The DOs and DON'Ts of College Orientation Icebreakers

The DOs and DON'Ts of College Orientation Icebreakers

By Contributor

dac213's tips are SO funny and SO true. Print them out! Tattoo them on your face! Wait, no! —Sparkitors

Icebreakers of any kind are often awkward and ineffective. But the ones they make you go through at college orientation are different because you’re going to be stuck with these people for four years. Also, if you’re like me, none of your friends are going to your college, you need to make some new ones, and you take advantage of the forced icebreaker because it’s your first shot at doing so. Not surprisingly, I didn't connect with anyone during my icebreakers because they went something like this:

Me: Hi, I’m [name], I’m from [location], and I’m majoring in English.
Someone else from a different city: -nods- Cool.

Or:

Me: Hi, I’m [name], I’m from [location], and I’m majoring in English.
Someone else from my hometown: Oh, me too! What school?
Me: [censored] High, what about you?
Someone else from my hometown: [censored, but not my [censored]] High
Me: -nods- Cool

While this will likely happen to you at some point—actually it will probably happen more than once—there are some ways to make this awkward social situation bearable. So I present for your edification and enjoyment the Do’s and For-the-love-of-Harry-Potter-Don’ts of college orientation icebreakers:
Do: Be polite

Chelsea Raisedright: Hi, I’m Chelsea, I’m introducing myself even though I’m wearing a nametag, I’m from Charlotte and I don’t have a major yet. Where are you from?

Don’t: Make it painfully obvious you’d rather be anywhere else. (No one wants to be doing this, trust me.)

Chelsea Raisedright: What about you (reads nametag) Gabby, do you know what you’re majoring in?
Gabby Apathetic: -looks at phone- Does anyone know when the campus tour starts?

Do: Tell the basics about yourself

Roxie Hart: Hi, I’m Roxie Hart, I’m from Chicago, I’m majoring in theater, and I was the president of my school’s Get-Away-With-It Club.
Velma Kelly: I’m Velma Kelly, I’m also from Chicago, and I was president of a different school’s Get-Away-With-It Club.
-Roxie and Velma glare at each other and become rivals for life-

Don’t: Tell your life story

Steven Tragedy: Hi, I’m Steven Tragedy; I chose this school because it’s ten states away from my parents, who were about to have me unwound, and my uncle, who drinks a lot. I’m also secretly gay, and since this school is so LGBT-friendly I’m thinking about coming out of the closet, by the way -turns to nearby hot guy-, would you be my boyfriend? Also I’m from Kansas City and I’m majoring in PoliSci.
Everyone else: -looks around desperately and finds excuses to go talk to someone else-

Do: Try and make this awkward situation less awkward by including the shy kids in the conversation

Chloe Social Butterfly: What about you, (reads name tag) Stella, I see your wearing a “Go Tigers” t-shirt, are you looking forward to the season?

Stella Supershy: -looks up from shoes- Heck yeah! I’ve loved the Fighting Rampage Warriors since I could lift my head! Go FRW!

Don’t: Make this situation even more awkward by scaring the shy kids

Billy Obnoxious: Hey you! Quiet kid! Why don’t you jump in the conversation, or are you too good to talk to us?!
Josie Bashful: -walks away to hide her sad tears in the bathroom-


Do: Fill an awkward silence with a joke

Keisha Silencefiller: So, does anyone know what’s up with the mascot? The Fighting Salmon? I mean, really, who wants a mascot you can smoke and have for dinner?

Jasmine Friendly: -laughs- I agree, let’s have a lively discussion that will lead to us becoming Facebook friends.

Don’t: Fill an awkward silence with an even more awkward joke
Tricia Tasteless: Hey (reads name tag of nearby hot guy) Frank, why don’t you drop by my dorm room later this year? –wink, wink-
Frank Modesty: Um… –looks around and finds an excuse to walk away-

Do: Expand the conversation beyond the range of name, major, hometown

Michaela Convostarter: Are you going to see Transformers 3?
Sasha Convocontinuer: -rolls eyes- My boyfriend’s dragging me to it, but I’m sure it will suck even worse than Transformers 2.
Michaela Convostarter: I know, they should have left it at Transformers 1.

Don’t: Lead in with your opinions on controversial topics; save that for when you’re best friends

Bryan Conservative-Republican: I think Prop 8 was a terrible idea, marriage should be between a man and a woman, period.
Ashley Openminded: My moms would disagree with you; they got married in Canada last year because this country’s too homophobic.
Bryan Conservative-Republican: -blushes, then looks around- Oh hey! Sorry, I see my old friend from the jai-alai team –disappears into the crowd to meet imaginary jai-alai friend-

Do: Try your best to make, if not a friend, at least a connection

Angie Friendmaker: Want a red vine? Personally, they’re my favorite color of red vines besides green.
Nicole Potterfan: Sure, they’re a great snack, and the best way to say “red wines” with a German accent.
-Angie and Nicole crack up, friend each other on Facebook, and become college buddies for life-

Don’t: Flirt with every attractive member of the gender you’re attracted to that comes your way

Michelle Boycrazy: You play football? That’s cool, so did my next, I mean, my last boyfriend. –wink, wink-
Frank Modesty: Seriously? What is with the girls at this school?!

Any tips or concerns for meeting new people in college?

Related Post: How To Win Friends and Be Awesome in College

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Topics: sparkler posts, friendships, college, awkward situations, meeting new people, icebreakers

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