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 5 types of roommates you can meet in college and how to deal with them!
Types of Roommates – The Neat Freak
Everyone typically likes their space tidy. The word ‘tidy’ may mean something different to someone depending on who you talk to, but generally, most people like a space that isn’t overwhelmed with trash or clutter. Then, there is the neat freak. As a roommate, the neat freak cannot stand to see a sign of dirt, trash, or clutter anywhere. They are constantly cleaning surfaces, Swiffer-mopping the floor, and might even ask you to take off your shoes at the door. Neat freak roommates can leave you feeling like you can’t keep up, do enough to satisfy them, or like you’re the embodiment of a mess.
Solution: Try your best to compromise with your roommate on tidiness, after all, it is the both of you that share the space and therefore you get a say as well. Establish a basic set of guidelines for cleanliness of the room, and abide by them. If your roommate wants to spend their time meticulously cleaning their side of the room, let them! Ensure that if you have a mess, it doesn’t encroach their space and give them the freedom to clean the shared spaces of your dorm if their heart deems it necessary.
Types of Roommates – The Slob
The polar opposite of the ‘Neat Freak’ roommate is the slob. For the slob, cleanliness is out the window. Tidiness? Never heard of it. As a roommate, the slob will generally not care about the state of the dorm room, leaving old graded papers, McDonald’s wrappers, and any kind of trash on the floor, in their bed, on their desk, in practically any space that can be occupied. Additionally, they don’t clean, so you can expect dirt and grime to build up on the floor, strands of hair on the floor or in the sink, etc. No one is absolutely perfect when it comes to having a clean space, but the slob throws that concept out of window.
Solution: Living with someone is all about compromise. Similar to the ‘Neat Freak’ situation, try to compromise with your roommate on tidiness. Establish a basic set of guidelines for cleanliness of the room, and ensure that you both abide by them. To make things simpler, you can alternate between who cleans what, and when. Set up a schedule where you and your roommate can clean certain areas of the room on a weekly basis. This way, the work gets divided up and your roommate doesn’t feel like they’re doing all of the work.
Part of what is so great about having a roommate is getting to know them, forming a friendship, and ultimately having them be someone special in your life for years down the line. For some roommates, however, forming relationships and being social is not something they are interested in. The Ghost roommate is someone you know you live with, you’ve definitely talked to them and seen them before, but on a daily basis, you hardly ever come across them. Perhaps your schedules are that different, or maybe they really just aren’t interested in getting to know you. Either way, the Ghost roommate can be a bit of a head scratcher.
Solution: If you appreciate your alone time and don’t mind being by yourself in your dorm most of the time, the Ghost roommate isn’t too bad. But if you’re someone who likes to be social, make new friends, and get close to others, this might be hurtful and make you feel lonely. Ultimately there is nothing you can do in terms of changing your roommates habits or personality, but you can change what you do in the meantime! Try to visit your friends more, get out of your dorm and go on adventures across campus, do things that get your mind off of the fact that your roommate is ghosting you.
After a long day of classes, work, and extracurriculars, there is nothing better than coming back to your dorm and unwinding with some TV or a good book. Enjoying time in your dorm is normal, but when it becomes a lifestyle, that’s when you are a certified hermit. The Hermit roommate rarely attends class, binges every series on Netflix, and is probably behind on all of their assignments. You wake up? They’re there. You come back from class? Yeah, they’re there. Coming back from a party at 1am? You guessed it, they’re there. Hermit roommates never leave the room and rarely socialize with others, whether be in class or on your dorm floor.
Solution: Unless you are in desperate need of some privacy, the Hermit roommate isn’t too bad. Sure, sometimes you want the dorm to yourself, but at least they keep to themselves and don’t bother you! Try inviting your roommate to the cafeteria to have lunch or dinner with you, or invite them out to a small get together with some of your other friends to get them out of the dorm and socialize a little. Check up on your roommate routinely to make sure they’re ok and not struggling with depression or anxiety, which could keep them from wanting to go out or go to class.
The Party Animal
One of the best parts of going to college is socializing and having fun by going to parties. After a week of mountains of assignments, essays, quizzes, work, and other obligations, its fun to let loose, hang out with friends, and go to a couple parties! Unless, you’ve already done that multiple times, Monday through Friday. Yes, the Party Animal roommate doesn’t wait until the weekend to have fun, they do it at 11am on a Tuesday or 4pm on a Thursday, it doesn’t matter. Whenever you turn around, they’re either coming back from a party or trying to start a party of their own in the dorm. For someone who is focused on getting work done, getting decent sleep, and not trying to clean up your roommate’s drunk messes, this can be a bit of a problem.
Solution: Listen, no one wants to be labeled as a ‘party pooper’, but there is a line that has to be drawn when the fun antics of your roommate interfere with your lifestyle and your academic work. Like everything else in terms of conflict with a roommate, try and compromise. Establish some rules regarding partying, having people over, and drinking. Maybe you can set hours in the morning or nighttime that are reserved for being quiet. Set boundaries on the times they invite friends over, and the quantity of friends they invite as well. If push comes to shove, talk to an RA or look for another roommate situation!