Can’t Stand Your Roommate? 6 Types of Bad Roomies and How to Help Them Change Their Habits

College Cures feels your pain!

College Cures knows how hard it is to live with certain people. Living in close quarters with someone is hard enough; it’s even harder when you don’t like the person. CC breaks it down for you with descriptions and tips on how to deal with not-so-perfect roommates!

1. The Mess Maker


this person is a pig. He may appear clean to the untrained eye, but you know better. The Mess Maker will leave their laundry lying around and probably only visits the laundry room once a month. He’ll borrow your detergent because he doesn’t have his own, and she’ll take your dryer sheets one by one.

And it doesn’t stop at laundry. This dirty roommate doesn’t do dishes, empty the garbage, clean the hair out of the drain, vacuum, or perform any other type of cleaning duty. The worst part? The Mess Maker usually makes the biggest mess, has the most garbage, sheds like a dog, leaves crumbs everywhere, and doesn’t give a shit about it.

How To Deal:

It can be hard to negotiate with the Mess Maker because this type “doesn’t care” if there is a mess. However, you have to speak up and let your preferences be known.

Try making a chore list

Divide up the chores. One week she does garbage, you’ll do the dishes. He can clean the sink, you will scrub the shower. If the MM sees how nice things can be when everything is clean, things may change!

Make sure to set up a daily or weekly schedule to make sure the list gets done. If he/she slacks, remind your roommate that there are two of you and that means twice the mess.

Tell the RA

Ask your roommate to help and if the MM continues to resists, tell the RA and come up with a creative plan. Maybe the RA can come in and pretend the room is too messy for  hall standards and if necessary he will come back weekly to check. Having your RA surprise you each week to inspect your room is enough to get your roommates’ messy ass moving!

2. The Nudist


shield your eyes and look away because the nudist just arrived in your dorm room! This roommate loves the walk around naked and doesn’t care what others think about it.

There’s no such thing as modesty with the nudist as she doesn’t use towels, underwear or any other type of coverage you could imagine.

Some nudist roommates also partake in the following activities: using the toilet without closing the door, showering with the curtain open, walking around naked with the windows open or guests over, and changing while not wearing underwear in front of others and without any warning.

How to Deal:

if the nudist’s behavior makes you feel uncomfortable, you have to tell him/her how you feel. Ask your naked roommate to cover up when you or others are around.If your roommate is a reasonable person, they will consider your feelings and take your concerns seriously.

Give your roommate a copy of your schedule.

The times your roommate can walk around naked? When you’re not there.

Buy a curtain for your roommates’ side of the room.

This will let her feel free in her own space, without invading yours.

3. The Hook-up King/Queen


Lock up your stuff and forget about walking around in your towel—unless you don’t mind strangers watching you!

The Hook-up King/Queen loves to bring home strangers on any day, at any time. Going out for the night? You might want to stay out…unless you like listening to your iPod on full-blast at 3am while the bed next to your squeaks its way to climax.

You never see the same person twice and you never know who will be in your room eating your food or sitting at your desk. This roommate doesn’t respect you or the fact that it’s your room too, and it’s time for you to lay down the law!

Set some boundaries.

Tell your roommate that you need some space and that it’s not fair to constantly have strangers in your room. Explain to him or her that you don’t feel safe with a random person around your valuables or in your room when you are not there.

Make a schedule.

During the week, visitors can stay up to a certain time, but once the lights go out, he’s got to go. On the weekends? Let him or her have 1 night at your place and maybe you can sleep somewhere else, but other than that, tell them to take it elsewhere!

4. The Bookworm/Nerd


This roommate sucks, especially if you like to party…or if you are just a normal person. The Bookworm is obsessed with studying and hates people who skip class, stay up late, go out on the weekends, and interrupts his/her studying time.

She judges you for drinking and doesn’t like your friends, he’ll tell on you for playing beer pong in your room. He takes over your room everyday after class and makes it a silent zone of studying. When she isn’t at class or in the room, shes at the library studying hard and planning for her future. She has no work/play balance and doesn’t want one anyway!

