Having one or multiple roommates is a standard part of the college experience. Whether it is during your freshman year in a dorm or post college in an apartment, living with your new roommates may be either a dream or a nightmare, depending on the kind of person they are and how well you click together.
Everyone knows of at least one horror story involving a roommate, whether they were too messy, partied too much, or never left the dorm room. There are so many types of roommates out there, and if you’re not sure what to expect, you can become overwhelmed fast.
Are you about to move in with a roommate? Nervous about what to expect? Here are the top five (more) types of roommates you can meet in college and how to deal with them!
Types of Roommates – The Passive Aggressive
No one really likes confrontation, but some definitely deal with it better than others. Being in college, you are considered an adult, which means you are expected (and should) handle things with maturity and dignity. This can be for something as small as a piece of trash left on your roommate’s side of the room or forgetting to turn off the light because you were studying late. While this is not a big deal to handle for most people, the Passive Aggressive roommate will deal with things of this matter, well, passive aggressively. You never really know what is going to bother them today, but you can expect to find post-it notes telling you what you did to annoy them. Words are never spoken and tension always exists because there’s no verbal communication.
Solution: At the beginning of the semester or whenever you move in with your roommate, establish specific rules and guidelines as to how you both want to live and what you expect from each other. Mention or include things like study/work schedules, cleanliness, when to have friends over, what to share vs. what not to share, etc. Doing so at the beginning should make things a lot easier in terms of knowing what to expect from your roommate. If a passive aggressive note floats around your dorm, ask your roommate about it and talk it out.
Types of Roommates – The One with a Significant Other
When in college, it is expected that you will date a few people. Given that you are socializing with others, meeting new people in classes, etc., dating and/or having a significant other isn’t something that anyone doesn’t expect. When you start to lose your sense of privacy and space because your roommate can’t seem to get enough of their significant other, then you are in for a unique situation. The roommate with the significant other is usually so obsessed with them that your roommate is around them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There isn’t a time when you can’t catch them staring deeply into each others eyes, kissing, or going on about how much the other means to them. Love is fine, but when it suffocates you all the time, it gets exhausting.
Solution: You don’t want to see your roommate breakup with their significant other, but you do want your space back. Kindly ask your roommate to consider alternating between your dorm and their significant others, so that you can have some space but aren’t kicking them out completely. Stress the idea that the room is also yours, and you have to study, work, or want to unwind without having to worry about what is going on between the two of them. Trust me, I think your roommate will understand.
Are you ever chilling in your dorm when you realize you’re missing your favorite sweatshirt? Or searching through your drawers you notice your box of cereal is half gone? I hate to break it to you, but there’s a strong probability that you’re living with the Borrower roommate. Their intentions may be good, but the Borrower roommate has no concept of personal space or belongings, and has the “what’s mine is yours, what’s yours is mine” attitude about nearly everything in your room. From clothes, to food, to shampoo, your roommate will use or borrow anything without asking, because that’s what roommates do right? Though it can be frustrating to deal with them, there’s a few ways get them to quit it.
Solution: All it takes to break through to a Borrower roommate is to have a conversation. Set clear boundaries as to what is yours and yours only, such as food you buy, your clothes, toiletries, etc. Once you tell your roommate that there are certain things they can’t borrow or use, they will lay off and get the picture.
The Night Owl
Everyone has different schedules for the day, since none of us are the same, we all handle the day different. In college, mostly everyone runs on a similar schedule, as classes take up the morning to mid-afternoon. Because of this, going to bed at a decent hour and waking up on the early-end of the morning is a must, unless you have a Night Owl roommate. When you’re falling asleep at midnight so you can get up early to study for an exam the next day, the Night Owl roommate is just starting their night. While they aren’t partying, they are most likely microwaving food, listening to music, taking a shower, chatting with friends, or wandering aimlessly around the dorm. All of this can put a strain on your sleep and make you want to pull your hair out.
Solution: Try compromising with your roommate and be vocal about what is bothersome to you at night. Is their music too loud? Are the lights too bright? All of these are important concerns to bring up to them. Additionally, a sleeping mask and earplugs can help too!
The Perfect Match
If you’re lucky, you can find the perfect roommate that clicks with you on everything. Your personalities mesh together, and its a win-win situation. My freshman year, after my first roommate moved out, a girl that I was friends with moved in with me, and it was the best roommate experience ever! We were on the same page, had fun, understood each others habits and boundaries, and had an awesome roommate relationship, so much so that we are best friends to this day, far after we got our diploma!