Five types of college roommates

College: A time to meet new people, make new friends, share new experiences and, for many, a time to live for nine months in close quarters with a total stranger. You’ve heard the horror stories about awful roommates, and you pray that you won’t become the main character in one of them. Of course, nobody tries to be terrible, it just happens sometimes. But for those scared silly by the thought of living with a stranger, here’s a hopefully-reassuring list of the five most common types of roommates encountered in any college dorm.

1) The Early Bird: It’s who-knows-how early in the morning, you were studying (or partying) until who-knows-how late last night, and you hear it: the blaring of an alarm clock that you swear must have been invented to alert rural communities of impending bomb blasts during the Cold War. Unable to hear for a few moments, and certainly with no chance of falling back to sleep, you check your phone. 5:30 a.m. Then you remember it’s a Saturday. They let you sleep in an hour more than usual. This roommate is likely taking as many credits as the school will allow while being the president of three clubs and working two jobs. It’s impressive, you just wish there were more hours in the day. 

2) One Who Claims Their Uncle is “the Blowfish” from Famed 1990’s Alt Rock Band “Hootie and the Blowfish:” You’ve heard it a hundred times. “Yeah, my mom’s brother was one of the founding members of the famed 1990’s alt-rock band, ‘Hootie and the Blowfish.’” Though having no pictures, no family records, no physical evidence of any kind, your roommate insists that they’re related to the “Blowfish” from “Hootie and the Blowfish.” All they have is a ticket and backstage pass from a 2004 tour signed by the members of the band. “My uncle got us incredible seats and we got to meet the band,” they claim, despite being hard-pressed to name even one “Hootie and the Blowfish” album. And as much as you may want to, don’t even think about mentioning that you think Hootie is more talented than the Blowfish. That’s one can of worms which should not be opened.

3) The One Who Does a Terrible Job Hiding the Fact that They’re Actually a Giant Squid: You were suspicious when you moved in to find your roommate’s bed almost completely covered in viscous black ink, and even more so when you shook your new roommate’s hand, or rather their slimy, suction-cupped tentacle. It didn’t take long to realize that, despite introducing themselves as a “normal human person, just like you,” your roommate was actually a 15-foot, gelatinous cephalopod stuffed inside a soaking wet, XXL button down shirt and no pants. From what you can understand of the sputtering of their gills and the vague slurping noises they make with their massive beak, they’re planning on majoring in Economics with a minor in Math or Physics.

4) The Poltergeist: A classic. Every time you tell your friends “guys, my roommate is the ghost of a 16-year-old orphan who was run over by a cart in 1821,” you’re met with a sigh and an eye-roll that says: “Dude, we know.” Whether the specter appears as a demented figure standing behind you when you look in the mirror, or a faceless apparition which haunts your dreams, everyone can relate to the poltergeist roommate. You don’t mind the disheveled heap of bones and rags they call a bed, or the levitating ancient tomes that fly around the room, or even the incantations the spirit mutters during all hours of the night. It’s when they possess your friends that really gets on your nerves. Of course, you know that it would be insensitive to tell them to “get a life.”

5) The Night Owl: Like the Early Bird, except at night. 

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