I never minded roommates. Though my favorites had boyfriends with rooms of their own, I had my share of troubles too. As we go back to school, the one I remember most is the one who stole from me.
Though a klepto roommate is bad, it's not exactly something you have to sit in a room with like a loud talker or a furious typer. Here are six terrible types of roommates and suggestions for handling them.
- Day sleepers: The last thing you want to find in your room between classes is a passed-out roommate, but these creatures seem to return to the cave as soon as you decide to get work done. Since they technically have the right to sleep, you can't exactly kick them out, but do learn their schedules and plan your room time accordingly.
- Night owls: They're really just day sleepers at night. Ideally, they're out all night, and hopefully the 4 a.m. return will be swift if loud. If not? Never confront drunk people; even if they're sorry, they're not going to remember it as a big deal. Instead wait until the next day, and offer reasonable, concrete suggestions (i.e., don't turn on the light, don't make phone calls in the room).
- Toddlers: How people make it to 18 without washing a fork or toasting a piece of bread (I was about to write doing laundry, until I remembered my first time was as a college freshman) remains a mystery, but it happens. Either they've never done it or never learned. They're usually agreeable, though, until they start asking for favors. Don't do anything you don't want to (so don't do anything?) and begin setting boundaries the day you realize what you're dealing with.
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- Sex addicts: It may not be in the Tiger Woods sense, but roommates who have their own bunkmates can be a real chore. It's hard to confront, because nobody wants to be a downer when it comes to sex, but everyone deserves to live in a room where no one is having sex but themselves. It's like as basic a human right as water! Set some ground rules from the beginning. If it gets bad, give them your schedule and tell them to plan accordingly!
- Kleptomaniacs: Unlike the previous situations, there is no gray area when it comes to stealing. It's wrong, and you shouldn't have to live with it. Confront if you can. If not, then this is one of the very few instances when I'd say go to an RA.
- Tweens: Maybe they have more stuffed animals than books? Terrible taste in music? Or they eat more like they're 8 instead of 18? Whatever it is, these are the hardest roommates to prosecute. Can't fault people for being themselves! Get some good stories out of it, and find friends, good friends, to tell them to.
Have any tips to add?