How to Deal:

The Bookworm can be difficult to negotiate with because many tend to be stubborn and become shrill when threatened. Try and reason with him/her and explain your side to the story; they may respect a well-proposed deal involving intellectual thought.

Suggest Doing Something Together.

If the Bookworm gets to know you better and feels that you are trying hard to spend time with him/her, he may relent and be more willing to relax.

Tell him or her that its your room too

And that you would appreciate more time to enjoy other things aside from studying. Tell her if she wants to study 24/7, she should rent out a room at the library.

Try and extend his “lights-out” time

At least one hour past his regular schedule and see if he budges. If not, you may have to get a desk lamp and start watching DVD’s on your computer.

5. The Party Animal


This roommate lives up to his name and can be a lot of fun….until it’s time to study for exams.

True to his name, the Party Animal loves to party. He/she enjoys drinking, smoking, taking pills, etc, and basically doing anything that isn’t going to class or school work. When the PA isn’t partying, he/she is watching television, staying up late, avoiding homework and talking about how the weekend is rapidly approaching (even on a Monday).

You can usually find the PA in bed until noon, recovering from the previous nights’ activities. This type of roommate doesn’t go to class, doesn’t do work and his day doesn’t truly begin until the sun goes down. Generally, the PA likes the lights off during the day while he/she sleeps, but does not employ the same courtesy for you when you like to sleep. The PA eats a lot of junk food, doesn’t like to leave the room/apartment unless its for a party, and can be known to steal your booze.

How to Deal:

While you like to party as much as a normal person, you still remember why you came to school.

Try and help the PA.

Many times, the PA can feel lost at school, so if someone were to take the lead and show him/her how to get organized, make a schedule, and push him to stick to it, it just may work. Help him with a paper or project and if a good grade results, this may give him/her the motivation needed to get outta bed on a Tuesday morning.

Try and get him/her out of bed.

Suggest doing something fun together like going out to eat, going shopping, going for a walk or scoping out babes on campus to get his ass out of the dark and into the light of day. When you guys come back to the room, he will at least stay awake for the rest of the day and maybe be more tired for the evening.

If the PA still persists, it’s time to work out a compromise.

Explain to your boozin’ friend that you have a lot on your plate and that you really need some quiet time for studying as well as a good night’s rest. Tell him/her about the lounge down the hall, give em’ a bag of popcorn, and ask the PA for some time alone. Now you can get some studying done, catch up on sleep, or hide your alcohol!

6. The Clean Freak


Take your shoes off before you walk in the room and you better screw the cap on the tooth paste…or she’ll claw your eyes out. We all know someone with OCD, but the Clean Freak takes it to the extreme. She washes the floor several times a week, scrubs the shower until the molding starts to crumble, vacuums like a crazy-person, and Febreze’s your air like it’s nobody’s biz.

She likes it clean; and that is an understatement. Don’t even think about leaving a sock on the floor, even if the building is on fire and it slips off your foot as you scramble to the door.

Do you like Swiffer products? You do now. She likes to cuddle her wet-jet at night and spends hours searching for crumbs on the floor.

Don’t be surprised if she freaks after finding a strand of your hair on her side of the room either. She does laundry once a day and everything on her side of the room is organized perfectly…so perfect, it’s creepy. Her creepy family watches you from picture frames and you wonder how she managed to get a boyfriend…then you realize shes 18 and actually married and it all starts to make sense.

How to Deal:

You are not a slob, but she makes you feel like one. She obsessively cleans and it is starting to get to you.

Get her out of the room.

At least if she isn’t in the room, she can’t be cleaning it, so ask her to go to the dining hall instead. Get her to loosen up by telling some jokes or asking her about herself. Suggest going to a movie (so you don’t have to talk) or going to an exercise class (burn off some of that psycho-energy).

Explain to her how you feel.

Let her know that while you like things clean too, her constantly running the vacuum or scrubbing the floors is distracting and you need some peace and quiet too. Suggest watching a movie in the room so she has to stop and pay attention, instead of darting around the room dusting the lamps.

Still no luck?

Make friends with your neighbors or start going to the library a lot more (hey, at least your grades will go up!) You can even make friends at the library or union….maybe potential new roommates?

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