National Women’s Health Week is May 14-20. It’s a great time of year to revisit those New Year’s resolutions you made five months ago, schedule that well woman visit you’ve been putting off and include some physical and mental self-care in your summer plans. It’s also a good chance to evaluate one of the most crucial influences on your overall health: healthy relationships.

As a sorority woman, you were handed a huge bundle of friends as soon as you accepted your bid card. You were suddenly surrounded by women who cared about how you’re feeling and where you’re going, and are there when you need a shoulder to cry on or friend to laugh with. It’s one of the greatest things about being in a sisterhood; you are cheered on by people day-to-day who want to see you succeed. These relationships begin in full bloom, but it takes some intentionality to keep them going.

We’ve all experienced relationships that tapered off. It’s not always a choice, but it happens. Friendships take work and effort, they need time and attention to continue flourishing. These relationships can be especially hard to continue as many of you prepare to graduate college. All of a sudden, you aren’t around your sisters every week at chapter and you won’t run into them around the chapter house or on campus. You will have to go out of your way to spend time with them and continue cultivating those relationships if you want them to continue.

So how do you do it? How do you maintain your friendships and continue building new ones as your life moves beyond college?

  1. Be intentional. This is one of the fundamentals of keeping relationships going, and it will be the most effective. Think of the people you want to keep in touch with and reach out to them regularly. Set up times to meet instead of saying “we need to hang out!” and never getting around to it.
  2. Reach out. When you think of someone you haven’t seen in awhile, send them a text. Say, “I’m thinking of you, hope things are going well!” It doesn’t have to be detailed or complex, the smallest things go a long way in maintaining a friendship.
  3. Smile and say hello. Of course you want to continue the relationships you’ve built, but as you graduate and move into the working world you’ll want to build new friendships as well. The older you get, the harder it is to build lasting friendships, but a smile can do a lot. Saying hello and introducing yourself is just the beginning, but every friendship has to start somewhere.

 

Graduation can be terrifying as you leave what’s familiar, but it’s also exciting to see the future filled with possibilities. Don’t be afraid of losing the people who meant so much to you in college. Be responsible with your friendships and make sure you are doing what you can to keep them healthy and blooming.

 

By Emily Mullins (Wichita State)

Emily Mullins is a senior studying Strategic Communications at Wichita State University. Since joining Gamma Phi Beta, she has served as administrative vice president and president, and has loved experiencing the many opportunities the Sorority has given her. She's excited to be involved in new ways during her last semester! On any given day Emily can be found drinking coffee like a Gilmore, checking out an armful of books from the library or finding a new recipe on Pinterest.