The Value Of A Really Great Roommate

Ian Micallef
Ian serves as the Creative Director for 20something. But when he's not making look its best, he's serving up some hot social commentary. Dig it.

One of my favorite quotes by motivational speaker Jim Rohn is, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Take a moment and think this statement through – “Who are the five people that influence me the most each day?”

I’m guessing that the first people who came to mind were your family and closest friends, but did you think of your roommate? I’m assuming not, even though it’s our roommate(s) that we tend to spend the most time with each day.


You might say, “Hey, I hardly see my roommate! I’m exempt.” Think twice. Your roommate’s actions subconsciously affect you. For example, if your roommate leaves the entire apartment in disarray, it demotivates and the mess distracts you. Coming home to a well-organized, clean home can work wonders for your psyche.

If you’re lucky enough to have the stars align just right, you might get a roommate that will change your life for the better.


I was fortunate enough to luck out with my last roommate. Picture a young professional, solid in stature and in excellent shape. His suits were always carefully pressed and he had a bubbly charisma that could take over a room. His likeability was instantaneous. He met all the basic requirements for your standard roommate – clean, considerate, generous, etc. But if those were his only attributes, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

What separated him from the pack was his daily focus on growing as a person and becoming a positive influence.

He’d say things to me like, “Hey, there’s a fun networking event on a rooftop nearby, wanna come along?” or “Let’s go to this speaker convention next week!” I’d always get a list of new books recommended about self-improvement, being a kinder person, and working harder. He’d YouTube me video challenges on improving confidence and networking. I was pushed to get back to the gym and developed positive eating habits from his daily nudging; A nudge that I quickly welcomed.


Instead of closing myself off, I embraced every minute of it. Challenging myself to become a better person became an endorphin and natural high. It instilled a mindset and routine of growth that has stuck with me since I met him. I grew faster as a person that year because of the fact that I lived with him.

The following year, he got the job offer of a lifetime and was forced to move on to his next steps. Instead of sulking about the loss of a great roommate, it opened up an opportunity for me to be that quality of a roommate for the next person – to pass on those good values, work ethic, and culture of self-improvement.


What surrounding yourself with a good roommate does is it prevents you from being burdened by negative influences. It teaches you to appreciate the good ones, keep their lessons close, and take advantage of every second of it, because that time together does eventually expire.

You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, and this should include your roommate. Trust me. It all pays off in the long run.