Hi, I am George. I am a third year Geography student, I started creating content in my first year and have enjoyed every minute of it- I especially enjoy writing about environmental issues.
Whether you are a first year just moving into student halls or a third year who has moved in with new housemates, the question of how and when to break the ice is playing on everybody’s mind. With this in mind, here are a few ways to overcome the initial awkwardness of living with new people.
Properly Introduce Yourself
It may seen trivial and unimportant, but a good introduction, including who you are and what you study, can go a long way to help make other people feel comfortable around you. Introductions are a crucial part of the socialising process and if it is skipped you will inevitably be left in a weird limbo where nobody quite knows where they stand which is not fun for either party. Some people are naturally more shy than others so it can be harder when meeting new people, being the person who makes the first move can really help to make further interaction much easier and less awkward. Once who you are is established it makes it much easier for others to communicate with you, if you leave it too long without a proper introduction it makes it much harder, so best to do it as soon as you can.
Taster sessions are sessions run by student union societies aimed at convincing more people to take part in the society, these will usually run within the first few weeks at the start of the academic year. These can be a great activity to do with a group of your flatmates to break the ice whilst doing a potentially really fun activity, there is such a big variety which means you can tailor it to the interests of the group. This can also give you a good opportunity to find out what each flatmates interests are which can then lead to lots of different conversations. The taster session could also lead to you and your flatmates joining a society together and going on a regular basis which could be a way in which friendships can then develop.
Food is a universal language, everybody loves food so it can be used as a way of becoming closer and more familiar with your flatmates. For one, the process of cooking the food can be a chance to build a sense of teamwork and togetherness as you all work together to prepare the meal. Another element to this is the sitting down and eating part which is the perfect time for conversation, or you can bond equally as well over a tv show or a movie. This could be setup as a weekly event which will ensure that there is a good chance every week to talk to and interact with your flatmates. Food is therefore a great way to break the ice!
Open ended questions
Asking friendly, open ended questions is a great way to ensure that a conversation can be sustained and allows the person who is answering to give a longer response which can stimulate a more significant conversation. At this point it is also good to note that it is important to listen more than you talk once you’ve asked a question, constantly interrupting can seem rude and make it appear as though you are uninterested in the response. Hopefully this will make your flatmate feel as though you are genuinely interested in what they have to say giving them the confidence to want to engage with you more which helps to build good rapport between you.
It can be hard to break the ice with people you live with initially, but it is a process which can take time but it does get easier as time goes on. Hopefully these steps have been helpful guidance on how best to deal with getting to know new flatmates or housemates!