18. That’s my number. This number, quite astonishingly, is the number of roommates I’ve endured over my collegiate lifetime. Having shared a shower and rent with 18 different girls over the span of two continents, three schools and four years, I know a thing or two about roommate conflicts.
Roommates can be tricky. They come in many shapes, sizes, and temperaments. If you find yourself reaching for the post-it notes or drafting passive-aggressive Facebook messages, chances are that your roommate fits into one of the following five types. If that’s the case, take a deep breath. Know that you have my deepest empathy. Read on to find a solution (and perhaps regain your sanity).
1) The One With No Boundaries
To this roommate, signing your housing contract was like signing marriage papers – “what’s mine is yours”, whether it’s that unopened jar of jelly or that expensive face wash you splurged on.
Instead of plastering your house with post-it notes, take the time to sit down with your roommate and talk things out. It may even help to list out what’s okay to share and what is off limits. It’s probable that your roommate never intended to invade your personal space in the first place. Verbalizing any unspoken rules is the key to success.
2) The One Who Keeps Quiet
At the end of the day, you might not get much more than a “’morning” and “’night” from this type of roommate. This is the type of person who likes to keep to themselves, study 24/7, and spend their Saturday nights relaxing with Netflix.
In order to get this roommate to open up, suggest a roommate outing. For the over-twenty-one crowd, suggest splitting a pitcher at the terrace at sunset or going to the Icon for sangria. Even better, choose to stay at home where this roommate can remain in their comfort zone – try out a new recipe and start a new show together. Shared experiences will both of you feel more comfortable and you might find the roommate open up to you.
3) The One That Never Cleans
While we’re all guilty of forgetting to change the toilet paper roll or stacking dishes in the sink, this roommate takes dirty habits to the extreme. Like a human tornado this roommate leaves used shot glasses, shoes, and even possibly hair extensions all over. If you find dirty socks tucked into couch crevices, it might be time for an intervention.
This is where a chore wheel comes into play. While having weekly assigned tasks won’t magically make your roommate a cleaner person, it will help them focus on pitching in around the house.
4) The One Who Loves Jose
It’s natural for a badger to indulge in a few rounds of dollar margaritas or a series of shots every once in a while, but this roommate takes it a little too far. Every night that ends in “y” is a party for them, and that “YOLO” lifestyle is beginning to interfere with your studying and your sanity.
Setting the record straight is the only way to salvage any roommate relationship. Pull them aside before any fun commences at your apartment and talk things out. Offer plenty of suggestions that will make both of you happy – whether it’s searching for other house parties or encouraging your roommate to pick up the extracurricular of bar-hopping.
5) The One With the Squeaky Bed
Whether you’re being ‘sexiled’ from a shared room or woken up by the girl next-door, the moaning and groaning of this roommate can cost you a good night’s sleep (and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s as you mope about being single – but that’s another topic for another time).
Investing in high-quality headphones and earplugs is one way to endure your roomie’s romps. If that isn’t enough, sit them down and discuss a compromise. Let them know when you plan to be out of the house (or even better out of town) or, as a last resort, suggest that they try and keep it quiet.