A Complete Guide to Every Roommate You Will Have in College

When you stop to think about it, college roommates are weird, or at least the situation is. Transitioning from living with family to sharing a very very small space with a complete stranger has been normalized, as if we would expect this sort of thing to be normal for people of all ages.

Throughout my four years in college I had more roommates than the average student, mainly because I moved around a lot and jumped from housing to housing. Although they all didn't become lifelong friends, I managed to coexist with each one and make the best of every living situation. Now in my twenties and living on my own, I can't imagine ever sharing a room with a total stranger and trusting them enough to leave all my belongings in their possession. But isn't that the beauty of being eighteen?

The Athlete

Living with a college athlete made me gain so much respect for all the hard work they do year round, but also opened my eyes to all the money that gets funneled into college athletics instead of other areas in need. My sophomore year of college one of my three roommates played softball. As part of a Division 1 team she spent all her free hours lifting weights, training and getting prepared for the season. Roommates like this are great to keep you motivated, especially since you don't have half as much going on, but can also sometimes be a little absent due to their demanding schedules.

The Bookworm

Earning good grades and focusing on school is something we should all do, but there's a healthy balance you have to find when it comes to school and life. One of my freshmen year roommates used to have complete breakdowns around midterms and finals, all because she was worried about failing an exam. The best way to support a roommate who values school above everything else is to encourage them as well as you can when they are beyond stressed and do your best to not fall into a hole where you believe your grades define you and your college experience.

The Wannabe Commuter

While you want to be sympathetic for this roommate, a few weeks into spending every weekend night by yourself will leave you wishing they would just move out already. Moving away from home can be hard, so I totally understand that it takes time to adjust, but if they go home every single weekend, maybe they're better off staying home. While you should be friendly to this type of roommate, make an extra effort to form friendships outside of your living situation.

The Sex Addict

Okay maybe they're not addicted, but this is the first time they have a designated space where they're 100% sure no one will walk in. Hopefully. I'm not here to tell anyone when they can get frisky, do you boo boo, but please pull your bed away from the shared wall. I really rather not no the moment it starts and ends. Okay, thank you, be safe!

The One Nobody Talks To

Being shy is totally fine with me, being antisocial is a bit...well, annoying. My second year I lived with two very good friends, and one more girl that had no interest in spending time with us. While the three of us were excited to welcome her into our lives, she was more interested in spending all her time in her room or with her boyfriend. While you aren't obligated to become best friends with your roommates, be sure to at least say 'hello' when passing each other in the hallway.

The Best Friend

Does she take the place of your other best friend? Not always. But she is there to keep you awake during late night study sessions and binge on the newest season of Grey's Anatomy. I was lucky enough to have two roommates my freshmen year, one who only wanted to spend time with her family and another who was always down to go on an adventure with me. If you are lucky enough to bond with your roommate, hold onto them, because as more time passes you'll notice how hard it is to hold onto friendships you made your freshmen year.

The Gym Fanatic

God I hated this girl. Hate is a strong word, but I really disliked running into her. I have so much respect for people who don't sit around with a family size bag of Doritos, but please don't ask me on a daily basis if I want to go work out with you. My answer is no, just like the other forty two times. Living with a healthy person can be super motivating, or super annoying, depending on how often they love to bring up their morning zumba class into the conversation.

The Party Lover

Having a fun friend can be great, especially if you're the type that's up for anything once. Living with the fun friend is a bit different though, especially if you're the type that some nights just wants to stay home and do nothing. I was lucky enough to have a roommate who enjoyed a night out but also understood my need to just relax some weekends. As long as you both have an agreement to not infringe on each other's space, living with this personality type shouldn't be a problem.

The Upperclassmen

While I know upperclassmen technically means junior or senior, I'm talking about something a little higher up. Graduate students. My junior year I was on track to study abroad, which meant I needed a temporary living situation for a few months. Living with a graduate student opened my eyes to how different earning a masters is, and just how important it is to enjoy every moment of your undergrad experience.

The Perfect Match

You know the saying, "when you know, you know." And trust me, I knew. This person is a rare gem, your rare gem, and once you find them, never let them go. The two of you match in cleanliness, music taste, the temperature you prefer to fall asleep with at night and are able to enjoy both long conversations and comfortable silence. I found my perfect match my senior year of college, which unfortunately meant I only lived with her for six months. We were perfectly in sync, and by in sync, I meant we loved to talk over one another and take regular naps.

Did you form a strong friendship with your college roommates or just gain a frenemy? Let me know the your highs and lows of living with a stranger in the comments below!

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  1. Haha this is funny and true. Now that you mention it, it is weird to trust a complete stranger with all your belongings, and strange habits. I was the athlete, bookworm, and antisocial chick all rolled into one.

    Another roommate you could add is the person who still can't wake themselves up, and expects you to keep track of their life, and blames you for all the things that go wrong. My 1st year roommate, blamed everyone for everything. If she missed an important event its because you didn't wake her up or remind her. If her food burned, its because you didn't warn her, and if the guy she liked didn't feel the same it was somehow your fault too.

    My second roommate was basically a commuter. She was always at her boyfriends. My 2nd roommate had one of her friends stay with us. It was supposed to be for 2 days/or 2 weeks but she ended up staying for an entire semester and then some. When we were about to lose our housing and I tried to kick her out she called me selfish, immature, and childish.

    My 3rd and 4th year roommate ended up becoming my best friend. I remember telling her "I'm not much of a talker so if I don't say a lot its not because I don't like you." We bonded over our talk about the proper way to tie shoes, and we just clicked from then on.

    1. I have no idea how I forgot the person who cant wake up, I lived with her for two years!! She never blamed us for anything though, she just always woke up in the afternoon instead of the morning.

      I used to have guests over but I always made sure it was for an acceptable amount of time, and I had my own room and space. I did have a roommate who basically let her boyfriend move in but we actually liked him more than her by the end of the year.

      My perfect roommate and I bonded over our love to watch Spongebob after a long day, so random but that was our favorite thing to do right around 5pm every day lol

  2. Definitely had a commuter situation. I've also had the anime-fanatic, the night walker (and by that I mean she liked to walk around outside at midnight to go to sleep), the accident-prone, and the compulsive-liar (about eating all your food).

    1. While I lived in England I shared a kitchen with about 9 other people, worst experience of my life! My last week there I just went off on everyone and may have baked some brownies that led people to the restrooms. Those students were just so rude about eating your food late at night, it was unbelievable.