Onion Dip: My Thoughts on Icebreakers

By Pelli Osgrove || Contributing Writer

With Module 1 good and done and Module 2 well underway, let’s address the worst part of this quarter system, the part that occupies an unjustified fraction of my brain and holds way too much weight in setting the tone for the rest of the semester: icebreakers.

Few things stress me out more than introducing myself and having to tell the class a fun fact. I know it’s irrational. People probably aren’t listening and definitely won’t remember it, but regardless, I believe there’s a formula that exists in helping you achieve the perfect fun fact. If you’re like me and don’t have a go-to fun fact to use on repeat, we’re going to establish some dos and don’ts. 

First, we set the tone. Imagine you’re on a first date but with, like, 20 people. You want something interesting, without oversharing. You want to be mysterious, but not boring. In my opinion, “I have a dog” — worst thing you can say. On the other hand, “I have a rat statue on my dresser that I named Gorbachev, he wears a fall sweater year round and my sisters and I pledge our allegiance to him every morning at 10:10am” — my classmates don’t deserve to know that about me. That’s personal. There’s a balance, and it matters. 

Second, you don’t want to share anything you might have to prove. Something like “I can say the alphabet backwards in 7 seconds” or “I can fit my fist in my mouth” puts you in a dangerous zone. People are going to stare at you for an extra 5 seconds minimum waiting to see if you decide to demonstrate your talent. And if you choose to not, your date is probably disappointed and they don’t know if they can ever trust you. 

Next, whatever fun fact you tell should be about you. Nothing like “Bill Clinton used to be my neighbor” or “My grandma was a famous tap dancer in the 1940’s.” Say something that makes you seem unique even if you have to stretch a little. 

The last thing to keep in mind when deciding on your fun fact is it actually doesn’t have to be true. It’s not a government job application. Nobody’s going to hack into your computer history and zero background checks are required. That said, if you’re still feeling iffy, here are 7 perfect fun facts that are totally up for grabs. 

  1. I’m a competitive YoYo-ist and once traveled to Hawaii for a world YoYo competition. 
  2. When I was a child I modeled for Halloween costumes like the ones you see in bags at Party City.
  3. I once took a class at SoulCycle and Matt Damon was there. We were in the same room for 45 minutes and I got a picture of the back of his head.
  4. In my free time I like to knit tiny socks and donate them to local animal shelters.
  5. I think the US faked the moon landing.
  6. One summer I met Bruce Springsteen while surfing in New Jersey and afterwards he invited me onto his boat.
  7. I am a direct descendant of President William Howard Taft and the 2012 rumor that he got stuck in the White House bathtub is a LIE!!!!!!

Remember, every day you tell someone a fun fact about yourself becomes the new most important day of your life, second to only your high school prom. It has to be perfect or everyone might hate you. You got this! 

Junior Jillian Krawczel is a contributing writer. Her email is jkrawcze@fandm.edu.

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