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Breaking the ice

The Croft Magazine // A few easy tips to help you keep the conversations flowing!

By Lily Sheridan-Power, Third Year, Anthropology

The Croft Magazine // A few easy tips to help you keep the conversations flowing!

Starting university can be a daunting experience. You leave your friends, family and move away from everything you know. You have to make friends with strangers who you will spend the next three years with (no pressure, right?).  Not to mention that a global pandemic has stripped us of our social skills.

To help you begin on a good note, I have come up with a list of 10 ways to bond with your new flatmates but lots of these can also be applied to when you’ll undoubtedly be meeting lots of new people throughout your first few weeks.

A bit of halls action! | Epigram / Lily Sheridan-Power 
  1. Introduce yourself. It may sound obvious, but it can be tempting to hide away in your room to avoid any awkward small talk. However, you need to remember you are living with these people for an entire year – first impressions count.

2. Spend time in communal areas. Instead of working in your room, bring your laptop to the kitchen table to show your flatmates you’re up for a chat. Spending time in common areas will increase your chances of bumping into people.

3. Do your first food shop together. If your halls are in Stoke Bishop, you will soon be acclimatised to the 20-minute walk to Co-op. Besides being the perfect time to bond with your flatmates, it will ease you into Bristol’s hilly landscape.

4. Bring cards with you. If you’re able to keep your competitive nature under wraps, owning a deck of cards will ensure pre-drinks don’t start without you.  Suggest playing Ring of Fire to get the ball rolling.

5. Offer to cook. If you get into the habit of cooking together, or even having dinner at a similar time, it is a great way to get to know your flatmates and share recipes.

6. Play two truths and a lie. Enough said. This make you get to know each other very well, whether you like it or not!

7. Explore the city. A wonderful thing about Bristol is that almost everywhere is walking distance. If you can hack the hills, invite your flatmates to check out Clifton Suspension Bridge. Exploring a new city with new friends is the perfect icebreaker.

8. Hold a movie night. Due to Covid-19, staying in to watch movies will become a regular occurrence. This may seem a disappointing alternative to clubbing, but I guarantee, you will make less mistakes.

9. Leave your door open. Inviting!

10. If you are unlucky with your flatmates, remember your neighbours’ door is only a few metres away. Sometimes you might have to go out of your way to find people that you click with, don’t worry if you don’t make friends immediately!

Featured: Epigram / Lily Sheridan-Power

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