variety of these significant Easter traditions have now become just memories for a few. Since most students are many miles away from home, alternative plans have been temporarily or possibly permanently set into place.

"I would usually be going to church with my family," said sophomore and art major Geryn Harris of Richmond, Va., "but this year I will just attend chapel service on campus with friends, with high hopes to catch a decent homemade meal at someone's house afterwards."

In addition to childhood memories, many students have given up one or more things that they would usually have or do on a daily or regular basis (i.e., candy, television, social media, juice) for 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday. This method of sacrifice is known as "fasting," but for this occasion, referred to as "Lent."

Serena Rudisel, an electrical engineering major from New York, adheres to this annual practice: "This year I gave up all drinks except for water, so I can truthfully say that I am pretty anxious to have something to drink with flavor as I enjoy my meal at a potluck with some of my bigs."

Prior to Sunday, Hampton students and the Greer Dawson Wilson Student leadership Training Program will give back to the community by participating in a 5k race off campus and later catering their time to the youth with fun and games at "Easter by the Bay" in the Convocation Center.

"Because my family was and still is heavy on giving more than receiving," said senior and English major Devon Bonnick, "I will continue their tradition by participating in Easter by the Bay along with the student leaders." "Once I heard there was going to be a huge Easter egg hunt, I was all for helping out. I also thought it would be a reasonable excuse to reminisce on my childhood for a bit."

Although Easter may be a full day of festivities, it is more than an Easter egg hunt, a speech, or once worn stylish outfit. "I have realized and been completely guilty to the fact of simply becoming caught up and forgetting this holiday's true meaning," said marine and environmental science major, Christina Williams. "As I've gotten older, and especially since I am away from home, I've made it my conscious effort to not overlook family tradition by remaining reflective and grateful for this holiday."

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

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