The six types of roommates you’ll have in college


Athena Chrysanthou

Jacqueline Morales, in truck, a junior studying animation, is assisted by Saluki Startup volunteers as she moves into her dorm Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, outside Kellogg Hall. This is Jacqueline’s third year living in the residence halls. (Athena Chrysanthou |

By Tierra Carpenter

At some point in their college career, whether they live in a dorm, house or apartment, just about everyone will have to deal with a roommate they don’t get along with.

Some roommate relationships start off rocky, while others may build up to it. Nevertheless, don’t fret — here is a list of six types of roommates you might meet and tips to on how to deal with them.

The Passive Aggressive Roommate


You thought you and this roommate had a pretty good relationship, yet whenever you all need to talk about something even semi-serious, they seem to not be able to speak in person.

This roommate will have something important to say, but spend 10 minutes in the kitchen with you and send you a text message when you get back to your room.

Behavior like this can quickly turn a positive roommate experience into an awkward one.

Let this roommate know that you all should try to communicate face-to-face more often. This way you can avoid any miscommunication that comes from leaving notes or messages.

After all, the walk across the hall isn’t that far, is it?

The Barely a Student Roommate

You’re in five classes classes and working a full-time job, while your roommate only takes three and seems to be home all the time. They play loud music, drink and go out, or they have friends over constantly.


If you find that your roommate’s social life is interfering with your academic life, this is a serious issue. Having a roommate who leads a lifestyle that doesn’t mesh well with yours can be extremely challenging, because as much as you wish you had more time for fun, you don’t, and seeing your roommate live like they don’t have class the next day can rub off on you.

Try letting your roommate know how distracting their behavior has been, and see if they can keep the noise level and guests to a minimum throughout the week.

They may not need the extra sleep, but you do.

The Messy Roommate

It’s only your second week living together and you’ve already had to clean the kitchen and take out the garbage several times — when you don’t even cook and tend to eat in your room. Meanwhile your roommate cooks every day, and you’ve never noticed him taking out the garbage or picking up a sponge.

It sounds like you and your roommate may need to talk about a cleaning schedule. Try suggesting that you all draw a chart on a dry eraser board that schedules when which roommate will clean what.

Sometimes the messiest people can benefit from a little structure in their lives. You may not be able to force your roommate to clean up, but hopefully if you follow the chart, they will be inspired to do the same.

The Too Clean Roommate

On the opposite end of the spectrum, some roommates are just too clean. If you can’t even finish eating your dinner before your roommate asks you when you’re washing your dishes, you may have a neat freak on your hands.

Try making a rule that the kitchen needs to be cleaned at least the same day of use. Also, let your roommate know that sometimes things may come up, making immediate cleaning impossible, but you all should let each other know if this happens.

The ‘Can I borrow your …” Roommate

This roommate is the worst nightmare for someone with a lot of stuff. It seems like ever since you and your roommate moved in together, nothing you have is yours. Do you have a roommate or a child?

You let your roommate borrow a hair product two weeks ago. They still haven’t returned it, and now you feel weird asking for it back because you don’t want to seem petty.

Try to keep everything you own worth borrowing on the down low, especially things you don’t want to share.

If your roommate continues to ask to use your things, let them know you’ll need them back right away because you need to use them too. They are still yours, right?

The Disrespectful Roommate

They don’t like you, so they don’t care what you think about them as a roommate. They play loud music at 2 a.m. They never clean. They smoke, despite the fact that you’re in a small space, and you told them you can’t stand the smell. They have guests for days at a time without mentioning them to you. They even have loud sex while you’re home.

This is the worst case scenario, and there’s no way to prepare for this kind of inconsiderate behavior.

You have no choice but to move out or live in hell for a year. If you’re staying in a dorm, before you move try to see if your resident assistant can try to rectify the situation. Still, more likely than not, there’s no way for things to go up from here.

At the end of the day, communication is key no matter what kind of roommate you have. Always try to talk to your roommate about issues you may have with them in person before going the passive aggressive route or writing them off as someone you don’t like or can’t live with.

Tierra Carpenter can be reached at [email protected] or @tierramc_.

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