Rethink your Friends

Strong Bonds. Great Stories.

How did you become friends with your friends?

It's kind of tough to remember exactly how, right?

The thing about high school is that a lot of the friendships you make are based on the fact that you're stuck in the same building for eight hours a day for years on end taking the same classes.

In college, you'll be in control of your time and the people you choose to spend time with will stay close for the rest of your life. If you want to get sappy, you can describe it as a journey you embark on together—not because of necessity, but because you all chose to go on it together.

It's a bond you can't get anywhere else and it's the experiences you share along this journey that will make this bond strong. The more experiences, the stronger the bond.

Alejandro Diaz found this out when he joined his fraternity, Sigma Lambda Beta. He's involved with a ton of organizations on campus, from New Student Enrollment to Define American, but his fraternity brothers are the ones he's closest with. And it's because of the experiences they've shared, from the initiation process to volunteering to just hanging out on a Friday night.

Whether it's through the Greek system, through another organization, or through a ragtag group of misfits, you'll forge the same type of close bonds Alejandro has.

Here's Alejandro's story.

I got involved in Sigma Lambda Beta sophomore year fall semester. A lot of those guys are active in MASA (Mexican American Student Association). So I got to know them my freshman year and they were always talking about this fraternity.

But over the summer between freshman and sophomore year, I went to a conference in New Orleans, NCLR [National Council of La Raza], and some of the guys that were in MASA that were with me and they started talking to these other guys from another university.

They completely didn't know each other, but they were talking to each other like they did. That really caught my eye. I was like "Do you know those guys?" and they were like, "Nope. They're just in our fraternity. We're going to meet up and go hang out." Then I started asking more questions about that organization. They told me all the things that they've done with it and all the opportunities that have opened since they got into it. So I looked into it and I joined.

I went through their process and I probated the next December. But really, that was an awesome experience. My line brothers, we were on line together, I built such a close bond with them. We hung out, we did all kinds of things together—so many rich experiences that I'm never going to forget.

Honestly, I can't believe I ever thought I'd never join a fraternity when I came here. It's just such a great experience that I've got to take away. We might be a smaller organization, but I wouldn't have it any other way, because I feel like I genuinely know every single one of the guys that are active right now, and they know who I am and they know my story and I know theirs.

Probably ten years from now, I'll hit one of them up and be like "Hey, I'm in this area. Are you here? Let's go hang out and do something."

I thought I built these kind of friendships and relationships when I was in high school. I'm still friends with everybody that I was back in high school, but today I only keep contact with only a handful of them. You're going to meet other people that are with you and around you all the time in college. You're going to meet new people and I think those friendships—you don't have to join a fraternity or sorority, but the organizations that you get involved with, maybe you'll do that with people on your floor, you know, who knows? —you'll take those friendships with you forever.