Ice breakers – things to try when you arrive – OurWarwick
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Ice breakers – things to try when you arrive

It might seem daunting or at least a bit nerve-racking to think you’ll soon be with people that you haven’t yet met at university. Plus, you won’t be able to retreat to a world of familiarity like what many of us have had the luxury of e.g. during sixth form or secondary school when faced with major changes.

Based on such nerves, it can be helpful to have some tricks up your sleeve to break the ice when meeting the new flatmates that you’ll probably be spending a lot of time together with. Below are some ideas of how to boost your ‘breaking the ice repertoire’:

Firstly, knowing some card games can be very useful (and take a pack of cards or two):

Card games can be a simple and effective way of getting everyone involved and talking. From two people to 10, there is no limit to how many a pack of cards can entertain. You can play them on the dinner table, in a corridor, in your room with your flatmate, or even near study areas for a break (and if you get distracted easily like me). Here are some good ones to try out:

  • President
  • Go Fish
  • Slapjack
  • Crazy Eights
  • Spoons
  • Speed
  • War

There are many videos on YouTube or sites online showing you how to quickly play these games and all you need is a simple pack of playing cards. There are many other types of card games to try out, such as Uno, which you can actually play with a normal playing card deck, but the traditional pack is easier to get to grips with – great for having a conversation in the background at the same time as some of the other card games can get a bit intense.

Secondly, board games can be a great alternative to playing card games. I’m sure you’ll get a lot of fun out of Codenames or Articulate – although these require a bit more focus and can become competitive so if you want something a bit more relaxed, I’d opt for some of the card names above. Also, you can always go for the online version of Backgammon (or Tavli for those Greeks out there) as the board is a bit big to fit in your suitcase to university.

Thirdly, there are some really simple ways of getting everyone together and putting your cooking skills to the test. You could begin a trend of offering to make everyone your favourite dinner one night (and if you don’t yet have one that you can cook, this would be a great opportunity to put the pressure on to find it). Eating is a brilliant way of getting people together, although you would obviously have to check for dietary requirements.

As a final note, it is important not to overcomplicate ‘breaking the ice’ by remembering simple things like keeping your door open (get a door stopper for when you’re looking to make a conversation) and playing some music, albeit not too loud, are great things to try. However, when you’re all sitting in the kitchen and the conversation dries up (which it probably won’t), these simple tricks might just pay you some dividends.

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