College is a time filled with booze, boys, and bad relationships. Having a fabulous (or awful) roommate can definitely make (or break) your experience. They are often the ones who take care of you when you are drunk, spend single Valentines Day’s with you, and give you great pep talks when your down. But, they can also wreck your room, friendships, or relationships. Roommates come in all varieties and no two are exactly the same. I have analyzed 15 types of roommates and am here to share the pros, cons, and help you survive regardless of your situation.
1. Chatty Cathy
The Pros: This girl has an opinion about everything, but she wants you to be happy. She gives great advice and great guidance. She also knows how to kill awkward silences and is a fabulous friend to have at parties. She has cool stories to tell and can talk to almost anyone. She will want to call in take out, make tons of friends, and ensure that your R.A and campus officers have your back.
The Cons: She will probably say the wrong thing, at the wrong time, to the wrong person. She will accidentally reveal details about your wild weekend while talking with your mom… and spill to your boyfriend how he is so much better than your ex. She can get annoying, even to everyone else. You literally can’t get a word in most the time. Arguing and disagreeing with her, forget it!
How To Survive: It’s important to try to compromise. Hint slightly that she sometimes says the wrong things at the wrong time. Ask her to thinking about what she says before she says it, especially if it’s sensitive information. Counting to 3 before she says something may help to ensure it’s not controversial. Explain to her that you care about her a lot and think she will do a lot better in her relationships and her friendships if she sometimes allows others to put their two cents in.
2. Messy Meg
The Pros: There aren’t too many pros to Messy Meg. If she has her own room, she can possibly contain her mess. Also, she will make you look very neat.
The Cons: You will find socks scattered about the house, week old pizza boxes under her bed, and crumbs from one end of the apartment to the next. She probably smells like salami and sweat and your friends will complain that your apartment is always messy. You feel uncomfortable and embarrassed having people over so most of your get together are outside your living quarters.
How To Survive: When the problem arises, talk to her about it. Express your concerns and why you are having an issue. Suggest ways she could start tiding up and stay organized. Suggest weekly apartment organization Sundays, or grab a bottle of wine and start picking up together. Put on some music and make cleaning fun.
3. Neat Nancy
The Pros: Your home is immaculate and always smells of fresh roses. She has organized your closet and has the cereal in your cabinet arranged alphabetically. She is the one who cleans up after a night out and is often seen at 4 am cleaning up beer bottles. She will keep you organized and on your toes. You won’t mind if your parents make surprise visits, and will love having company over. This girl will encourage you to be neat and tidy too.
The Cons: Though it is great to have a clean roommate, it is often hard to deal with someone nagging at you to put your wine on a coaster or wash your dishes the second you finish eating. You will constantly be nagged for making messes and will feel as if she is your mother.
How To Survive: Try to make some compromises and let the rules and her OCD-tendencies be known. Make a 10 minute dirty dish rule or design some cool coasters with her. Make cleaning fun – for you. Tell her that you will try your best to be clean and to make the roommate situation work. Explain to her that you also want to pitch in and help keep the apartment clean, even if you’re not always on top of it. It’s good to let her know that you’re thinking about it and care.
4. Loose Lauren
The Pros: This girl is always down to have a good time. She isn’t afraid to let her hair down and have fun. She is always having guys over which is a bit annoying… yet, guys bring over other guys. So, she is able to introduce you to lots of people and boys. She often goes home with someone, so your Sunday mornings are spent by yourself in your room getting work done.
The Cons: She is constantly bringing guys and people over. She is partying at odd hours of the night and interrupting your sleep, homework, and Netflix viewing. You do not appreciate how inconsiderate she is. She also doesn’t tell you where she is and if she is safe, which makes you worried.
How to Survive: Express your concerns with her. Tell her that you get worried if she doesn’t tell you where she is going, or is gone for a long time. You are concerned about her safety and wellbeing. Pick nights and times where parties are okay, and set up a routine or schedule at the beginning of the week – based around your work, class, and sleep schedule. Explain to her that there are times when you both need to get things done, and the other person should understand and respect that. Come up with a protocol for bringing someone home and making sure it’s okay. Make sure she knows that this doesn’t mean you don’t want her to have fun – you just want to ensure you both are safe and happy.
5. Becky the Babysitter
The Pros: This girl ALWAYS has your back and your best interest in mind. She is the one friend that texts you to make sure you got to where you are going safely, and would pick you up in a heartbeat if you were uncomfortable. She has been known to stop you before making stupid decisions and cut you off when you’ve had a few too many. She has shooed away gross guys and reminded you to always use a condom. She is the one that is always counting everyone before she leaves from the bar and making sure that everyone gets home safe.
The Cons: Though this girl is sweet and has your best interest in mind, she can be a bit much. There are times when you are convinced she is exactly like your mother. She thinks she knows what is best for you and tries to make decisions for you. She also feels it is her responsibility to lecture you if you make a mistake. She is the person who cuts you off when you’re not even drunk – and really are feeling perfectly fine.
