Types of Roommates You Will Meet in College

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Allaa Ashraf

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27 July, 2023

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6 mins read

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If you’ve landed on this page and are reading this article, you’re probably past all the commotion of choosing a study destination and preparing for it by now and are either in the process of looking for a room or have already found one. If it’s the latter, we know you’re here to learn what to expect from sharing a room with a fellow student. 

As an international student, knowing what to expect from your college roommates when studying abroad and how to get along with them is essential. Sharing a room or student dorm creates a sense of family and provides an opportunity to navigate differences. 

College life is an exciting journey, offering new experiences and the chance to live with roommates. This experience allows you to forge lasting friendships, develop essential life skills, and learn to adapt to diverse personalities. 

Throughout this article, we will delve into the various types of roommates you will likely encounter during your college years, from the outgoing party lover to the studious introvert. Understanding these different roommate archetypes will enable you to cultivate positive relationships and make the most of your college living experience. Let’s go!

Types of Roommates

1. The Messy Roommate

We all mess up our rooms and belongings every now and then—maybe some clothes here and there, or even an unmade bed—especially when we're about to deliver an important assignment or are busy studying for exams. 

But when we talk about living with a messy roommate, it’s way more than just basic student clutter. Some people will treat the floor as if it were their wardrobe and their beds as their study desks, and of course, dirty dishes are not out of the equation. We've got some messy roommate solutions for you!

How to deal with a messy roommate? 

Well, start by talking to your roommate without pointing fingers and helping them limit their mess to their side of the room, given that you have separate spaces. 

Another thing is to give them easy solutions like a bedside trash bin for empty cans or a throw-in plastic box for the “unfoldable” clothes. Let them share the payments for the cleaning products or cleaning service so that they feel responsible for cleaning their side of the room because they actually paid for it. Take it step by step, and you’ll both be satisfied with the outcome in no time.

2. The Clean-Freak Roommate

Moving on to the quite opposite type from the previous one, the neat freak- “Not just clean, Monica Geller clean!”

Living with a Clean Freak roommate can be a stark contrast to the previous type mentioned. These roommates go above and beyond to maintain cleanliness, even vacuuming crumbs at dawn and diligently ensuring no unwashed teaspoon is left in the kitchen sink. 

It's unfair for only one person to handle all the cleaning while others contribute to the mess. To maintain fairness, it's crucial for everyone to fulfil their share of cleaning responsibilities. This type of roommate has a meticulous approach to tidiness, frequently organising and sanitising the living space. 

While their habits can result in a spotless environment, open communication about cleaning schedules and responsibilities is essential to prevent misunderstandings.

Types of Roommates

How to deal with that type of roommates? 

A good idea would be to talk to them about jotting down a schedule for cleaning times that suits you both. Divide household chores between the two of you. For example, one person will handle the dishes piled in the sink, and the other will clean the bathroom or the living area.

3. The Party Animal Roommate

Whether it is in the middle of exams or the beginning of the semester, these mates will always find a good reason to party, and worst of all, not alone! They will invite friends over and party hard till 5 AM, so be ready to join the party or have some confrontations.

How to deal with the partying types of college roommates? 

If you are not the partying kind, try talking to your flatmate about scheduling parties away from weekdays and exam times. If you’re both into partying, try to set a good theme for the party, like watching football games together or wrestling quests that are scheduled far from exam time and on weekdays with early lectures the very next morning.

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4. The Introvert Roommate

Contrary to the previous type, the Introvert is the roommate who values solitude and personal space. They may spend a lot of time in their room, engaging in solitary activities such as reading or pursuing hobbies.

How to deal with an introverted roommate?

Living with an Introvert requires respecting their need for privacy and understanding their preference for quieter environments.

5. The Social Butterfly Roommate

Again, contrary to the previous type, the Social Butterfly is the roommate who seems to know everyone on campus. They thrive in social settings, always organising gatherings and inviting friends over. Living with a Social Butterfly can be a blast, as they introduce you to new people and exciting events. 

How to deal with a social roommate?

While having a roommate that can introduce you to lots of new people is great, it's important to establish boundaries and communicate your need for quiet or study time to ensure a harmonious living environment.

6. The Night-Owl Roommate

The Night Owl is the roommate who comes alive after sunset. They are often up late studying, working on projects, or simply enjoying their own nocturnal routine. 

