At most schools, you have the option to choose your own dorm roommate (based on mutual preferences), or you can let the student housing department choose a roommate for you (based on personal preferences, such as sleeping patterns, etc.). If you decide to choose your own roommate, you should make sure that person has the qualities of a good roommate before you submit your request to the school. Try to find a roommate who is:
Trustworthy. Having a trustworthy roommate is crucial. Is she responsible enough to clean up after herself? Can you trust him around your personal belongings? Can you depend on her to take and relay your any messages?
Respectful. Of course, there will be times when you and your roommate will disagree, but if you pick a roommate who is respectful, then disagreements should be easily resolved. Pay close attention to how your prospective roommate handles others with whom he has issues. Does he blow up easily and cause unnecessary fights, or is he respectful of the other person's feelings while trying to communicate in a calm manner? Just keep in mind that a little politeness really does go a long way.
Cooperative. When conflict arises, a good roommate is one who is willing to compromise and work as a team to come up with a solution. You don't want a roommate who is willing to take but not give. To build a cooperative relationship, you should discuss your commonalities and differences before you move in together so you will know how much compromising you may have to do.
Friendly. You do not need to be friends with your roommate, but it does encourage a healthy living environment if the two of you are friendly towards each other. Is your potential roommate the kind of person who could still be cordial even if the two of you had a minor disagreement?
Patient. The old saying is correct: patience is a virtue. You don't want to live with someone who's going to get mad at you every time you snore or leave your bed unmade. Try to find a roomie who stays patient when she gets stressed out or annoyed.
Compatible. It's always nice to live with someone who is compatible with you. For example, if you like to go to bed early and get up early, try to find someone who likes to do the same. Rooming with someone who doesn't share the same sleeping patterns as you can be a nightmare. Furthermore, you should try to find a potential roommate who is compatible to you when it comes to cleanliness, smoking, guests, etc.
Communicative. Communication is the key to having a healthy relationship. Try to avoid the type of person who keeps his feelings bottled in when a problem occurs. It's only a matter of time before those minor issues build up into an explosion that could ruin the relationship. Instead, look for someone who can openly express his concerns when roommate issues come up.
While these qualities are good for your potential roommate to have, keep in mind that you should also strive to possess these same virtues in order to be the best possible roommate that you can be. For more information on choosing and living with a roommate, read Roommate Matchmaking.