If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you’ve probably seen The Introvert’s Guide to Getting Out There. At the beginning of the post (which you should read), I stated that I was shocked by my own introverted tendencies. It’s still annoying but I’ve started to come to terms with the fact that, in one-on-one situations, I’m a very introverted and awkward human. And it made interacting with my roommate a very odd and uncomfortable for several weeks. But this post is here to get you past the awkwardness of roommates for us introverted-leaning people.
//Plan Conversation Starters//
The awkwardness of roommates starts immediately after the ‘rents leave on move-in day. To combat the awkwardness, have a planned list of topics to talk about or a fun questions game like ’20 Questions’ or ‘Would You Rather’ to have something fun to do. And it’s a great way to get to know your roommate and, maybe make a new friend.
I, unfortunately, didn’t have a planned list of questions when I did this. But Pinterest is the most useful thing in the world. A quick search of “Fun Get to Know You Questions” gets you some questions that are a combo of funny and weird.
//Grab Food In a Group//
If you’re an introvert, going in a group probably sounds counterintuitive but hear me out. In group settings, you’re allowed to be quite and just listen and no one’s really going to notice. And if they do notice, you can join in the conversation without having to help carry it.
The easy way to do this is to go with the other people on your floor and maybe some of the other people you’ve met during orientation. Make it an event and have fun with it.
//Don’t Let Your Room Be the Hang Out Space//
If you make friends with the others on your hall, someone’s dorm is going to be the resident hang out space. It might be because they have a large futon or the cleanest floor. Regardless, at least one dorm, maybe even two, is going to be the designated place where everyone goes when their bored. Make sure it isn’t your room.
As an introvert, alone time is the most important thing you can have. If people are constantly popping in and out of your door, you’re going to be drained all the time.
You can avoid turning your room into the resident hang out space by going to other people’s room before they can congregate in yours. And having a conversation with your roommate about your desire to keep people out of your room can’t hurt. If you want to be “extreme” about it. Don’t buy a futon until the first month is over because people are less likely to gather in a place without nice seating.
Now this tip only works if you and your roommate are friends and don’t mind spending time with each other.
Movie Nights are awesome, especially for introverts. They’re a way to hang out with your roommate without having to have a ton of conversation. If you both choose a movie the other hasn’t seen yet, it’s even more fun because you have a reason to chat a little. Or you can both agree to no talking until the movie is over which is equally great.
My recommendations: Rent, The Princess Bride, and any Hallmark movie because they’re so cute.
//Carve Out Alone Time//
Every introvert knows that spending a little bit of time by yourself is essential. And sometimes the best place to have that time is your room.
Ideally, you and your roommate will have different schedules and you won’t even need to talk about alone time. My roommate and I got lucky enough for this because she liked having classes in the afternoon and I had most of mine in the morning. So we would usually have several hours where no one was in the room and we could retreat if needed.
If this isn’t true for you and your roommate, talk to your roommate about giving you some time (like an hour or two) by yourself and do the same for her. If that isn’t possible, then take your alone time somewhere else. That might be to the library or a coffee shop or any quite spot you can find on campus. It’s a great way to get out of your room and explore your campus a little.
There we go! Roommates can be stressful for us introverts but this guide has hopefully given you some tips to make it a lot easier. Maybe you’ll even like having a roommate.
Are there any other tips by introverts for introverts on how to live with roommates? What’s your favorite movie for Movie Night?