10 Fun Conversation Starters

A new semester equals new classes and new classmates that you hope to become friends with. Unfortunately, they also equal the same dreaded ice breakers. Where are you from? What's your major? What do you want to do after you graduate? The questions never change. Professors say they're to help us get to know each other, yet how much do these questions actually say about us? Too many times these ice breakers have lead me to an awkward silence where I want to keep talking, but have nothing to say.  

Despite that, I still end up asking these same questions. They have become a get to know you ritual. It can be hard to think of something to say, especially when you first meet someone, and nerve wrecking. I also realized that if I keep using the same questions it's going to be difficult to have fun conversations. So I decided to consult my friends, peers and the internet for some fun and new conversation starters. Here are 10 of my favorite:

  1. What's the origin of your name?

  2. Would you rather be always hot or always cold?

  3. If you could have any mythical creature as a pet, which would it be?

  4. What famous person would you have narrate your life?

  5. Coffee or Tea?

  6. If you could have control over any element, what would it be?

  7. What's your favorite type of tree?

  8. What does your laptop sticker mean?

  9. If you could be any Disney princess, who would you be?

  10. What was your favorite tv show as a kid?

I have learned two things from my research and testing out conversation starters: don't ask a question you don't want to be asked yourself. If you don't want to be asked it, the other person probably doesn't want to either. One of the most cringe-worthy questions I stumbled across was: how often do you stay up until 3 a.m.? That is not a question I would want to answer and I would probably slowly back away if someone asked me that.

Don't ask a question that you're not actually interested in finding out the answer to. If you don't care what their major is, you probably shouldn't ask. It's hard to keep a conversation going if you're not interested in what the other person is saying. The first conversation I had with one of my best friends was about her strong distaste for Mini Coopers.

"You are the crumple zone," she said. I couldn't stop laughing as she began to tell me a whole list of reasons why she would never ride in one. I found it interesting that she disliked them so much. We ended up talking for over half an hour, and three years later, I still point out any Mini Coopers we pass by just to annoy her. It goes to show that there is no rule that conversations have to be serious or meaningful. So, don't be nervous to ask something out of the box next time you meet someone. You never know where the conversation might go.

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