How to Survive: You must isolate the Babysitter Becky and tell her that you appreciate that she is looking out for you. Tell her that she is a great friend and you appreciate that always has your back. Remind her that you are also an adult and need to make mistakes sometimes. Ensure her that it is okay to let loose and have a little fun. She does not have to be worrying about everyone else all the time. She should take some “me time” to relax and let go sometimes.
6. Prude Patricia
The Pros: If you’re very clean cut, don’t like party, and aren’t very promiscuous, Prude Patricia may be your ideal match. If you do like to party, at least you have a quiet roommate who will not cause any trouble. She won’t go out all the time and you won’t have to babysit her.
The Cons: If you like to go out and party, she may judge you and the decisions you make. You will not want to have friends over because you fear they will spill about your wild weekend and she will judge you even more. She may try to impose her values on you and might even narc on you from time to time. Forget about parties in your dorm! You will want to be as far away as possible when you party and definitely hide your booze from this girl before it goes down the drain. You will also not want to bring boys. Save yourself the lecture.
How to Survive: If she is judging you, tell you that you are an adult and capable of making your own choices. You appreciate her input, even if you don’t agree. But ultimately, you will live your life the way you want to – not the way she wants you to. If there is a real problem, like she is telling your RA about your flavored vodka in the fridge, consider changing up your roommate situation. Your room should be a judgment free zone where you feel safe to say and do whatever you want (within reason).
7. Trish the Fish
The Pros: Much like the Loose Lauren, this girl is always down to have a good time. She drinks vodka straight and downs it like water. She is always the life of the party and a great friend to have if you like to go out. She encourages you to let loose and let your hair down. She is down to party whenever you want to, and you have her on speed dial for weekend romps.
The Cons: You sometimes feel like her mom. You hear her throwing up at 4 am, and have to drive her to the bar to retrieve her credit card and ID in the morning. She is always drinking at terrible times, and your apartment resembles a frat house. She doesn’t know her limits and makes decisions she regrets the next day while you do damage control. She’s never turned down a shot no matter how intoxicated she was, which can lead to disasters.
How To Survive: Let her know that you are concerned about her and the decisions she is making. Be kind and subtle. Say something to make it more about you, like “my grades have improved so much since I stopped drinking every night” or “I’ve been trying to lose weight. Let’s cut our drinking down to twice a week to see if that will help”. It is her life, these are her decisions, and you are not responsible for her actions – though it may be a good idea to kindly suggest that she is behaving in a destructive way, and offer some solutions to help and support her.
8. Carly the Cock Block
The Pros: This girl can keep you from making really dumb decisions with men. She is always there at what seems to be the worst time, yet you are so grateful that she cock blocked you when you look back in the morning. Since she is always in your apartment, you don’t have to worry about having guys over and not being able to kick them out the next day. You are able to swiftly exit their place without making a fuss. She also has been known to be your excuse for not allowing creepy guys back, and she’s your savior from gross bar boys.
The Cons: You don’t have much privacy, and she’s all up in your business. She is always interrupting and preventing you from letting loose and getting your sexy on. You think the coast is clear, but she will show up 10 minutes later with her whole geography class and not knock upon entering the room. You are constantly frustrated with the lack of privacy, and can’t even have solo sex when she is around.
How To Survive: Explain to her kindly that you would like alone time sometimes. You value your private time, and your private time with guys. Encourage her to get out and participate in activities rather than stay in the apartment all the time. Come up with a reasonable schedule of when you want the room to yourself and when (if) she would also like alone time. Compromise to find the timing that works best.
9. Netflix Noreen
The Pros: Netflix Noreen is almost always laying in bed watching Netflix, TV, her phone, or the computer. She is your go to girl when you need a good movie suggestion, and she often has headphones on so she can’t hear you if you have a party or guy over. She keeps to herself most the time, but is known to come out of her shell on occasion. At least you don’t have to worry about where she is all the time!
The Cons: Like Carly the Cock Block, she is probably always in the room on her computer. She finds comfort in watching television and spending time winding down alone. She might unintentionally cock block you, and her screen is lit up constantly causing many sleepless nights on your part. Some Netflix Noreens don’t use headphones, which is very annoying – while others are very good about being consciencious.
How To Survive: Netflix Noreen’s are generally pretty laid back and keep to themselves. She might not make an effort to get to know you, and she may be a bit shy. If you’re so inclined, help her come out of her shell and make some new friends that distract her from what Blair is up to on the Upper East Side.
10. Committed Caroline
The Pros: This girl is committed to her boyfriend, but the good thing about boys is that they have lots of friends. She will introduce you to lots of new people and she will always be in a good mood because she is in love… except when they’re fighting. She will want to set you up on dates and bring you out to do couples activities. She is often out doing things with her boo, so she probably won’t be around all the time, which means more free time and playtime for you!
The Cons: What if you hate her boyfriend? Or you hate his friends? Or you hate how she is acting and changing herself for this guy? This often happens when people get into relationships, and it’s unavoidable. They start spending tons of their time with their significant other and less time with you. She may also become clingy and defensive of him.
