A new year often brings new roommates. Whether you are cohabitating an apartment or a dorm room, you’ll likely run into times of strife. I feel like I was never prepared to deal with my roommate’s personalities and quirks. Below are the three personalities I had the hardest time dealing with and how I would handle them today, since I did so poorly years ago.

college roommate label refridgerator

  1. It’s Mine roommate

    I remember getting the suggestion before moving into an apartment that you should label things that you don’t want to share. That worked great, most of the time. Then there was that guy, the one who must have had a million labels printed! No joke, he labeled the milk jug and the cap. To this day, I have no idea what that meant and I apologize if I ever stole the lid to the milk.

    Handling Instructions
    There will be some things that work better when they are shared. Two things really helped us, the first was sharing the cost of stuff we all used. Cleaning supplies and food like sugar, salt & pepper, and ketchup are perfect examples. Second, we labeled everything that we shared with our first initial. It makes for an interesting conversation when your BAE opens the fridge and wants to know who “JAN” is and when she moved in. 😃

  2. Night Owl roommate

    I’m a morning person, and I was back then too. Some of you might be cursing people like me right now. The good news, handling an Early Riser is basically the same. Just comment on this post and explain to me how you can possibly sleep until noon. I still don’t get it.

    Handling Instructions
    Communication is key. Sit down with your roommate and let them know what your schedule is, when you like to call it a night and when you rise and shine. Make sure any changes to your normal routine are communicated. I suggest starting with asking what their routine is. The fact is that you will not change this, too many variables. The key is learning to talk it out and being flexible. You might need to plan time at a library or change your workout schedule to help accommodate the other’s needs.

  3. The Natural Disaster roommate

    I came home one day from class and I swear a tornado ripped through my apartment and left every other building intact. The Weather Channel never did cover our little disaster. Still, it caused a rift between me and a roommate. You are not likely to agree with the cleanliness, or lack of, and organization of the people you live with. Here are some tips for meshing your styles into one that works for everyone.

    Handling Instructions
    Make a list of chores and post it in the kitchen or near the TV, where you will all see it every day. List out public spaces and rotate who is responsible for making sure they are clean. This will help everyone know what is going on and see that everyone has a share. Keep in mind, they probably think you are a neat freak, you might need to learn to “let it go.”

I bet you’ll meet these three personalities over the year, and you might identify as one of them. Remember, they are just quirks and the person is not good or bad. Don’t give up, and stand your ground when you feel strongly about something. Try to see the other side. You’ll develop the lifelong skill of being able to understand other humans, there are billions of us cohabitating the same ball of dirt.


If you are in college or graduated, use the comment section below and let us know how you dealt with a personality quirk.