By Kait Spong
Whether you reside on-campus or off-campus, most college students—in both dormitories and apartment buildings—live with a roommate. During this time of your life, you are transitioning from living with your family to rooming with a friend, an acquaintance, or even a complete stranger. Even though college can prep you for career-based situations, one thing that you may not learn in your classes is how to co-exist with another human being outside of your family’s inner circle. It’s a major adjustment for everyone, and if it were easy to do, we wouldn’t be writing about it today!
If you have been assigned a roommate, odds are you aren’t entirely certain about the kind of person you’ll be dealing with on a daily basis, and that’s okay. It’s part of the beauty of forming new relationships! Now, we’re not saying every roomie you encounter will be a staunch stereotype—but, we are saying that you may experience roommates, who embody similar traits found in our list below.
Trust us, it’s important to get a good read on the people within your environment to maintain a harmonious, fruitful relationship. This includes your roomie! With all our experience in dealing with college roommates, uCribs wants to give you the 411 on how to deal with these 6 types of college roommates.
The Morning Person
Does your roommate tend to wake up extremely early, even on the days they don’t really have to? If so, you probably have a morning person on your hands. This person enjoys having some structure to their mornings—maybe, unlike you, who sleeps as late as possible and gets ready in about twenty minutes before heading out the door. This roommate, on the other hand, may like to fill their mornings with activities that center them for the day ahead, like making breakfast and a big pot of coffee, or greeting the sun with a meditative yoga routine.
Roomies, such as these, are convinced that waking up allows them to be more productive throughout the day– and honestly, they might have a point. On the bright side—no pun intended—having a roommate, who is “early to bed and early to rise,” might encourage you to put a better sleep schedule into practice. Just be sure to make it clear when you want to sleep in, so they can limit certain activities, like unloading the dishwasher or vacuuming the living room until a later time.
The Health Nut
You’ve most likely come face-to-face with a health nut well before beginning college. This person is particularly careful with their eating habits and makes it their mission to stay committed to a workout routine. They listen to their body by keeping up with scheduled doctor’s visits and vitamin and/or skincare regimens. Maybe, this person annoyed you, or perhaps, their regimen made you rethink your own. Either way, if your new roomie happens to fit this description, you’re in luck.
The Health Nut roomie can make all the difference when it comes to avoiding the dreaded “Freshman 15,” a phrase used to describe the typical amount of weight gained during a college freshman’s first year of university. They’ll inspire you to stay away from the fast-food drive-thru and focus on whole nutrition. You also might find yourself in the on-campus gym a little more often, thanks to their encouragement. Take our word for it, though—they won’t be easy on you. Sometimes, you need a bit of accountability, and a health-conscious roomie is the best free alternative to a personal trainer. But, make sure they respect your boundaries when it comes to health advice. At the end of the day, anything you do is your decision.
Truth be told, college is the first time that many people experience their first taste of freedom, especially those students with overprotective parents. With this newfound freedom, there comes great responsibility, which is why many students fall victim to becoming a partier during their college years. The Partier tends to have numerous connections, too many social obligations, and not enough discipline to get the important stuff done. Sure, it can get annoying that they come through the front door past 2 AM every other night, and maybe you’re frustrated that you’ve played the role of “babysitter” one too many times.
But, life isn’t all that bad when you’re paired with this type of roomie. Your new, happy-go-lucky roommate can encourage you to get out amongst friends and peers more often, which can help you meet new people and form lifelong friendships. When you decide to partake in their plans, they’re actually the life of the party, Plus, it will never be difficult to get the alone time you need, considering they’re out and about all of the time. Hm, it seems like a win-win situation to us.
Not everyone will have a roommate that keeps a squeaky-clean space—different strokes for different folks, right? Some roomies may go a bit overboard with the clutter, however. We’re talking food wrappers on the kitchen counters, clothes all over the bathroom floor, and textbooks covering the coffee table type of messy. When it finally comes time to clean, this type of roommate is usually nowhere to be found, either. It can be completely overwhelming, especially if you’re someone who prefers to keep your space neat and tidy.
In a sticky situation such as this, you and your roommate must come to an agreement over shared spaces and chore responsibilities. Perhaps, you decide that it’s okay for them to confine their messy behavior to their bedroom, as long as they pitch in with cleaning the kitchen, bathroom, and other living spaces when the time comes. If you find a mutual way to respect each other’s preferences, your relationship with your roomie, despite being the slob that they are, can totally prosper. Opposite dynamics have worked to the advantage of many throughout history— you can help them get it together, while they can help you let go of responsibility. See? A perfect match.
The Annoying One
Not every college roommate will be easy to tolerate. Some roommates are simply a bit more needy or high maintenance than some. Just remember— at the end of the day, we’re all extremely unique people with different upbringings, values, interests, and so forth. You’re not always going to jive with everyone you meet right-off-the-bat, which is one of those difficult adult life lessons that we all have to learn.
So, if your roomie happens to be someone that contradicts your identity and triggers negative responses from you in certain ways, the best solution is to find common ground where you can. By doing this, it will be easier to tolerate their behavior and avoid confrontation. Even if it seems impossible to find a positive amongst all the negative, we suggest that you to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your roommate to hash out your feelings. There is a chance they won’t even know your thoughts until you sit down like two adults and find a solution. Maybe, you’ll find out that they aren’t so annoying, after all.
Last, but certainly not least—because they hate to be last in anything—is a roomie with a bigger brain than your common college student. This type of roommate always has their nose buried in a book, their class assignments completed ahead of time, and the most organized notes you’ve ever seen in your academic years. They always seem to be ten steps ahead of the academic game, which is hard to do in college when you feel overcommitted to everything.
While this roomie may spark feelings of jealousy or frustration in certain ways, they may just be the best thing that’s ever happened to you. With this type of roommate, you can buckle down, study hard, and excel academically. Not only will your GPA thank you for it, but your future career prospects may also be more promising. Now, that’s some good roomie material, right there!
No matter the type of roommate you have in college, everyone experiences conflict at one point or another. You’re just two (or more) people trying to exist in the same space, after all.
Therefore, you must understand that there will be both good and bad qualities in your designated roommate, and nine times of ten, the goodwill outweighs the bad. If you remain patient with the process, all it takes is a little understanding and some willingness to adapt to overcome the hurdles of roommate challenges. Since this is a significant transition for anyone to deal with, be kind to yourself above all else, and we know that you can survive any curveball your new roomie throws your way.