More Than a Trend

How spirituality and religion impacts student’s lives.


Portugal Diaz

Junior Sage Williams meditates outside on the Bryant High School Campus.

Gabi Dawson, Staff Writer

Spirituality and religion have become a dominant part in how high school students are learning to operate and express themselves. For Generation Z, it is more than bible quotes in bios, or buying pretty rocks with different definitions to keep in backpacks. For some people, looking to religion or having a spiritual awakening can alter their entire view on the world and how they want to live.

For sophomore Jaci Vadnais, religion has altered her life in an exceptional way. For Vadnais, Christianity is a key part to who she is and how she has decided to live

“My religion has completely changed my life. Living for God has made me who I am, and it has definitely made me a better person,” Vadnais said. Religion can even bring a better understanding of the world around someone. “[since finding God] I love harder, understand people more, and have someone who is always on my side, in the darkest valleys and on the highest mountains,” Vadnais said.

Spirituality and religion are gaining more popularity amongst students due to their wide variety of social platforms and ways to spread information along with awareness about their passions in the world. Teenagers are excited to share their experiences and upcomings with other teens.

“As Christian’s we are called to spread God’s love and love everyone. This has me talking to everyone and reaching out! I also have made a lot of new friends in my youth group at church,” Vadnais said.

The hopes of becoming more diverse or expanding religions and spiritual branches throughout the community are low from people from Vadnais’ perspective.

“I honestly think it will get worse over time. I’m hoping to see more diversity, but then again [I’m] not expecting it. I honestly just wish to see more love at Bryant,” Vadnais said.

Junior Sage Williams practices African spirituality and doesn’t feel there should be a limit on who can be or what defines a person as spiritual.

“You don’t have to practice a specific religion or meditate or pray to any one group and still be spiritual. As long as you are confident in what you believe in and be loving to yourself and others then you can be spiritual,” Williams said.

The media is a big part of this generation and how people decide what they are passionate about and the type of lifestyle students want. Though it is also notoriously known to portray wrong ideas of culture, religion and spirituality, so it’s important to be careful where research is gathered from.

“When becoming spiritual, research is important because you don’t want to appropriate any cultures. In today’s society, everything is a trend and people jump into things without knowing what they’re getting into. Also I know a lot of people like to demonize African Practices which brings me back to doing research. It’s not good to assume before doing research on a topic,” Williams said.

With a life full of scary people and places, global pandemics, mountains of homework, after-school jobs and college preparation, students are looking to their belief systems to guide them through the long road of high school. And it’s working.

“Spirituality has brought me different ways to love myself into my life,” Williams said.

Spirituality and religion aren’t just books and research, it’s how this generation is reshaping the paths they choose to follow for the rest of their lives.

“Though I am still growing as a person and cycles can happen I am no longer stuck deeply into my own brain battling my own demons daily. It has helped me to appreciate myself and others better.” Williams said.