Roommates can be a lot of fun and are good for a lot of things, from saving rent to helping with zippers you can’t reach. But it’s not all easy, shared spaces, homesickness, the stress of adjusting to a new environment, conflicting schedules, coping with your studies and dealing with different definitions of what “clean” means can make home-sweet-home anything but.
Living with someone else in your space is no easy feat; I think it’s safe to say that no roommate is perfect.Learning how to live with somebody else is a valuable skill, so before you go running to your caretaker or complain about your roommate to everyone you know; try your best to figure it out on your own.
Here is the go-to guide of some common character types of roommates:
1. Type-A Neat Freak
This roommate has to have everything in its place. No exceptions. Every photo is perfectly aligned, every pillow perfectly fluffed and their bed is always made. When sharing a room with another person you should do your best to keep the dorm straightened up-at least on your side. It only takes a couple minutes to throw your laundry into a laundry bin, and make sure you’re emptying your trash and cleaning your dishes before you go to bed at night.
2. The Slob
Did a tornado just rip through your room? Nope, your roommate just hasn’t cleaned up since you both moved in. There is a not-so-fine line between messy and health code violation. It’s safe to say that both you and your roommate will have to make compromises and work a little harder to keep your space clean now that you are sharing it. How to deal? Create a cleaning schedule to divide responsibilities and make sure your room is clean on a regular basis.If dividing chores doesn’t work, revisit the initial conversation. Sometimes throwing in cash for a cleaning service will go a long way in making everyone happy.
3. The Third Roommate
Your roommate’s S.O (significant other) is literally always in your room, even when your roommate is in class. The “more the merrier” isn’t always a true phrase especially when sharing, a relatively small space. How to deal? Look at your schedules and identify times or days where it’s acceptable to have guests. Let them know that when they have room to themselves then they are free to have friends over and when you go home for the weekends. The night before a huge exam on the other hand, probably not.
4. The Hermit
You wake up they are there. Post up between classes, they’re there. In all honesty, this roommate may never leave the room, and it can be a real pain. It’s always fun to have some roommate bonding time, but you’ll need a break from each other once in a while. How to deal? Find other places around campus where you like to hang out.
5. Casper The Friendly Ghost
Your roommate’s stuff lives in your place, but you never see this person. There is nothing wrong with a busy roommate, but it can be kind of a bummer hanging out by yourself when you come home from class. The best thing to do is to try and build your own friendship with them. How to deal? Schedule lunches, study dates and hang out time, even if it’s not in the actual dorm room.
6. The Borrower
One might question if roommate actually owns anything. Instead, they just borrow everything they need. The borrower likes to borrow things with or without asking. How to deal? You should discuss boundaries with your roommate. Make sure you tell them specifically what you’re comfortable sharing and what you’d rather keep to yourself.
While your experience sharing a room may not always go smoothly it will be rewarding. Bonds between roommates are like no other relationship and can last a lifetime.
This article was written by Capital Campus Correspondent Stella Wambui.