Making new friends in college can often feel daunting, especially for those who aren’t naturally outgoing. Being inquisitive is one of the easiest ways to discover if you have common ground with someone. Asking thoughtful questions can help you quickly learn about another person’s interests and values, but it can be challenging to think of them on the spot. 

Fortunately, we’ve done all the hard work for you! Use our list of 100 unique conversation starters to help you build friendships in college that will last a lifetime.

Family/Background

  1. Who are you most similar to in your family?
  2. Does your family have any traditions?
  3. Is there anything about how your family raised you that you hope to mimic as a parent (if you choose to have kids)?
  4. How close are you to your family?
  5. How much do you know about your own heritage?
  6. What role did your neighbors and community play in your life when you were growing up? Were you close to them?
  7. What were birthdays and holidays like for you growing up?
  8. What did your childhood home look like?
  9. Did you grow up in an “ingredient household,” or did you have ready-to-eat foods on hand?
  10. What sort of expectations or rules were you expected to adhere to growing up?

Childhood

  1. Which sentimental items from your childhood have you held onto?
  2. Is there anything you would change about the way you grew up?
  3. What was your go-to snack as a child?
  4. When was the first time you remember feeling empathy for another person?
  5. Which qualities did you get praised for or criticized for growing up?
  6. Who outside your family positively influenced your younger years?
  7. What was school like for you as a child? What did you enjoy, and what was hard about it?
  8. Did you have a job in high school? If so, how did that impact your life?
  9. Which activities did you enjoy doing with your friends growing up?
  10. Did you have a childhood crush? If so, were they aware?

Personal Preferences

  1. Do you tend to recharge by socializing or spending time alone?
  2. If you had an entire day with no responsibilities, how would you spend it?
  3. What are some unconventional things you like?
  4. Which genres of media do you prefer to consume (comedy, tragedy, horror, romance, fantasy, reality, etc.)?
  5. What’s your favorite party theme?
  6. Are you a night owl, an early bird, or a combination of both)?
  7. Which small things really irk you?
  8. What is your favorite social media platform?
  9. Would you rather cook at home or go out to eat?
  10. If you were to light a candle, what scent would it be?

Values/Beliefs

  1. Are there any values or beliefs that you are starting to question at this stage of your life?
  2. How do your values or beliefs differ from your family’s, if at all?
  3. Do you believe morality is objective or subjective? How are humans supposed to determine “right” and “wrong”?
  4. Do you believe there is ever a good reason to lie?
  5. Do you believe there is any purpose in suffering?
  6. What is a current hot topic that you have a strong stance on?
  7. To what extent do you believe in forgiveness and second chances?
  8. What beliefs or principles influence the way that you treat people?
  9. How do you approach discussions with people who have vastly different values or beliefs from your own?
  10. How do you reconcile any inconsistencies between your values and your actions?

Deep/Self-Reflective

  1. In which ways do you feel misunderstood by others?
  2. What are your most prominent love languages?
  3. How do you cope when life gets difficult?
  4. When has your intuition (or your “gut feeling”) helped you?
  5. What are you most grateful for at this point in your life?
  6. What is one problem or challenge that occupies your mind more often than you’d like?
  7. What’s something you are hesitant to try?
  8. If you could erase all bad memories from your mind, would you?
  9. When do you feel most alive?
  10. What about life has surprised you the most?

Philosophical/Existential

  1. What makes your life feel purposeful?
  2. What about modern society bothers you, and what about it makes you proud?
  3. To what extent do you believe in fate? Can we control our destiny?
  4. Do you think humans will ever unite to resolve some of the world’s biggest problems?
  5. Where does one draw the line between confidence and pride?
  6. Which aspects of a person form their true identity?
  7. How big of a role do you believe politics should play in one’s life?
  8. Do you believe beauty is universal, or does it lie in the eyes of the beholder?
  9. Do you think artificial intelligence will ever possess consciousness?
  10. Do you think we can trust our senses to accurately perceive reality?

Interpersonal/Relational

  1. What values are most important to you in a friend?
  2. Who is someone you deeply admire?
  3. What is the most important relationship in your life right now?
  4. How do you wish to make people feel when they’re around you?
  5. How would you define a “healthy” relationship?
  6. Who makes you laugh uncontrollably?
  7. How would you rank the importance of these three types of relationships: familial, friendly, and romantic?
  8. What do you think it means to be “in love” with someone?
  9. How do others earn your trust?
  10. Do you believe conflict is inevitable in every close relationship?

Hypothetical

  1. If you had to choose one color palette to adhere to for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  2. If you had to eat the same three meals every day (for breakfast, lunch, and dinner), what would they be?
  3. If you could pursue several careers at once, which paths would you choose?
  4. If you were to write a book or start a podcast, what would it be about?
  5. Which celebrity’s death would impact you the most?
  6. If you were to pass down a compilation of life lessons to the next generation, which few would be at the top of your list?
  7. If you could choose your last words, what would they be?
  8. If you could only take one more vacation, where would you go?
  9. If you were tasked with giving yourself a different name, what would it be?
  10. If you could only experience one season year-round, which would you choose?

Funny/Lighthearted

  1. What’s a trend that you just can’t get behind?
  2. What fictional world would you want to live in for a day?
  3. What is the weirdest mannerism you’ve unconsciously adopted from another person?
  4. Which songs do you play on repeat for an excessive amount of time?
  5. What’s an icebreaker question that you hate answering?
  6. If someone were narrating your life, what would their voice sound like?
  7. What’s a serious movie scene that would suddenly become hysterical with the volume muted?
  8. What’s your favorite conspiracy theory?
  9. What’s the most realistic animal sound you can make?
  10. What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever searched for on Google?

Future

  1. What do you think is the best part about aging?
  2. How will you know when you’ve “made it”?
  3. What habits do you regularly practice that contribute to your long-term goals?
  4. If you could foresee one thing about the outcome of your life, what would it be?
  5. Do you have any specific career aspirations?
  6. How do you think education should adapt to ensure a better future?
  7. What do you suspect your legacy will be?
  8. Which significant milestones do you tend to worry about the most?
  9. How do you think future generations will view the decisions we are currently making?
  10. Do you think your future self would be proud of the things you’ve been prioritizing lately?

Create Your Community at American Avenue

Approaching people with curiosity is an excellent way to form meaningful connections. Thoughtful questions have the power to make people feel understood and known, which is essential to fostering long-term friendships. 

If you’re looking for a place to build community, contact American Avenue to schedule a tour. Our affordable, BYU-approved apartments provide the perfect opportunity to connect with other students and develop new friendships.