From learning time-management skills to getting out of your comfort zone, college and university can teach you lots of different things. This also includes learning how to live with other people. Unless you’re lucky enough to afford to live alone, chances are that you will end up living with roommates during your time at college or university. Some of your roommates might be great, and you will get along well, but others, well, not so much. Here is your guide to some of the most common roommates you will probably get and how to deal with them.
The party animal
Whether it’s the start of the semester or midterm season, roommates like this are always ready to party. While they can be fun to have around for an occasional gathering, when they constantly invite lots of friends over for hours on end or come back stumbling back from the bar at three o’clock in the morning, it can quickly get exhausting. Like, don’t they ever have to study? Or are they majoring in jello shots and keg stands?
How to deal with them? If you’re one of the rare introverts who like to party all the time, then you and this roommate will get on just fine. But if you’re like most introverts and need some alone time to recharge, the big thing with a roommate like this is talking to them. Suggest coming up with quiet hours or that they keep the parties for the weekends. If that doesn’t work, buy some noise-cancelling headphones or get out of your dorm for a while to get a break from it all.
This roommate is with her significant other. All. The. Time. From studying and hanging out to making out and hooking up, these two are always joint at the hip and often take over your shared room or shared common area. Whether you come home to find a sock on the doorknob or, heaven forbid, she hooks up with her significant other while you’re in the room, living with this roommate can get so awkward.
How to deal with them? Even though it can be an uncomfortable conversation, you got to talk to your roommate. If you keep walking in on this roomie during those, ahem, intimate hookups, start by knocking on the door before entering or asking her to text you to let you know ahead of time. If it keeps happening, though, it’s important to remind her that it’s your space too and start suggesting she look for other places to hook up aside from your room. Eventually, she will get the hint.
The messy one
From dirty plates in the sink to piles of clothes on the floor, cleanliness is not this roommate’s forte. These roommates rarely clean up after themselves, and you’re not even sure how they can get anything done in all the chaos. While messiness is totally understandable during stressful times of the semester, like midterm season, this roommate’s clutter goes way beyond a little absent-minded exam stress.
How to deal with them? If you two share a bedroom, try and keep the mess to her half of the room. Rather than cleaning up everything by yourself, you can try making a chore chart and splitting the costs of cleaning products, so she feels more responsible for keeping the space clean. Also, while it doesn’t always work, it’s worth having a conversation with this roommate about their messy habits and seeing if that makes a difference.
The clean freak
On the other end of the spectrum, you have the super clean roommate. Even if you are a tidy person, this roomie probably sees your side of the room as a crime scene compared to hers. If she sees a crumb, it must be vacuumed. If she sees an empty cup, it must be washed. While it might seem nice at first to always come back to a clean space all the time, this roommate’s relentless demands for absolute cleanliness can get old fairly quickly.
How to deal with them? This one is hard to deal with as her standards are often so high, but try your best to meet them in the middle and at least keep your shared areas relatively clean. Also, while this roommate could and would clean the entire place by herself, make sure you two divide up the chores, so you’re both pitching in.
This roommate is easy to find because they are always at home, often tucked away in their room or relaxing on the couch. Morning, they’re there. Afternoon, they’re there. Evening, yep, they’re still there. Do they ever go to class? Do they ever leave the house? We’re not sure.
How to deal with them? If you’re sharing a room with them, this roommate can be annoying because you never get any privacy—something we introverts need from time to time. So if you need some alone time, it’s worth looking for quiet spots either in your dorm building or on-campus where you can unwind.
Unlike the hermit, you’re never quite sure where to find this roommate. You probably met them on move-in day and maybe a couple of times after that, but now they are literally never home. Are they crashing a friend’s place? Or maybe with a significant other? Who knows.
How to deal with them? As an introvert who likes alone time, this is honestly one of the best roommates to have: no parties, no messes, no drama. The only downside to this roommate is sometimes, just sometimes, you might get lonely. If that does happen, you can always invite some friends over to keep you company or try spending time with people outside of your room like at the library, at club events, in common areas or anywhere else.
The passive-aggressive roommate
Rather than having a simple one-on-one conversation with you, this roommate likes to avoid confrontation by taking the passive-aggressive route. Rather than telling you what’s wrong, they will often send you a petty text message or leave you a rude sticky note reminder instead. Whether it’s “Do your dishes” or “Pay me back $20,” these reminders can get annoying over time.
How to deal with them? When it comes to this kind of roommate, honest communication is key. Usually, these roommates leave sticky notes because they don’t want to confront you directly, so be honest and direct rather than stooping to their level. If you have an issue with your roommate, rather than playing her game and writing sticky notes of your own, talk to her face-to-face instead and encourage her to do the same.
The no boundaries roommate
The no boundaries roommate can come across in a lot of ways. They might take your clothes or food without asking. They might invade your space and violate your privacy, all with a big smile on their face. Or they might just straight up walk around your shared space…completely naked. No matter how they do it, these roommates often cross lines that should not be crossed.
How to deal with them? The big thing with this roommate is putting up some boundaries and laying out some ground rules. If your roommate keeps borrowing your clothes without asking or walking around in nothing but her birthday suit, sit her down and let her know what things are and aren’t off-limits. Remember, it’s your space, too and you deserve to feel comfortable.
Final thoughts on roommates
Living with other people can be hard sometimes, and each type of roommate comes with its own problems and challenges. With this guide, though, you are now better equipped to handle them, no matter what kind of roommate comes your way.