The pandemic has prevented many people from celebrating Easter as they usually would. But, two years later, the light at the end of the tunnel has finally approached and life has started to feel normal again.
Celebrating Easter varies in practice for Ohio University students. Some students do not regularly attend church services, while others have found their religious places in student organizations devoted to upholding their faith.
Ethan Brown, a sophomore studying sociology and economics, grew up with his family going to church, but coming to college meant learning how to maintain his faith while away from his family. Brown was able to find his “church home” in H2O Athens.
“I really started taking my faith pretty seriously towards the end of high school and beginning of college,” Brown said. “Even as I’ve separated my faith from (my family) and made it my own. I know for a lot of college students that’s not always the story, so I’m thankful for that.”
When it comes to Easter, Brown remembers nostalgic things like eating candy and doing an Easter egg hunt at his church — the aspects of togetherness of the holiday stuck out to him early on. His church would collaborate with other local churches, making Easter a time to come together and celebrate.
Amber Phipps, a sophomore studying journalism, identifies herself as a Christian and her family as nondenominational. She is currently involved with Cru at OU. She enjoys being able to stay in tune with her faith by continuing to attend church services while on campus. For some students, being away from their families and having to travel home for Easter is hard, but for Phipps, it’s not.
“I think it almost makes it even more special,” Phipps said. “I haven’t been around my family, and I haven’t been able to celebrate or just be with them in person for a while, so I think it makes it more special, especially being able to see my grandparents.”
Phipps also enjoys being able to celebrate the holiday with the friends she’s made on campus.
Ernie Rowoldt, a sophomore studying astrophysics and computer science, became Catholic in high school and has been regularly practicing his faith since. He is now a regular participant in OU Catholics.
“Being in OU Catholics has been an amazing experience,” Rowoldt said. “I’ve met so many good people and we all work together to strengthen each other and grow closer to God.”
Rowoldt said he has more memories of eating the egg versions of Reese’s than he does of faith-based Easter traditions when he was a kid. However, he now places a high value on the holiday and reflects on its importance.
H2O Church, OU Catholics and other churches in Athens will be holding services that are open for anyone to attend.