How to Survive: Make special time for the two of you! Remind her that she hasn’t seen your friend mutual friend in almost a month – and set up some time for Girl’s Night plans. Include her in activities you two enjoyed when she was single, and remind her subtly to keep in contact with people other than her boyfriend.
11. Bruce the Boyfriend
The Pros: You love and hate living with him. On the plus side, you get unlimited access to the sexual benefits of the relationship. He is able to give you long massages at the end of your long work day and coax you into taking a steamy shower for two. You have constant company and constant companionship. Your favorite guy is constantly by your side and always there to shower you with compliments and care. If you’re thinking of staying together long-term, living together in college is a great trial period.
The Cons: Though there are many pros, there are also many cons. You may love having him around, but there will be moments when you want to be alone, go out with your friends, or just be apart for a while. You will fight, and you will want to kick him out at times. He will drive you crazy with his antics, grossness, and his weird sense of humor.
How To Survive: Communication is key. Try your best to keep your conversations civil and respectful, even when you’re mad. If you fight, fight in a way that will not ruin your relationship. Don’t say things you don’t absolutely mean. Always try your best to forgive and move on. Try your best to remember the good times and the positive qualities your man has. Understand that sometimes, a little time apart is all you need. This is fantastic practice for later years and will either make or break your relationship.
12. Madeline the Mooch
The Pros: She is fantastic at finding free samples, meals, and deals. She has no shame in stealing beers from parties or sneaking some good knives from Applebee’s into your clutch. She is constantly pushing the limits and is incredibly cheap. She is also good at helping you budget your money and spend less cash.
The Cons: This girl has zero shame. She will probably use your shampoo because the kind she likes is not on sale that week. She will steal your Chobani yogurt and ask for your last Oreo. She will always try to con her way out of paying for things and take more than her fair share. If she asks you for a “sip”, she will probably drink half or a third of your drink then trot along to her next destination.
How to Survive: Confront her about what is bothering you. Tell her you are annoyed when she eats your last double stuffed Oreo and doesn’t pay for half the scorpion bowl. Come up with a system to keep her accountable, such as her putting $.25 or $1.00 in a jar whenever he wants a sip of your drink or a bite of your sandwich. If she disagrees, mooch right back. It’s a two way street after all. If she complains, explain that you are only treating her the way she treats you, so you thought it would be okay for her.
13. Hookup Henry
The Pros: This guy is the ultimate friends with benefits. He is everything good about a boyfriend without the title. He is there to cuddle whenever you want, and your sex life is better than ever. He knows what you want, who you are, and cares for you as a friend (and potentially something more).
The Cons: This situation has the potential of getting ugly. You are seeing every girl that comes into his room and hearing all the conversations he is having with his guy friends. You are together, yet it is not official – and he may not have the same ideas as you. Jealousy is a huge issue here. What if you catch feelings? Forget it. One of you better be looking through the real estate ads.
How to Survive: Always be up front, and let each other know exactly what you are looking for and what you expect. If you don’t really want him bringing girls around, ask him to do it when you are not home or to go to their place. Always try to communicate. If you must, change the relationship to ensure that you guys will stay friends even after the benefits stop.
14. Third Wheel Tina
The Pros: Let’s get real, there aren’t too many pros to the third wheel – the girl who tags along to everything. She may be a good friend and you admire that she does want to spend time with you.
The Cons: You can tell that she is uncomfortable in certain situations with certain people, yet she still insists on including herself. She can be embarrassing at times and try WAY too hard to be a part of conversations, activities, and groups that she really has no interest in or experience with. Everyone just feels weird having her around and on edge.
How to Survive: Offer a solution. Say something like “I’m going out dancing with Grace tonight. I know you hate dancing so I was wondering if you would like to join Kelly and I tomorrow night for margaritas at the bar. You guys really hit it off last Friday”. Try to pick situations that involve all sorts of people and all sorts of conversations, so she can pick to involve herself in things that interest her and people that she gets along with better. Never admit that she is the third wheel. Instead, try to include her in situations where she will thrive, and hope that she makes some new friends.
15. MIA Mary
The Pros: You literally get so much alone time, because this girl is never around. You don’t have to worry about wearing no pants to bed or her smelling your accidental farts. You also never have to worry about having a party or guys over. If you hate Mary, this is a great situation. She does her own thing, you do your own thing, and it works for everyone.
The Cons: If you actually like Mary, you will miss her. If you are really good friends, her absence will have a negative effect on you. You may start to feel lonely and may wonder if she doesn’t like you. This could kill your relationship. Also, you have no idea where she is – and may worry about her. She could be in at the frat house passed out in their fountain for all you know.
How to Survive: When Mary returns, ask her where she was and if she had fun (in a non-mothering way). Joke about her never being around anymore. Tell her that you miss her and worry about her sometimes when she is gone. Develop a system of finding out where she is and if she is safe, and set aside some time to hang out and reconnect.
Roommates are unpredictable. Though you can’t control who your roommate is (at least your first year), what they do, and how they act, you can try to make the best of your situation. Always try to see the positive rather than the negative and remember that nobody is perfect. You have the tools to survive any situation and have the best year ever!