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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.

Hillbilly
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.

Environmentalist
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.    

Gamer
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.

Over-Achiever
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.

Partier
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.