I must say, I have had my share of roommate drama. My freshman year I lived in a dorm with 5 other girls, and my junior year (due to some emergency circumstances, aka a bad breakup) I ended up in a house with 8 other roommates (technically 9, if you count the practically-living-there boyfriend of one of the girls). And trust me, when there’s 9 or 10 people living in a house? You better learn how to deal with drama real quick, or there’s no way you’re ever going to make it out alive.
So for your convenience, I have narrowed down roommate drama to five easy-to-recognize categories, and have chosen two options for dealing with the drama: either the high road or the low road.
The Kitchen Tyrant:
This is the roommate that eats your food without asking, and then gets upset when you “return the favor”. Kitchen Tyrants are often very difficult to spot, as they typically blame their behavior on other roommates. Be vigilant though, soon you will notice your bags of chips only dissappear when he/she is home alone. A warning sign is passive aggressive notes posted on cabinets or food overly labeled.
High Road: Don’t eat her food, EVER. The second she even remotely thinks of tasting something of yours, ask for a swap. She ran out of milk and needs some for her cereal? Sure, but only if you can have some cereal to go with your overabundance of milk. Keep everything even, and above all, never, ever,ever, touch any food of hers.
Low Road: Cook an incredibly extravagant meal, and I mean all out. We’re talking chicken enchiladas, pot roast, maybe homemade chili, and all the accompaniments. Cornbread, spanish rice, garlic mashed potatoes. Pull out the stops – call in some favors. This is war. And don’t forget desert; a triple-chocolate-death cake or something. Then, when she walks in and sees the spread, don’t let her have any of it. Say, “Sorry, but I only made enough for me, roommate #1, roommate #2, roommate #3, roommate #4, and roommate #5.” The smile politely and take a gigantic bite of triple-chocolate-death cake. And don’t judge. You wanted low road, I gave you low road.
The Clean Freak:
There is one of these in every single household. And to be fair, they are extremely useful. No one likes sitting around in a disgusting bachelor pad, and with 3 or 4 (or more) people living in a house, regular cleaning becomes essential. Especially for the guys (no joke your houses are terrifying).
Now, there is one main issue with this roommate, and that is their “dirty house” threshold is probably a lot lower than most peoples’. Therefore, they feel the urge to clean long before other roommates do, meaning they feel like they’re the ones doing all the cleaning, because they are the ones doing all the cleaning. No one else thinks it’s a problem, so no one else cleans. I am absolutely guilty of this. I’ll clean the bathroom when I think it needs cleaned; if it never gets to the point where I think it needs cleaned (because you keep cleaning it before it gets there), you will never see me cleaning the bathroom.
As a result, they will often assign “cleaning schedules.” Something like this:
And, since we’re all adults, this can come off as a little annoying. More than annoying actually; you’re not in grade school anymore, you don’t have chores. But having said that, here are a couple ways you can react.
High Road: Talk to them. Just ask why the “cleaning schedule” was made. Gather your other roommates at the same time so everyone can hash out everything out in the open. It might be that your super clean roommate is completely OCD and can’t handle so much as a speck of dust on the back of the toilet. In that case just humor her and wipe the bathroom down with a paper towel after you use it. It can’t be that difficult, and you come off as slightly more mature, even if it is just faking nice.
Low Road: Don’t do anything. Completely ignore the cleaning schedule until she approaches you like an adult. And by adult, we mean coming to you and asking for a little help around the house. That counts, and yes you should be helping out around the house. She’s not your mother, after all.
The “Quiet Time” Nazi:
Ah, the QTN. This is the roommate who’s noise schedule revolves around her only. I’ve had many, many an encounter with this roommate. I once lived with a girl that wanted no lights on at night, so I would stay up in the living room and do homework when she went to bed, and expected the same to happen when I worked nightshifts and slept during the day. It didn’t though. She’d have people over, turn the radio on, talk on the phone in our room, it was a disaster.
High Road: Be quiet. Sorry, but there’s not a lot here to discuss. Be quiet and you shouldn’t have anymore problems.
Low Road: If you live in the dorms, you can push it clear until quiet hours start (usually around 10:00). But if you have your own place, I say use strength in numbers. If you’re planning on having a party, and she wants to relax in solitude, tell her too bad. People are coming over and if she wants quiet time than go to her boyfriend’s house. Or a hotel. Or just come downstairs and drink with everyone else for crying out loud.
This is the roommate who thinks the world revolves around them. When they say “jump” you say “how high.” When they need something (first in the shower tomorrow) you are expected to immediately let them have it.
High Road: Offer to compromise, immediately. If they want something, offer a trade for it. That way they get what they want, and you get at least something out of the deal. No trade? No deal.
Low Road: Do the opposite. Sound a bit juvenile? It is, and it’s worth it. I once had a roommate like this and I was at the complete end of my rope. If she needed something I found a way to have that specific thing first. She wanted to watch American Idol? Well we were ALL already watching a Friends marathon. She wanted first shower? I’d have my ass up at 4:00 in the morning draining our apartment of hot water. Immature and a pain in the ass? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely.
The Total Basketcase:
This is the roommate that is completely unpredictable. The one that wears a homemade viking helmet for protection against intergalactic time-traveling ninjas.
High Road: Befriend them in every way possible.
Low Road: Befriend them in every way possible, this is no time to be a hero.
This post was graciously provided by The Good Life On Campus: