College provides students with different opportunities. It can be looked at as that last chance of fun before adulthood but other people can look at it as finding more about yourself and seeing what may work best for you. Coming into college, I struggled with who I wanted to be portrayed as and it took me years to realize that I did not need to change certain ideas about me. The college has allowed me to realize who I want to be and how to portray myself in life but it has also allowed me to keep some things from before college.
Judaism has been and always will be a huge part of my life. While this sentence may sound cliche it is something I have always stood by and something I continuously stress. Even though I am away from home and might not be as religious as I was growing up I still always make time for my faith and find ways to observe the religion that means so much to me. One of these ways is by observing the holiday of Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur follows Rosh Hashanah and is known as the Day of Atonement. We take this day to repent for all the sins we have done in the past year and think of ways for how we can be better for the upcoming year.
I started fasting when I was 13 and have been able to do this spiritual event for almost ten years. While I have heard people ask me how can I go a day without drinking and eating I realize that it is just one of the many ways to show my seriousness towards repenting. Not everyone in the world is going to be perfect and we will all make mistakes but I look at Yom Kippur as a way to see how I can do better. I have always made it a point for me to fast in college and if time allows me to go to services during Yom Kippur.
I faced one of the biggest challenges for me last year when Yom Kippur fell on the same day as a football game. It was the first time it had ever happened to me while I was in college and I did not know how to prepare for it. I saw myself dividing my day between services and seeing my friends before the game and eventually finding time to eat before the game started that night. While other people may have looked at Saturday as a regular day I made sure to remember the importance of Yom Kippur and even though it might not have happened when I liked to still follow the rules, as I had done in years past.
Yom Kippur can be a struggle sometimes because we are so used to eating and drinking but this allows to have time to myself when I typically wouldn't. I can think about how hungry and thirsty I am throughout the day or how tired I am, I remember why I fast each year. Each year we do things we are not proud of and Yom Kippur is a day for which we ask for forgiveness. It is not as simple as looking at the ground and saying sorry but we as Jews need to show that we are genuinely apologizing. Yom Kippur allows me to remember what I have done and how I can do better for the future. There might be times where it can be tough but I will always go out of my way to celebrate Yom Kippur and find ways to grow for the upcoming year.