The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

“So… where are you from?”

Breaking the ice: tips for a smashing good conversation

We have all been there. At some point or another, we all have had to ask those classic ice breaker questions: What’s your major? Which dorm are you living in? Are you joining any clubs or organizations? So…where are you from?

While these questions are very useful for making conversation, it starts to feel tiring asking and being asked the same questions over and over again. The routine can also make it difficult to remember people’s responses. 

For those who want to rebel against the status quo, here are some questions that can give the conversation some life while also providing important information. 

What’s your favorite party game?

College is the perfect opportunity for students to bust out their favorite games that everyone at home refuses to play with them. There’s a plethora of students at UNI, so this could create moments to bond over a mutual favorite game or introduce new ones. This question can also give insight to how competitive people are and whether someone finds enjoyment in a cut-throat game of Clue or a chill round of Super Smash Bros.

Would you rather take a test or write a paper?

Everyone operates differently, so it can be interesting to learn about what people love and absolutely dread. Students may see anxious testers begin studying weeks in advance and be completely drained afterwards. Those who have a tough time with papers may need friends to bounce ideas off of or time alone to figure out how to even start their essay. Although this is a simple question, it can lead to a better understanding of people’s academic habits. 

What were some of your favorite high school lunches?

No one wants to feel like they are stuck in high school, but talking about old memories can be comforting until we are able to make new ones. Plus, students may be surprised by how similar or different other school lunches are. Students can trauma bond over cardboard-like pizza and questionable alfredo pasta. Some may be shocked to find out that some areas serve chili with cinnamon rolls for lunch. At the end of it all, everyone can share their hopes and dreams about the UNI dining halls. 

What’s your favorite candy or snack?

There is no doubt that this question will prove to be useful with the amount of holidays and birthdays that students will experience together during their time at UNI. A quick trip to Biscotti’s, 23rd Street Market, or Maucker Union could be the pick-me-up that one needs in-between classes. It could also be a thoughtful gesture to give a friend their favorite candy or snack after a stressful day. 

What’s your love language?

The easiest way to not hate each other is to learn how the other prefers to be loved. For those who don’t know, the five love languages come from a book by Gary Chapman. It lists five ways that people express and prefer to experience love: words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service and receiving gifts. Although this book was originally written with couples in mind, knowing others’ along with your own love languages can be crucial in any type of relationship. 

What’s your phone lock screen?

Although this question may seem a little random, people’s lock screens can say a lot about them. This generation has grown up with technology, so in many cases, people’s phones can hold glimpses of what they truly love. Some may have their screen as a collage of their family, friends, or significant other. Others may have a quote or song lyric to give them inspiration every day. Even lock screens taken from the internet or those with a plain screen can give a sense of that individual’s aesthetic and lifestyle. 

Which do you like more: Outer space or the ocean?

This can be the perfect opportunity to make future plans to go stargazing or to the waterpark. Differing opinions can be the fuel for a nice little debate. Liking both can be a positive bonding experience. Disliking both can create a path for bonding over a mutual hatred of the apprehensive mysteries that the Earth holds. 

If you could annihilate one type of food, which would it be?

Not only will students experience many different types of personalities, but there are also many different types of palates. If students find themselves incredibly indecisive about where to eat together, this question can attempt to eliminate some options. They may learn about each other’s peanut allergy, lactose intolerance, sensitivity to seafood or disdain towards certain spices. 

Where do you like to get your pizza from?

Pizza has been a popular party food for a long time because of its simplicity and ability to satisfy picky eaters. However, more brands are popping up along with some twists that make their pizza unlike the others. Even if a student’s favorite pizza joint is local to their hometown, there may be specific reasons as to why they chose that place’s pizza. Some may be passionate about their love for thin crust, while others may spurn any pizza that is not oven-baked. 

What were you best known for in your last friend group?

Although some students may not want to shed their past friend group roles; old habits have a tendency to die hard. This question can shed light on certain behaviors, especially in group settings. Some may bond over similar roles and experiences. If students disliked what they were best known for in their previous group they can share that. Their new friends will be able to keep it in mind and give reminders if they slip into old habits or behaviors. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Olivia is a sophomore English major minoring in music, English/Spanish translation and journalism. Olivia loves to cover in-depth stories about various issues and events on campus. She values quality writing and uses her mad writing skills to advocate for the campus community. Olivia is involved in Panther Marching Band as a clarinet, Chi Alpha Campus Ministries and the Northern Iowan.

Comments (0)

All Northern Iowan Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *