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College Guide 2013

The Different Types of Roommates You Might Encounter and How to Deal

Photo: Illustrations by Victoria Medina, License: N/A

Illustrations by Victoria Medina


If you’re going to be in a college dorm, a spacious apartment, a cramped shared bedroom or anywhere on a college campus for that matter, be prepared for your space to be invaded and your comfort zone diminished. One of the scariest parts of college is potentially living with an awful roommate.

Maybe you’ll get lucky and end up with a roomie who’s never around, travels a lot, or lives with their significant other. Some will become your best friends and some will scar you for life. To ease the pain, we’ve created a list of the typical nasties you might encounter and how to deal with them.

P.S. If one of these descriptions sounds like you, don’t take offense, just take note and try to reduce your irritating habits.

The OCD Cleaner

At first glance you might think it’s awesome to have a roommate who likes to clean, but after a month of living with them you’ll soon learn it’s not so fresh. This roommate strives for sparkling countertops, dust-free pictures, and overly organized everything.

How to Deal: The best way to avoid butting heads with the OCD Cleaner is to keep your mess to yourself. Trash your room all you want, but don’t let it out of your bedroom if you’re in a suite or multi-bedroom situation. If you’re sharing a room, relegate your junk to your bunk only. Don’t try to help

clean more than you would normally, or offer to do it for the OCD Cleaner because no matter how hard you try, you will never scrub, sweep or dust enough to meet their standards.

The Quiet One

If you’re expecting a greeting when you get home from class, you won’t get one with this roommate. The Quiet One seems perfectly normal until you realize you’ve never heard them utter one word. They’ll come and go as they please and never say anything. If you’re lucky you’ll get a smirk or an awkward wave out of them, but don’t expect much.

How to Deal: If you need to communicate with the Quiet One, you’re better off leaving a note. And hey, if the worst thing about them is their silence, consider yourself lucky and read on for other truly obnoxious cases.

The Clinger

Insecure and emotional by nature, the Clinger roommate takes sharing a living space as an open invitation to do everything together. Where you go, the Clinger goes. Who you’re friends with, the Clinger is friends with. Get the picture?

How to Deal: You’ll want to say something, but you won’t want to break the Clinger’s heart. If they are the confrontational type, let them know you’re uncomfortable. But if your Clinger also throws Grade A hissy fits or pity parties, just try to keep your private life private. The less you share, the less they can intrude on your comings and goings.

The Socialite

We all see this guy or girl on campus surrounded by several frat brothers or sorority sisters. They never go to class, they need a crew just to study, they stay out late partying and they almost always bring a crowd of people home with them because, as a less shy version of the Clinger, they can never be alone.

College Guide 2013
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