10 Things an Introvert Should Look for in a Roommate

 By Victoria Robertson 

Beginning your college experience can be stressful, especially when you haven’t ironed out the details related to roommate selection. In fact, choosing a college roommate can be one of the most stressful items on your to-do list.


While there are many options available to college students now in terms of picking roommates, such as social media, there are still limitations to these options if you aren’t familiar with what you should be looking for in a roommate. In fact, looking for specific things in a roommate is a challenge, no matter who you are.  


This challenge is made even more difficult if you fancy yourself an introvert, as many individuals do. Introverts tend to have difficulties in sudden changes, specifically related to living situations. They also tend to isolate themselves, which makes living with another individual more difficult.


So how does an introvert pick the right person to live with? There are many items to consider, but, to get you started, here are ten, specific things all introverts should look for in a roommate.




1. Outgoing personality


First and foremost, you don’t necessarily want to look for another introvert. In fact, you should look for an outgoing personality in a roommate.


They say opposites attract, and when you’re dealing with two people in a living situation, having that balance can be helpful to everyone. When you need to socialize more, they can pull you out of your shell and when they need to stay in and focus, you can help them as well.


While not all outgoing personalities will mesh well, it is a quality that you don’t want to count out either. Basically, having that mixture in regards to personality will help you to expand your horizons and may just push you that inch that you needed.


This can be in relation to campus parties, apartment get-togethers, school functions or even study abroad trips. Some of these items are things you may not consider individually. However, when you add a roommate that’s more outgoing than you and that you trust, you may just find yourself signing up with them and experiencing things you never would have otherwise.


This all being said, there are some introverts that have this quality as well. Just be sure to look for someone that you think is going to push you in the right way to achieve what you can. You don’t want someone that’s going to ignore your boundaries, but rather, you want someone that acknowledges them and that helps you expand them within reason.


2. Understanding


On this same note, you should look for someone who is understanding and compassionate. Introverts need time on their own to refuel, and sometimes extroverts don’t understand that need.

For this reason, you should make sure you find someone that’s understanding of your needs as well as their own. Just because they are a “social butterfly” doesn’t mean that you are.


You may need to find someone that appreciates your need for time to yourself and that can support that need in a living situation. Not everyone will be up for this challenge, which makes this a great quality to look for in a roommate.


Now being an introvert isn’t something to be ashamed of, nor is it something that you should need to qualify with your roommate, but living with someone that’s more understanding will only serve to help you in your living situation.


3. Compatibility

Of course, you also want to consider your compatibility with your roommate. You may end up living with someone that doesn’t share any common interests, and you’ll find rather quickly that it’s a challenge.


When you and your roommate are able to relate to one another and can share certain hobbies etc. with one another, this enhances that relationship. Introverts sometimes need this outside element to bring them closer to a roommate, so picking someone off the bat that has common interests will set you along the right path.


Whether you share similar tastes in books or TV shows, or enjoy the same outdoor activities or sports, there’s something for everyone. This will not only be a great icebreaker when you first meet, but it will help to bring you both closer as the year goes on and, hopefully, down the road as well.


Compatibility is a word that covers a vast amount of ground, so have that initial conversation with a prospective roommate, get a better feel for the type of person that they are, and decide whether or not there is any common ground there. If not, they may not be the right fit for you. If so, you may want to consider rooming with them.


4. Stability


While you may be thinking of the immediate future when choosing a roommate, it’s also imperative that you think about the long-term as well.


Maintaining a stable, roommate relationship for one year is a good start, but you do also want to look for someone that you can see yourself living with throughout your college experience as well.


Change can be difficult for introverts, and undergoing the same roommate selection process year after year is daunting. So, in targeting a roommate with that stability factor, you bypass the future searches and instead have one, strong roommate relationship that you can maintain throughout college and beyond.


Again, these are relationships you’ll have throughout your life (if done correctly), so seeking that long-term relationship is going to benefit you greatly. This isn’t an easy item to look for, but if you note that your roommate has many, long-term relationships and appears to be stable overall, you have a good chance of a working relationship there.


5. Social skills


Along the same lines as the extrovert seeking point, you may want to consider rooming with someone that has superb social skills. College is partly about networking, a concept very difficult for many introverts to come to terms with.


