Cut the small talk at UC Berkeley

Mary Zheng/File
Mary Zheng/File

Honestly, how many times do we and will we have to respond to the four W’s as a form of introduction? What are the four W’s, you wonder? Take a look:

  1. What’s your name?
  2. What’s your major?
  3. Where are you from?
  4. Where are you living?

There’s nothing wrong with these four questions. More than likely, you’ll be curious to know whether your fellow peers live in the same building as you or if they share any of the same classes. But as new students who have been asked the four W’s more than 60 times (most of us aren’t going Greek!) in the past two weeks, we’re exasperated.

The entire purpose of introducing oneself is to establish familiarity and (perhaps) create relationships with another person. However, these questions won’t leave a lasting impression, especially if another person wants to befriend you. In order to remedy this, why not ease your way into conversation rather than asking a set of questions that is so impersonal? On the other hand, it’s not a bad idea to ask unorthodox questions during a one-on-one conversation with a classmate. Most likely, you’ll be intrigued by what your classmate has to say and therefore conversing will be enjoyable rather than arduous.Who knows, you might end up being best friends, study buddies or even lovers.

We understand that not everyone will follow our advice. But if you want to avoid basic interactions with people, write down the answers to the four W’s on paper and hand them to your future friend/study buddy/lover and jump straight into engaging conversation. Plus, they’ll be inclined to ask you why the hell you gave them a slip of paper, which also happens to be a pretty decent icebreaker!

Contact Lauren Ahn at [email protected].