No matter how nice your student housing at Ohio University, the roommates you have can really make or break your living situation. And while every situation is different, there are a few stereotypical types of roommates that you may encounter when renting an apartment for the first time. Here are some types of roommates you might come across, and how to deal with them in a positive and productive way.
Unfortunately, many university students are going to encounter at least one of these types of roommates during their time at school. The Slob is known for never cleaning up after themselves. Their messes might start out confined to their bedroom, but pretty soon, those messes seem to multiply and spread all over the apartment. They’re unlikely to wash their own dishes or ever do their share of the housework. Try not to assume that they don’t care about you – they may simply not be used to sharing a space with someone else!
If you encounter The Slob, it’s best to approach them politely, but directly. Set clear boundaries for where it’s okay to leave their messes—namely, their room—and consider working together to design a fun chore chart that makes it easy to see what each roommate’s responsibilities are every week.
The Neat Freak
The Neat Freak is The Slob’s natural enemy, and if the two ever share a living space, it can lead to utter disaster. While fewer “moderate” mess-makers are bothered by The Neat Freak, this type of roommate can cause their own fair share of problems. They’re identifiable by their tendencies to keep all of their personal spaces meticulously clean, and then trying to impose their own standards of cleanliness on everyone else in the apartment.
While you may not mind having a roommate helping you stay organized and encouraging everyone to keep the apartment tidy, if The Neat Freak becomes overbearing, don’t be afraid to communicate this. Encourage them to try relaxing a little bit when it comes to shared spaces.
The Freeloader can be difficult to spot at first, as they conceal their signature identifying behaviors from others quite effectively. Signs you’re living with The Freeloader might be subtle at first: only two Oreos left in the package when you thought there were three, or the amount of milk left seeming to suddenly diminish. But soon, you’ll notice more and more of your food and drinks going missing from the kitchen. This engenders distrust among all of the roommates, especially if you haven’t established an agreement about what you do and don’t share.
The Freeloader also seems to expect others to pick up after their mess, pays their portion of the bills late or not at all, and assumes everyone else will pick up the slack. They live like they did when they were with their parents.
Some people mature more quickly than others. Try be patient with a roommate who is having a hard time breaking their childhood habits. Have a calm, open discussion about what you’re comfortable sharing, and what you’re not. Then, be honest with the roommate about the fact that they need to contribute to household chores and cleanliness as much as everyone else does.