Icebreakers

As a college student, I feel I should have an honorary minor in answering icebreaker questions. If you are unfamiliar with icebreakers let me clue you in. Essentially your instructor or leader, senses that the first day of class with unfamiliar learning partners can be, well, a bit awkward to say the least. So they decide the best possible idea is to force students to participate in an even more awkward experience by introducing themselves and coming with a fun fact about themselves on the spot. I find that listening to what people choose as these facts can tell a decent amount about their personality, but you can tell even more from the way they tell them. There’s always the person who announces a trip they’ve recently been on with the gleam in their eyes that says “Go ahead, you can be jealous”. Then you have the quiet ones who mumble out a favorite show or that they like to knit. My personal favorite answer comes from the student-athletes who are very obviously student-athletes that make their fun fact that they play a sport.
For a long time, my go-to answer was always “I was homeschooled for eight years”. Then I went to a small, conservative, Christian college and that became a much less interesting fact. I now tend to prefer the more closed question icebreakers that guide my fact. Ones like: “What is your favorite book/author/movie/food?” or “If you were an ice cream flavor what would you be?”. (Mine would be “The Hiding Place”, Margret Peterson Haddix, Captain America Winter Soldier, sushi, and mint chocolate chip.) The laziest of these questions is “Why are you taking this class?”. There are so many possible questions, look outside the box a bit. Just a few days ago a professor asked me this question in my Evangelism class. I could have lied and made up some deep reason, but I honestly answered “because its required for my major”. He knew me, so he wasn’t exactly surprised.

If I had to do an introduction icebreaker right now here’s how I would answer: “Hi, my name is Nicole, I’m a junior Biblical Studies major with minors in Writing and Philosophy, and I like to make big meals for my roommates on the weekends”. In my mind, this is my perfect icebreaker fact. For one, it’s actually true. It gives one of my genuine interests, cooking, while also helping make me seem like a friendlier, more approachable person. How many truly evil people do you know that take the time to prepare meals for their roommates? Not any that I’ve encountered. Just remember next time you’re stuck sitting in an icebreakers circle, whether it’s in a college classroom or day one of some leadership camp that’ll look good on your resume, that your fun fact tells a surprising amount about you. Try to make sure it’s a flattering picture. Or don’t, that’s honestly more interesting anyway.

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