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The start of a new semester brings along an onset of unfamiliar faces, and that means you’ll be busy introducing yourself to new people everyday. Icebreakers can help you push past your fellow Columbians’ chilly exteriors and help you find a study partner in your biology lecture or forge a new friendship in the pasta line at Ferris. Move past the simple “what’s your major” or “where are you from” line of questioning and get to know the people you meet around campus with these Spectrum-approved conversation starters!

Would you rather live in a mold-infested EC room or the Barnard quad during the summer?

With housing woes galore this school year, this question is sure to bring up your partner’s latest dorm-room debacle. Everyone loves to complain, so feel free to loudly share angst over the mice you’ve seen racing through the student lounge or bond over the copious amounts of celery Barnard forced you to consume last September.

What’s your favorite pen tip size?

The debate between 0.5 and 0.7mm pen thickness is guaranteed to get a conversation started (if someone suggests 0.25mm as the superior thickness, switch seats immediately). And if you’re the type who tends to sleep through lectures and oftentimes relies on classmates to catch up, keep an ear out for anyone who responds to this question with evident vigor. It’s possible there is a positive correlation between a passion for ink lines and beautiful notes.

If you could only eat at one dining hall for the rest of the semester, which would you choose?

Comparing the merits of midnight mozzarella sticks against the reliable diverse selection John Jay has to offer is sure to help you understand what kind of priorities the stranger next to you has. As a bonus, if that person happens to be moderately cute, this question smoothly segues into the “wanna grab some lunch after this class?” proposition.

Which library would be the best base camp during a zombie apocalypse?

The obvious answer here is Milstein: It’s got various toasts for practical sustenance, those conveniently-shield-shaped green chairs, and copious balconies/windows that act as ideal security vantage points. Feel free to discuss this one at length and you’ll get a sense of how strategic your new friend is.

Greek life?

With recruitment freshly coming to a close, this question is a timely one. Everyone on campus seems to have an opinion on this topic, so if you don’t mind edging into controversy and want to find out a little more about your new pal’s extracurricular interests, try out this icebreaker.

F, Marry, Kill: Mel’s, 1020, and The Heights.

Not only does this question help you get a sense of your partner’s weekend habits, but it also opens the door to more questions in the F, Marry, Kill format. Have fun picking various trios of items and get chatting!

If you had to retake a class, which would you choose?

Simultaneously get a sense for your classmate’s work ethic and academic interests! Maybe she’ll opt for an easy-A class as her answer or choose her favorite professor’s seminar. Either way, this question will help you break the ice and maybe even figure out what class to choose as your elective for next semester.

Now that you’ve read this article, you have absolutely no excuse not to make a new friend, so go on out there and break that ice!

Staff writer Izzy Mollicone can be contacted at! Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.

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