How CSHS students balance school life and religious devotion

December 23, 2015

Devout Students strive to give attention to assignments and religion.

Eman Elnatour

Devout Students strive to give attention to assignments and religion.

Religion is located everywhere and practiced in every part of the world. It has been around since the beginning of time. Religion is the collection of beliefs, cultural systems and worldviews that relate humanity to an order of existence or something that aims to explain the meaning of life. People who practice religion can be influenced by others around them. Yet, religious expression depends on someone’s belief on the world.

The students of Carl Sandburg are very involved in either clubs or sports, as well as activities outside of school. Commitment to their clubs or sports is very impressive. As well as school, many are able to balance school responsibilities and their religion. Because of the diversity in the school, people are still able to concentrate on their own religion.

The commitment to one’s religion, is practiced in a wide range of commitment. Even with the varying levels of of devoutness, students are still able to incorporate something small or big into their everyday lives.

One of the many religious highschool- based groups is a Catholic youth group called Quest where high school students meet once a week. Quest is a group where students can talk about school life and also pose questions about their religion. A member of the Quest group, Samantha Warchol talks about her experiences about her group.

Samantha Warchol said, “Our group meets every Sunday nights. Through Quest, I am able to stay committed to my religion.”

With a youth group that meets every Sunday, it does not interfere with her school life and helps keep her faith. Samantha Warchol also talks about the opportunities she obtains being in this group.

“With Quest, I get many opportunities to share and talk to other members of the Catholic community such as to go on Mission trips,” said Samantha Warchol, “and recently we went to the National Catholic Youth Conference with other catholic high school students.”

Quest allows students to balance their school and religion., but many who practice Catholicism are not in Quest or can be involved in a different church’s youth group. Emily Macijunas and Samantha Warchol also explain the perspectives of their religion and how praying for them is an escape from all their worries.

Emily Macijunas, a Sophomore who practices Catholicism also mentioned, “I set aside certain times for prayer every night, and that is my time to get away from all of my school work and.”

However, students do not always have to join youth groups to stay connected to your faith. One of the few students that attend Carl Sandburg who practices Jainism is Chirag Shah, a Junior.

When asked about what he does everyday in regards to religion, he said, “there isn’t really anything I do to incorporate my religion in my school life besides follow its vegetarianism policy.”

“Outside of school I usually pray and meditate. I stay focused with school and my religion by meditating when I feel really stressed, ” Chirag said. “That way I calm down and can attack any problem I need to. It’s almost like an escape. Every week I pray, meditate, and pay respect to my ancestors by praying to them as well.”

He focuses on school and is able to use meditation and prayers to relieve himself of stress.

Another religion that students practice is Hinduism, the world’s oldest organized religion. Similar to Jainism, most who practice Hinduism also do not engage in any specific activities in school regarding their religion, and also many practice vegetarianism. Hinduism does not explicitly prohibit eating meat, but it does strongly recommend Ahimsa, the concept of nonviolence against all life forms including animals.

Hrishi Bhaththiwala, a junior said, “I stay committed to my religion by practicing tolerance towards other citizens by respecting their beliefs and adhering to the Hindu principle of ‘Sarva dharma sambhav’, meaning all regions are equal to and harmonious with each other.”

He also added, “I stay committed to my religion by visiting the temple once a month and perform community service. I also pray to God at my house every week for my religion.”

With the excessive work that students accomplish for school, many students that practice any religion often seems to turn to prayers and meditation. Meditation or prayers allows them to have peace with themselves. This helps them think about what they did or what they are going to do in the future. However that does not mean that there are no struggles that people go through. Nathalee Lacoco, practices Christianity and says, “It’s hard but at the same time it isn’t. Being a caring person at school is easy, you just have to decide to care and do it. it takes time to do but overall is worth it to help someone else.”

Everyone has many things going on during the school year. However being involved in your religion can become a positive aspect in your life.

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