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Staying Engaged is a Key to Quality Friendships

Updates from Lexington

By Justin Wenger (William Jewel)

Editor’s Note: This article continues our "Once a Sigma Nu, Always a Sigma Nu" series covering the important aspects of Sigma Nu's lifetime membership.

Friendships are important. I like to think that is a statement that most people could agree with.

  • • Have you ever thought about what it is that makes your friendships important to you?
  • • Wondered what makes you important to your friends?
  • • Considered the impact having friends has on your life?

While only you can answer the first two questions, science journalist and author, Lydia Denworth explained in an interview, with Greater Good Magazine, that friendships are significantly impactful in our lives.

“Research suggests that friendships can help us find purpose and meaning, stay healthy, and live longer. The intimacy, support, equality, and emotional bonds we have in our friendships are unique.”

She further explains that there are multiple types of friend-like relationships and that a quality relationship can be defined.

“It has to have these minimum three things: It’s a stable, longstanding bond; it’s positive; and it’s cooperative – it’s helpful, reciprocal, I’m here for you, you’re there for me.

For most alumni, we can remember the importance of the relationships we built in the chapter. Moreover, many of us can recognize the three traits of a quality relationship in those friendships to this day. I submit to you that our membership in Sigma Nu is a quality relationship of notable importance for most of us as well.

She goes on to describe that despite the quality and importance of these relationships there are moments when they wane.

“There are these transition points in life when it’s easier or harder to spend time with friends, but what is important for people to know is that friendship is a lifelong endeavor and that it is something that people should be paying attention to at all points in life.”

Not surprisingly, we see similar realities in Sigma Nu. During our collegiate years, we are brought together by the enduring principles of Love, Honor, and Truth, and we forge relationships with our chapter brothers. Then, we hit our first transition – graduation – and we are pulled apart by geography, for example. Then another transition occurs – a job – and we are pulled apart further by availability and time. These “transition points” continue throughout life, and for too many of us, our Sigma Nu relationships weaken.

It takes effort to maintain and nurture relationships, but that work means something. According to Denworth, “Taking time to catch up on somebody’s life and hear what’s going on with them is an important indicator of it’s worth my time to know what’s going on in your life.” Another way to say this is that we need to engage in what is important:

  • • Maintaining relationships with other alumni.
  • • Establishing new relationships with young alumni.
  • • Staying abreast of what is happening with the collegiate chapter.
  • • Taking advantage of the opportunities the Fraternity offers.

It is not always easy to be engaged. Our availability to work on our relationships is continually interrupted by the other responsibilities in our lives, but it is important for us, our brothers, and our Fraternity. Denworth sums it up well, “There’s real value in a positive friendship.”

There’s real value in Sigma Nu. There’s real value in being engaged.

© 2015-2022 Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc.
9 North Lewis Street, P.O. Box 1869, Lexington, Virginia 24450
Phone: (540) 463-1869 | Fax: (540) 463-1669 | Email: headquarters@sigmanu.org

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