Ice-Breaking With New Friends

Coming from a small island, I kept my childhood friends close. I met three of my closest friends in kindergarten, so my adult self was out of practice in friend-making. I have had the same group of friends for so long that I doubted that others could fill the gap when I had to leave them for NYU. Meeting Eric, Javi, and others friends at the move-in party was a miracleUnfortunately though, I was friendless in my classes.

Eric, Javi, and others friends were in different classes. For a while I kept to myself in all my classes, unable to get over my shyness. I would enviously eavesdrop on my classmates’ conversations. I needed friends in my difficult classes, a study partner, a study group to survive the workload.

I thought it was unlucky that NYU Steinhardt required students to take a New Student Seminar class. Next thing I knew, I was sitting in a classroom full of freshman. Ramy Ebied, my academic advisor, put all of us into pairs to break the ice with our fellow classmates. He paired me with the very tall and handsome Luke, so I became even more nervous when it came time to start the ice breaker. Fortunately, Ramy gave us three topics to get us started. 

Ramy’s Icebreaker Questions:

  1. Where you are from?
  2. What our names mean or how we got them?
  3. Something challenging about college so far or something you enjoy about college so far?

Luke and I became acquaintances, then close friends. He decided to start a study group before our first psychology exam, inviting our whole class. Only a handful showed up, but it was nice to finally be in an intimate environment where I could talk with my fellow classmates. Now I have many acquaintances in that class and one cool close friend in Luke. 

Meeting Luke helped me open up. I eventually made close friends with Hannah, a senior from painting class. Last class she invited me to get food with her after. I agreed to stop at a Shake Shack where Hannah and I had our first non-school conversation, about our futures, her dog, and my anxieties. As we were walking back to Washington Square Park, she told me that I was always welcome to join her at the dog park with her and her adorable dog.

My initial mistake was that I figured college would be like high school, that people stay within the realm of their grade or class and don’t form friendships across those boundaries. I have never seen a high school senior and a high school freshman develop a mutual friendship. But I learned to stop comparing the larger-than-life NYU to my tiny high school.

College is a fresh start to go outside of your bubble and meet new people across the boundaries.


  1. Open up to people, especially if they are opening up to you.
  2. Say yes to group activities or events. There you will meet people who will have a lot in common with you.
  3. College is nothing like high school, all the grades/levels blend together into one collective, so don’t be intimidated. 
  4. Make a few close friends, those you can share an intimate chat with. 

By Solana Joan Suazo

Solana is a freshman at NYU Steinhardt, studying art and psychology. Solana spends many hours walking around lower Manhattan with her friends, sketching in the park, or finding new inspirations for her art around the city. When she isn’t playing volleyball or meditating, she’s usually watching Game of Thrones with her roommate, daydreaming about California beaches and buys, or painting a new picture for art class. She loves coffee, chocolate, and ramen, of course.

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