What Kind of Roommate Do You Have?

A guide to dealing with every type of roommate

by Published: Jun 24, 2013

As if com­ing to col­lege away from home is not scary enough, you’ll be liv­ing with a com­plete stranger. Don’t worry; it’s some­thing every­one goes through. To make mat­ters a lit­tle eas­ier, here’s a guide that will explain how to deal with your future room­mate. Good luck and happy living!

Gym Rat
Imagine pro­tein pow­der every­where and the stench of dirty laun­dry. If you have a room­mate who loves the gym, this may be your future room. You may be woken up early by your roommate’s morn­ing work­out rou­tine. If this is the case, try wear­ing ear plugs to bed. If you can’t beat it, join it; go to the gym with them and have them train you. Remember: Exercise is healthy! Set up a clean­ing and laun­dry sched­ule to keep the smell under wrap.

Wannabe Musician
Music is always a good thing, right? You’ll get used to it with this kind of room­mate. Guitar, or some other instru­ment, will be played relentlessly—regardless of what time it is. Listen to them play; it’s free enter­tain­ment. If you don’t like it, be hon­est with them. Be respect­ful and polite about it, but set times you both agree it’s appro­pri­ate for them to play.  

Quiet One
You can assume what kind of per­son­al­ity this room­mate will have. They will be shy and tend to keep to them­selves. No mat­ter how hard you try to make con­ver­sa­tion, it may not hap­pen. Don’t worry, though. Be respect­ful and try to get them to become com­fort­able with you. By doing this, they will even­tu­ally open up to you.

This roommate’s most prized pos­ses­sions will be their cam­ou­flage sweat­shirt and cow­boy boots. Be pre­pared for them to go out hunting…a lot. If you want to bond with them, ask to watch “Duck Dynasty” with them (if they’re into that kind of thing). If coun­try music is high on their list of favorites, ask them to use a pair of head­phones when lis­ten­ing if you’re not a fan.

The Frat Boy/Sorority Girl
If your room­mate is going to join a fra­ter­nity or soror­ity, you won’t see them around very often. Greek stu­dents typ­i­cally spend the major­ity of their time at their organization’s house or doing things with their “brothers”/“sisters.” They won’t tell you details about their orga­ni­za­tion, so don’t bother ask­ing. However, when they are around, be friendly and respectful.

The envi­ron­men­tal­ist is the hoarder of recy­clables. They may keep an entire hall’s recy­clables in your room. Avoiding con­flict is sim­ple when deal­ing with this room­mate. Have a dis­cus­sion with them about not let­ting recy­clables take over the room. Encourage them to join the recycler’s orga­ni­za­tion on cam­pus, and offer to go to the recy­clable cen­ter with them.

Sports Fanatic
Hopefully you like watch­ing sport­ing events and games because they will be on non­stop. If you don’t, you’re out of luck. This room­mate will refer to ath­letes often and play in every fan­tasy league offered. Either jump on board with sports or spend time out­side the room.

Promiscuous One
Many peo­ple come to col­lege and fig­ure out it’s a time to expe­ri­ence dif­fer­ent things. Some choose to exper­i­ment with dif­fer­ent classes and clubs, while oth­ers choose to exper­i­ment with, well, “extracur­ric­u­lar activities.”

If you have a room­mate who hap­pens to be a bit promis­cu­ous, explain what is accept­able for your room and what you are uncom­fort­able with. If you don’t want your room­mate bring­ing home a girl or guy after a crazy party, let him or her know. Your room is small and if you don’t feel like it, don’t deal with it.    

You won’t have to worry about hav­ing peo­ple over or being woken up early if you have the gamer for a room­mate. However, this room­mate will always be around and always play­ing video games. They may make jokes and ref­er­ences to their games that you might not under­stand. If this is your room­mate, bring your own TV. Spend some time out­side of the room because alone time for you will be rare.

Neat Freak
This room­mate is oppo­site of the slob. They will have a place for each and every item in your room. Their bed will always be made and their desk will always be cleared off. You don’t have to be a neat freak to like clean­li­ness. Be respect­ful to your room­mate and try to keep your side straight­ened up.

There are two types of over-achievers. The first type is the one who will always be around. This type of room­mate will eat, breathe and sleep study­ing. They will often have their head in a text­book and frown at the thought of a grade lower than an A.

The sec­ond type of over-achiever is the type who you’ll hardly ever see in your room. Chances are they’ll be attend­ing every meet­ing they pos­si­bly can, while join­ing numer­ous reg­is­tered stu­dent orga­ni­za­tions. If you want to get involved, ask them if you can tag along. If you would pre­fer not to, spend time with your friends out­side of the room.

Don’t expect to get much sleep with a room­mate like this. They will come back at 3 a.m. after the bars close, slam­ming doors and turn­ing lights on. And, well…they may not be alone. Your room will be a hang out place for friends before going out, and a place to crash after com­ing back.

If you’re not up for this, talk to your room­mate. Make an agree­ment about how many peo­ple can come over. Figure out their plans after the wild party; ask if you should expect to see them that night, and if so, if they can be quiet when com­ing back.