If you are lucky you may be best friends with your roommate, or happen to get along well with your roommate, but more often than not, you will have to deal with the type of people listed below. Keep in mind that the types are generalized, and I mainly listed the most extreme situations. Also, some of these types may overlap with others.
TYPES OF ROOMMATES/SITUATIONS
1. The High School Friend:
If you are going to a large university where you barely know anyone, it can be a comfort being with at least one person you know. Of course there can be some sort of separation anxiety, when you go to college, so you don’t want to leave your friend. So you two think it would be awesome to room together.
The main pro is, like I stated earlier, that you will know someone when you get to college. But a major con is that living together can tear a friendship apart. You see, living together is not like having a sleepover. You share living space, and through living together, people’s’ habits and true natures are exposed. Usually in the beginning, you guys will probably stick together, but on a large campus, there are plenty of opportunities to make new friends. You may be in different areas of study, and want to be involved in different things. You can’t stay in your personal bubble forever. Plus, if you and your friend have a falling out, who are you going to hang out with?
While you may be making new friends, you still need to have time for the friend that was with you before everything started. They may feel left out if you are always with your new college buddies. If they are up to it, invite them to do something with you and your new friends.
2. The Party Animal:
This person goes hard. Every Thursday through Saturday night, they are out at the latest house party, or the club. They often return near dawn while you are trying to sleep, sometimes drunk and obnoxious, and sometimes with very uninvited guests. Some of these types of roommates may be struggling in school due to their many late-night exploits, and they may sleep hours and hours during the day. It’s almost like living with a vampire!
So due to their stupidity, they expect you to be quiet while you are in the room so there are no disturbances while they are getting over their most recent hangover. Completely ignoring the fact, that night after night, you have to deal with them. Some of these types of people have the unique gift of being able to go out and party, and still be able to get up and go to class on time, and make good grades. Yes, disgusting.
A side note, you may have to be careful with these types of people, to make sure that they do not bring any alcohol and illegal substances to your room, because the second they get busted, guess who will be questioned first? When you notice these trends in your roommate, make sure perimeters are set. Make sure they ask your permission before bringing guests, and if they do not give you a heads up during the late night hours, they can’t stay.
If your roommate consistently comes back to the dorm drunk, ask them if they are in such a condition, to stay with a friend. Also, don’t let them keep illegal substances and such in the room. If these problems persist, contact your warden, and other hostel authorities. If you normally get along with your roommate, try to invite them to a fun activity to show them a clean good time. Discuss with them your beliefs so that they understand the boundaries of their actions.
3. The Non-Existence Roommate:
Well you do have a roommate, but it seems that you are never in the room at the same time as they are. A lot of times, they are so involved in meetings, classes, social events, etc., that they barely have time to be in the room. You don’t have a good or bad relationship with them because they are never there! Sometimes these people already have plenty of other friends, so they have no desire to be in the room. A lot of times, you may be in the dorm by yourself. Sometimes people don’t mind this kind of roommate because they are never there to cause any kind of problems. They understand you need your space, and sometimes, they have no interest in getting to know you at all. Words exchanged are very few and far in between, so the two of you may live in mutual ignorance.
Well, if you two can take the time and effort, try to get to know your roommate, and invite them to eat dinner with you. If they are unwilling, just enjoy your other friends and having the luxury of not having to deal with a bad roommate!
4. The Homebody:
This person may have some elements of the Non-Existent Roommate. This person is constantly homesick. Listen, it’s OK to be homesick, but this person obsesses over being at home. They often complain throughout the week, then as soon as their last class of the week hits, they get in their car and head home, leaving you alone. This person usually has a boy/girlfriend at home, and during the week is constantly on the phone with and Skyping their significant other. Sometimes, they are also overly reliant on their parents/guardians, so it’s as if they never left home. A lot of times, they make no effort to venture out, and just go to class, then stay in the dorm moping. With this roommate, they often leave school early or at the turn of the semester/quarter to go back home, so you may not have the same roommate all year.
When you’re there, try to make them feel welcome, ask them to come with you to events and try to do something together as roommates. Sometimes this doesn’t work, but don’t worry because they probably won’t stay much longer anyway.
5. The Foreigner:
This one is pretty obvious. This is the roommate from another country. The may speak little to no English. (Yeah, that’s one to wrap your head around.) This situation is unique from all the others because you are dealing with someone who has a whole different set of cultural values and beliefs. You being their roommate may be one of their first encounters with your country. You want to be welcoming and hospitable. When you get a chance, talk with your roommate and ask them about their home country. Try and come to a mutual understanding of where you both come from. It is not your job to shove religion down their throat if they are not Christian. Like I said, take time to learn about their beliefs and understand them.
So, these were the first five types of living situations. I will create a second part to describe the rest. Here they are so you know what to brace yourselves for:
The Slob, Mr./Ms. Raging Hormones, The Socially Awkward Kid, The Thief, and Living With More Than One Roommate. I will also cover dealing with your neighbors. Till then… cheers!!