To me he wasn’t Nicholas Costa, Nicky, son, brother, uncle, fraternity brother, friend or acquaintance. To me, he was close friend “Nick.” Nick was a great friend who had the ability to make the best out of any situation. I believe he would have wanted his friends and family to celebrate his life rather than mourn this loss. With that in mind, here is my contribution, my special story about the man I knew as Nick.
Nick and I were hanging out as my fraternity prepared to launch the 2007 Sweetheart Weekend celebration, a huge event in Greek life. Quite frankly, I was really anxious and somewhat stressed because I was just barely pulling everything together for my own fraternity’s sweetheart nominations. Nick was aware of this and was doing his best to keep me cool as we waited for the event to begin.
If you knew Nick, you knew he was a unique and quirky person, who had personality traits that I and many of his friends admired and appreciated. Traditionally, the fraternity brothers are expected to wear matching jerseys that display the house colors for the majority of the Sweetheart Weekend. In true Nick fashion, Nick decided to not follow the norm and, consequently, not wear his jersey (or any other shirt-type apparel, for that matter). However, Nick was not a disrespectful person, another attribute about him that we all loved. In an effort to show respect for the fraternity, Nick took a pink highlighter and wrote out the letters of Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEP) on his chest. He also, for whatever reason, put on a heinous Halloween mask. Nick looked ridiculous; we couldn’t help laughing at his funny get-up. What ensued was Nick doing everything in his power to get a laugh (or scare) out of the fraternity and sorority members, including jumping down from a tree and frightening the girls from various sororities.
To this day, I don’t know what prompted Nick to draw with a pink highlighter on his skin and don a Halloween mask, but I believe this was his way to not only help lessen my anxiety but also turn the weekend into an event that was more enjoyable for everyone. It may or may not be true, but it felt like Nick was purposely taking an already great weekend and making it even more fun and memorable not only for him but also for the others around him whom he cared about. If I could say anything to Nick about that weekend, it would be “thank you.” Thank you not only for the great memories, but for showing me how to look at any situation and make it a better experience for everyone.
Nick’s death came as a shock to all of us. This past week has been very emotional for me, and I feel that I’ve been in a perpetual state of sadness. However, I have been doing my best to think back on the awesome memories Nick and I shared, including our time during Sweetheart Weekend 2007.
Though Nick and I only became friends about a year ago, I feel that the impact he had on my life was tremendous and invaluable.
Sweetheart Weekend 2007 is only one example of how Nick taught me numerous life lessons. I don’t think Nick would regret the way he lived his life; he valued his friends and family and made the most of all situations. For lack of a better cliché, Nick truly “lived life to the fullest.”
Nick, I will miss you more than words can describe. Thank you for the positive impact you had on my life and the lives of others.
— Jeremy A. Friedman
President, Beta Psi Chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity