Living with a roommate is hard and is easily one of the main struggles every college student experiences when they first move into their dorms. What makes it easier is knowing what to expect and being prepared. Here is a list of 12 possible roommate struggles and what to do to make the best of it.
1.) New, new roommate.
Most schools have some type of social media account where you can talk to new incoming freshman so you can possibly find and choose your roommate before hand. Sometimes the people you choose are not assigned to you for whatever reason and you are given a new one before you move in. In this situation its best to have an open mind and try to be as optimistic as possible. You can usually find your roommates email address through the school email, try emailing them and let them know what you are bringing to the dorm to help with setting up and don’t forget to mention how excited you are to meet them. Most will appreciate the first response gesture and it will create a positive foundation for move in day.
2.) The ghost roommate.
Its very common to experience having a roommate who is never there. Some may like this outcome, but for those who don’t the best way to handle it is to try and schedule a time to hangout with them. They could just be nervous and not know how to start the conversation, so be the first to reach out and show you are open to becoming friends with them. The worst that can happen is you don’t become best friends forever, but at least you tried.
3.) The popular roommate.
You may be paired with a roommate who already has many friends on campus and their many friends may be in your dorm more than you would like. If this is the case, one on one conversation is the way to go. When its just you and your roommate, just tell them you don’t like so many people being in the dorm. You could follow this up with suggesting a time frame that you would be okay with for people to come over. Or you can suggest other places on campus for your roommate and their friends to go, like the lounge, campus market/cafeteria, or library. If worse comes to worse, just ask them to let you know when they will be having people over so you can plan accordingly.
4.) The messy roommate.
This is the roommate who always has their side of the room a mess. This includes, but not limited to, clothes every where, homework scattered around like confetti, and the iconic collection of empty water bottles surrounding them. This picture perfect mess will almost always fall onto your side of the room, causing a very common struggle roommates face in college. Talking is always the answer, tell your roommate how the mess bothers you and how you don’t appreciate it falling into your side of the room. Always give a solution when mentioning a problem, try suggesting a designated cleaning day for the both of you so the work evenly divided. That way, they don’t feel attacked and they know you are willing to work with them.
5.) The clean freak.
This isn’t the worst roommate to have, this roommate loves to clean and keeps their side of the room very organized and will most likely ask you to clean and keep your side of the room organized as well. This may not be a negative, this could help you keep your dorm clean and organized as a whole and organization helps lower stress levels. Give this roommate a chance before you make your final decision. If the constant cleaning is a struggle for you, respectfully tell your roommate that you will keep your side of the room presentable, and will clean it (eventually) if it does get messy.
6.) The night owl.
This roommate is up past 11:00pm either doing homework, watching TV, talking, etc. Their nightly activity’s usually keep you awake and loose of sleep is already a big enough struggle in college without the added night owl roommate. The best way to deal with this roommate is to tell them they keep you awake when they stay up late at night and ask them to be quieter at night so your sleep isn’t disturbed, that way they don’t feel like you are trying to give them a bed time like a parent. Most of the time the roommate will comply and either go to the lounge in the dorm late at night or usually start to go to bed earlier to refrain from making noise.
7.) The try hard.
This roommate always has something to say, he/she asks to hangout all the time, and they usually are nice, but their kindness feels more like suffocation. With this situation you want to be as gentle as possible because they almost always mean well. Simply tell them you like having your own alone time/space, they almost always get the hint after that and then you’re golden. No more struggle.
8.) The borrower.
There is a unrealistic expectation that when you get a college roommate, you also get a designated shopping destination because everyone likes sharing all their things with people. No, not everyone likes sharing their things and if you are this person and your roommate just “borrows” things without asking then you have a serious roommate struggle. Whether its because you are OCD about your things, or you don’t trust your roommate, or just don’t like your roommate, you always need to tell them you don’t want to share items because you just don’t like to share. At the end of the day, that is the other lying umbrella reason as to why you don’t want to share things. If your roommate continues to borrow your things, then I would advise talking to your RA about the situation to see of they intervene.
9.) The appointment maker.
I’m not talking about doctor appointments. College is the time to live on your own and live by your own rules, but some forget they need to account for their roommate. Its very common to have a roommate who always has someone in their bed and this causes a very uncomfortable struggle. The best way to deal with this struggle is to tell your roommate one on one that it makes you uncomfortable and if he/she really needs the room to let you know in advance to see if there is an agreement you guys can come to then.
10.) The goodie goodie.
This is the over kill of nice, this roommate is good in ever sense of the word. No swearing, no drinking, no smoking, no going to crazy parties, and no staying up late. This roommate is very easy to deal with, one of the best “struggles” you could have in a roommate. As long as you respect them, they will respect you. You and him/her could end up being great friends even if you don’t see eye to eye on everything.
11.) The child.
This is the roommate you find yourself taking care of because they are a good friend to you and you want them to succeed, but it usually ends up costing you. Whether is sleep, time, or money, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice any of those for another grown adult you live with. It is good to look out for others, but you always need to look out for yourself first. It may at first anger your roommate, but if they are a real friend they will understand.
12.) The religious roommate.
In this day and age, religion is a big topic people like to discus. What people don’t realize is, there is nothing to discus. You are allowed to pray to whatever God you want to, you are allowed to go to whatever church you belong to, you are allowed to read whatever Bible you want to, and you are allowed to not agree with certain things of other religions, you are allowed to not like certain rules of other religions. With whatever you like or dislike about someone’s religion, the point is it is their right to practice their religion. You don’t have to like it, practice it, or support it, but you must respect it because it is a birth given right. If you have a religious roommate and you don’t agree with their practice, you can express that to them to see if there is a alternative location they are willing to locate to when practicing. But the room is shared and you must be open to them not wanting to leave the comfort of their room.