Traditions may be left behind for some at RU

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It feels as if this year has gone by much faster than usual, and before I knew it, Easter was on its way. Easter, like many other Christian holidays, has become extremely secular for some individuals. Therefore, Easter traditions vary for many Radford University students as some attend religious ceremonies, some hunt for Easter eggs and some ignore the day entirely.

Personally, I was raised in a very religious home, attending a local Baptist church for as long as I can remember. Religion is an important aspect of my life, and unfortunately college has made it less vital year after year.

For me, Easter used to include a Sunday church service and then a dinner at my grandparents’ house (Easter egg hunt included). I cherish many of those memories. Being a significant distance from home, I have never chosen to go back and visit on Easter weekend, but that should not mean I can’t celebrate on my own if I so desire.

In retrospect, I seem to have forgotten this concept. As I become an adult, I will have to start changing my traditions. In many situations, I may have to go on with my life in these moments without my family close by. I regret allowing college to interfere with the dedication to my religion.

Some students have adapted more easily to these changes throughout their college years. Oliver Wood, a junior at RU, explained that he was raised as a member of the Roman Catholic Church and Easter was essential to his family every spring. Even now, he still makes it important in his life.

“Easter used to be a big deal. We’d go to church on Sunday and eat dinner with my mother’s side of the family,” Wood said. “But we’d also do an Easter egg hunt, which had candy and sometimes money in the eggs. Now in college, I still attend church often and celebrate Easter with family when I am able to be home.”

For others, Easter is not about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but based more on secular traditions, just as many celebrate Christmas with no religious associations. Laura Smith, a senior at RU, did not come from a religious household.

“My parents were never all that religious when I was younger. My mom stopped going to church probably when I was in fourth grade, so my brother and I didn’t go either,” Smith said. “We did celebrate Easter through most of elementary school, but even then we didn’t actually focus on the religious aspect of it. We dyed eggs and my dad would hide them for us, and I think we usually had something special for dinner. But we didn’t really even mention why we were actually celebrating.”

Smith added that Easter was also not family-focused for her. It was

not a holiday that included seeing her various extended family members, as it was in my childhood. Yet, she still included that despite having a lack of real Easter tradition, this may change in the future.

“My boyfriend Chris told me his mom wants me to come over and look for eggs and celebrate with them. So I guess I’m actually celebrating this year,” Smith said.

No matter your religious preferences or practices, it is important to remember that even though you are in college and many things have changed, you can still maintain your own traditions by reminding yourself of what is important to you and not forgetting them just because your living situation has changed.