For that reason, having a social butterfly in your corner to help you out is never a bad thing. Having a roommate with strong social skills may just help to push you out of your shell, or at least give you an opportunity to be coached in the art of networking.


Relationships that are built in college can be called upon when it comes time for your job search, so again, it’s important to think ahead to what these relationships could mean for you. The more you are able to socialize, the better off you will be. At the very least, you can view such socializing as practice.


Such practice would be beneficial in terms of interviews, job fairs and other future gatherings in which your social acumen may make or break your career. Again, it doesn’t hurt to have someone with those social skills on your side to provide you with the opportunity to practice.




6. Ambition

Looking for an ambitious roommate isn’t a necessity, though it certainly helps. Sticking multiple introverts in a room without ambition can result in a permanent, couch-potato status, which could ruin any chances you have at networking and starting your career.


Picking a roommate that has the ambition to continue on and that genuinely wants to help you will only serve you well. Ambition is a strong measure of a person’s capabilities, so you should look for this quality in a roommate.


7. Education-oriented


Again, ambition is key, but it’s also important that you pick a roommate that’s education-oriented. What this means is you need to choose a roommate that understands school comes first.


For most introverts, studying is a solo activity, and this can be difficult for others to cope with. You may need complete silence to read or retain information, and so asking the individual you’re living with for said silence can be daunting.


For this reason, you want to choose someone that understands educational needs and that can help you to achieve the high grades you strive for.


Ask potential roommates what their GPA goals are, or what their overall educational goals are to get a better feel for what their schedule will entail and what their work ethic looks like.


8. Similar goals


On a personal note, my roommate and I were complete opposites throughout college. She was an extrovert and I was an introvert, and we clashed on more than a few items throughout our experience. That being said, when it came to our goals, we were right in line with one another.


Both of us decided our freshman year to graduate a year early, so we both pushed each other and assisted one another in ensuring we both met that goal. We succeeded because of our bond, and that’s certainly something to look for in a roommate.


Sharing goals with a roommate not only provides you a building block for your relationship, but it also provides you with a partner to help you achieve those goals. This is a never-ending relationship of support and guidance, and it’s going to help you achieve all the goals that you set for yourself in your college experience.


The goals don’t have to be college related, but professionally or academically (grad school etc.) or even personally. So long as you and your roommate can find that common ground and develop a plan that works for the both of you, there’s no reason that relationship shouldn’t work.


So, for this reason, make sure that similar goals is one of those qualities you look for in a roommate.


9. Leniency

All these items aside, you want to pick an individual that can also be flexible and lenient. Introverts can be challenging to live with, and so having someone that is more lenient will absolutely help in preventing arguments or problems between you and your roommate.


Leniency can be in terms of your study habits or lack of social desires, or in terms of any living situation problems that may arise. Essentially, no matter your personality type, it helps to have a roommate that’s lenient and that will give you some slack when you need it.


10. Organization


Finally, organizationally speaking, having a clean and put together roommate always helps in living situations. Again, this is regardless of your personality type, but organized roommates are less likely to miss rent payments or utility payments and will assist you in cleaning the apartment or purchasing food for the week.


Highly organized individuals tend to do well in these types of situations, so having someone of that nature on your side is never a bad thing. This is a growing professional skill and one that you can benefit from in a living situation as well.


Just because you identify as an introvert doesn’t have to mean that your roommate seeking experience needs to be difficult. In fact, so long as you keep these ten things in mind, your searching should be a piece of cake.


College is difficult enough as it is without adding the pressures of social relationships, so ease your mind a bit by following this list of what to look for in a roommate. The perfect roommate doesn’t exist, but the perfect roommate for you does. Determine which items on this list are the most important to you, begin your search and try to keep an open mind.


I promise, before the school year begins, you’ll have a pretty good idea of who you want to live with, and you may just foster a relationship that will continue for years to come. I know that I did!


So get yourself out there and don’t be afraid to be a little picky when talking with prospective roommate candidates. Picking a roommate is challenging enough without being an introvert, so look for these qualities, pick the person that’s the best fit for you and watch that relationship grow over the next four years. I promise, if you make the right choice, you’ll always have that person in your life.


Good luck in your search and don’t be afraid to dig deeper to find the person that’s perfect for your unique personality.


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