University life offers the flexibility for students to adopt different schedules, such as being a night owl, as long as academic responsibilities are met. However, it can pose challenges when roommates have conflicting preferences, such as being morning people while sharing a space with night owls. Some students find their peak productivity during the late hours of the night, while others thrive in the early morning. 

Regardless of the scenario, adjusting to sharing a student room with someone who follows a different schedule and lifestyle becomes necessary. Embracing diversity and accepting these differences is an essential part of the college experience.

How to deal with nighters or morning people? 

If you prefer early mornings or value a quiet sleeping environment, it's essential to have open conversations about noise levels and establish compromises to maintain harmonious coexistence. Try finding the common hours that both of you are awake and free to do shared tasks, like cleaning or buying groceries. 

Also, make sure that each person informs the other about their preferred studying hours so that the other person can arrange to fall asleep and not bother or distract the one who’s into studying. Maybe it is better to have a sleeping roommate than a wide-awake noisy one.

7. The Study-Buddy Roommate

The Study Buddy is the roommate who prioritises academic success. They are often immersed in their studies, spending long hours at the library or studying in the room. 

Types of Roommates

How to deal with the study-buddy type?

Living with a Study Buddy can be motivating and create a productive atmosphere. However, it's crucial to communicate your need for quiet time and establish boundaries to ensure both of you can focus on your studies effectively.

8. The Sports Enthusiast Roommate

The Sports Enthusiast is the roommate who lives and breathes sports. They may have posters of their favourite teams, engage in lively discussions about games, and even bring their friends over to watch matches.

Types of Roommates

How to deal with the sports enthusiast type?

While living with a Sports Enthusiast can be fun, it's important to communicate about shared spaces and be considerate of noise levels, especially during important games or late-night events.

9. The Super Friendly Roommate

University life is incomplete if you are not making new friends; however, some roommates are too friendly that they are considered space invaders. Having a roommate does not necessarily mean that your privacy will be violated every now and then. However, they could do some acts as the norm while they’re unconsciously invading your personal space and violating your privacy. For example, a roommate might feel it is okay to eat sandwiches or juices from the shared fridge without feeling remorse about that evil deed.

How to deal with space-invader flatmates? 

Setting some boundaries is a must to avoid future misunderstandings, and remember that your flatmates will be from different countries, even continents, and each individual has a different background. So you have to make sure that you set some mutual rules to be followed to avoid annoying one another.

10. The Noisy Roommate

Most roommates won’t realise how much noise they really make unless you confront them about the issue at hand. Some flatmates bring their friends over at inappropriate times. Talking on the phone or watching TV at a high volume is completely unacceptable at times, especially when exams are on the horizon or simply because it is too late to be doing so on any given weekday.

How to deal with noisy roommates? 

You have to talk to them in order to arrange appropriate visiting times for them and your friends. Manage to set a normal volume on the TV at all times, and when one of you is studying, the other should be as quiet as possible out of respect and mutual agreement.

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There you have it! Living with roommates in college provides a unique opportunity for personal growth and the development of valuable interpersonal skills. The various types of roommates you may encounter, from the Social Butterfly to the introvert, offer diverse perspectives and experiences. 

By understanding and respecting these differences, using effective communication, and establishing clear expectations, you can foster a harmonious living environment and create lasting friendships that enhance your college experience. Embrace the diversity, learn from one another, and make the most of this transformative chapter in your life.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an ideal roommate?

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An ideal roommate is someone who is:

  • Responsible: Pays rent on time, cleans up after themselves, and is generally reliable.

  • Communicative: Can talk about problems and disagreements in a respectful way.

  • Trustworthy: Respects your belongings and privacy.

  • Organised: Keeps common areas clean and tidy.

How do I choose the best roommate?

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Here are some tips for choosing the best roommate:

  • Ask around: Talk to your friends, family, and classmates to see if they know anyone who is looking for a roommate.

  • Interview potential roommates: Once you have found a few potential roommates, schedule a time to interview them. This will give you a chance to get to know them better and see if they would be a good fit for you.

  • Set ground rules: Before you move in together, sit down with your roommate and discuss your expectations. This will help to avoid any problems down the road.

Can you be roommates with your friends in college?

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Yes, you can be roommates with your friends in college. However, it is important to remember that just because you are friends does not mean you will be compatible roommates. It is important to discuss your expectations and ensure that you are both on the same page before you move in together.

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