Three great icebreakers for that awkward process of making new friends

June 22, 2012

College is undiscovered country, and it's up to you to find some folks to explore it with. While the number one rule of making friends freshman year is realizing that everyone else is in the same boat as you - a little scared and nervous but also excited - the number two rule should be to avoid asking everyone, "What's your major?"

With so many other great questions out there, leave the most common and most academic one for later. If you need some awesome icebreakers just to make the process a little bit easier, consider these suggestions.

1. Desert island lists. While you might not want to just walk up to a brand new face and ask them for their top five pop albums of all time, this is a great way to find out what tastes you might share with your dorm and classmates. While shared interests aren't a guarantee of undying friendship, it can help you find groups with similar ideologies or love of hair metal bands.

2. Favorite childhood TV show. As freshmen, you'll all be the same age and all grew up with the same pop culture. One quick and easy bond is through nostalgia. Whether it's a shared childhood cartoon show, a habit of reading newspaper funnies, a series of young adult novels you obsessed over or even a now-defunct cereal or once popular snack food - more likely than not there's something you both experienced and can reminisce over - no matter how silly.

3. Favorite restaurant back home. Everyone loves food, and while some college kitchens are better than others, you won't be getting 4-star gourmet meals on a nightly basis. Feel free to commiserate over this if you like, but also ask your conversational companion about his or her favorite restaurant back home. It'll let you get to know the person and maybe a little more about a new town, state or even country.

As far as tips for college students go, few could feel as essential as the social ones. College is a group experience in a way that high school wasn't - even for those who commute to campus. Making friends and academic acquaintances is an essential part of your collegiate growth, and icebreakers can make it just a little easier.

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