One of the most significant changes from BC to a four-year university will be the campus housing. If you have never had a roommate before, this could either be a blessing or a nightmare. While some colleges offer a form of “roommate matchmaking,” others will require for you to know exactly who you want to room with. There’s also the risky random roommate assignment that many students end up trying out. The type of roommate you will end up is the luck of the draw, and there are tons of roommate personalities you may encounter, but here are some of the ones that are common.
The hoarder delights in giveaways, whether it is a free Frisbee, T-shirt or sticker. Typically, the hoarder will reside in a pigsty and will stuff their beloved items below their bed, in drawers, in the closet and sometimes under the bathroom sink. If you recognize your roommate as a hoarder, establish rules. Share your desire to live in a clutter-free environment. Even suggest helping them get rid of things they no longer need. In the event they refuse to give up their packrat habit, declare where your space is and prohibit them from placing any of their things within your area.
If you are the hoarder, pack only what you really need when it is time to leave for college. Try to schedule monthly cleanings to get rid of your clutter. If you aren’t going to remember it when it is gone, you will probably not need it. Also, be considerate of your roommate. While they may not seem annoyed at your clutter, it can be an unpleasant atmosphere. Do your best to clean up after yourself and dispose of unnecessary things.
The gossip enjoys being a social butterfly and will try to get to know you, your friends and practically everyone they interact with. They enjoy asking questions, talking in general, tagging along and talking about their friends to you. The gossip can be described in one word: Nosy. If you are uninterested in their blabber, share with them your need to study and to focus. Politely show them you are uninterested in sharing information about yourself and listening to the lives of others.
If you are the gossip, take a step back and look at yourself. You are projecting a high school-like demeanor that is often perceived as being immature. There is such thing as too many questions, so do your best to not swamp someone with whatever your mind desires. Pay attention to discrete hints, as some people may not be interested in hearing you talk about people. Show your roommate you care, but watch how much you communicate with them if they are backing away.
The stink may come home after a day at the gym and crash without a shower. There’s nothing worse than a warm room filled with human body odor. Maybe they shower regularly, but it’s evident that they do not shower well. Set up small air fresheners throughout the room. Give them friendly clues.
If you are the stink, then you most likely are not aware of the discomfort you are causing others. In this event, look at what your roommate is doing. Are they lighting candles or opening windows when it is cold? Take a look at why they may be doing that. See where your bathing has gone wrong. If your roommate smells you, then your classmates probably smell you too.
The partier loves guests and having a good time. They like loud music, party games and crashing in the a.m. If you are not a partier, then there will be many potential conflicts with this roommate. Again, it is important to set up rules that both will abide by. Ask your roommate to respect your study/sleep time as well as your space.
If you are the partier, know your limits. If you don’t know your roommate well, don’t pull them into your own personal drama. Try to quietly sneak back into the room without waking your roommate. The more you show courtesy to your roommate, the less they will resent your love of partying.
In the event you move in with your current friend, the dynamics of your friendship are bound to change. College is a transitional period, and you will probably walk out of college as a different person. Make sure that you and your friend are compatible sleep-wise. See if your bedtimes, volume level, wake up time, drinking/smoking habits are similar. Avoid future conflicts ahead of time before you’re stuck together.
There are endless types of roommates, and not all are created equal. Good luck with your roommate, and work together to resolve issues.