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AUGUST 22, 2019

Conversation Starters

7 out-of-the-box conversation starters to beat the typical options

By Riley Runnells | Asst. Culture Editor

C onversations with new people can be awkward. Between college kids, it’s always the typical “what’s your major?” or “what year are you?” However, if you’re looking to actually make friends with someone, there are many other great conversation starters that make a better impression. Here are seven conversation starting ideas to help you break the ice:

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Everyone watches, or at some point has watched, Netflix. With all of the popular shows and movies on Netflix, it’s likely you’ll find someone who has seen one of the same shows or movies you have. So, strike up a conversation about a new season premiere or a Netflix original, and it’ll be a great way to break the ice and find something in common.

All things music

Music is one of the most classic topics people can bond over. From musicians to genres to eras and even songs, there are endless amounts of music to discuss. You can create the topic yourself, or a lot of times people will have earbuds in walking to class or working on assignments, so you can ask them what they’re listening to and go from there.

Class: professor, subject matter, etc.

If the person you’re trying to break the ice with is in one of your classes, what better way to start the conversation than by asking them a question or making a comment about the class? It’s something the two of you have in common, and though it’s a pretty typical conversation starter, it definitely will get the job done. Don’t be afraid to ask about the subject matter, make a comment about the professor or even be bold enough to see if the person needs someone to study with.


Memes are hugely popular in the age of social media. With Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and the dead but not forgotten app Vine, every millennial and Gen Z-er knows the popular meme references. Memes are hilarious and a great way to break the ice among people who understand social media. Showing a meme works, and even reciting a meme works too, and it’ll make the person think you’re really funny, which is always a great first impression.

Campus clubs and involvement

Here’s another semi-typical conversation starter, but hey, at least it’s better than “what’s your major?” Asking someone what clubs they’re involved in or what Ohio University-specific activities they do can be a great way to break the ice. It can even lead to figuring out what hobbies and other activities they like to do outside of OU. Not to mention, you could find out that someone is in the same club or involved in the same activities as you and find someone to hangout with in the club.

Favorite activity or place on campus

Everyone has a favorite activity to do or place to go to on campus, and it can be fun to share that place with others. It’s also a great ice breaker, and if you ask them what their favorite activity or place is on campus, you might end up finding something or somewhere you never would have thought about before the conversation. Also, if you guys end up becoming friends from your conversations, you may be able to do those activities together or go to those cool places together.

Harry Potter

Former Postie Georgia Davis said it best in her column for The Post, Harry Potter is a great conversation starter. You can ask people what their house is, who their favorite character is, if they prefer the books or movies and which of those is their favorite. There’s so much ground to cover with Harry Potter, and it seems like almost every child grew up with the Harry Potter series, so you can’t go wrong. It’s a great way to break the ice and find some common ground.

AUTHOR: Riley Runnells
EDITOR: Molly Schramm
COPY EDITOR: Bre Offenberger