Breaking the ice

Trimester introductions cause more anxiety for students


Kenzie Mehl, Staff Writer

You wake up excited for the first day of the trimester but then realize what is waiting for you: icebreakers. An activity most Titans dread. Every first day without fail has the same old getting-to-know-each-other icebreakers. It is a tradition of trying to get students to make new friends and connect with their peers. But along with the “bonding” aspect of this activity, comes a lot of stress and anxiety.
One of my beginning-of-school traditions is waking up the morning of school with a pit in my stomach, realizing that I will be forced to socialize with my peers. Talking with others in my classes generally is not that bad, but when it’s made into a game or when we have to say some random fact that no one is going to remember in five minutes, it creates an unnecessary situation.
We spend most of our time on the first day of school asking people about their favorite color, summer activity, or animal I guarantee that if you asked the students at the end of the trimester what at least one person said, they wouldn’t know; they would barely even remember what they said themselves.
I hate switching classes and most of all the start of the school year solely because of icebreakers. They are uncomfortable, waste time, and are irrelevant. My experiences with icebreakers have never been good. I have nothing good to say about them. There are many other ways for us to connect with our peers. Group projects, table discussions, and other social activities are great ways to connect.
But, I can say that some extroverted students are neither happy nor upset about participating in the activity, but other students who are introverted and have anxiety like myself, have an issue with them. Why is it essential for us to have these conversations?
It is acceptable if they ask us to say our names and grade, there is no problem with that. It is the fact we have to say something no one cares about that makes it discomforting.
The amount of time it’s taken me to get over my fear of speaking aloud to my peers during icebreakers in fear of looking stupid is absurd and uncalled for. There is no reason to put students in a situation where they are uncomfortable on the first day of school when they are already nervous. Icebreakers add 10 times more stress to class when there is already so much.