Studying abroad comes with its own excitement. The freedom of living independently and the thrill of exploring a whole new country, culture and lifestyle; it’s all very heady! But the thought of being away from everyone you know can be rather daunting. In this unknown city, your home is bound to become your safe haven. Hence it becomes even more important to handpick your roommate. After all, they will be sharing your comfort and space with you.
And so willingly or not, a skill you will learn outside the classroom is how to live with other people. Your roommate may not return the favour, but you can try and be the kind of roommate you’d want to live with! Either way, you will encounter some of these different types of housemates:
1. The Noisy Roommate
Do you wake up at 3 a.m. because random loud music is being played somewhere in the distance? Do you actually live with earplugs? If you answer all these questions with “yes”, that means your flatmate has no limits with noise. This person talks loudly, laughs out loud, and sometimes even eats in a way that you can hear his spaghetti being chewed in the next room. Most roommates won’t realize how much noise they really make unless you confront them about the issue at hand. Some flatmates bring their friends over at inappropriate hours. To deal with them, discuss appropriate visiting timings for friends. Set an acceptable volume limit on electronics and gadgets and when one is studying, the other should be as noiseless as possible out of respect and, of course, mutual agreement.
2. The Neat Freak
A.k.a those with OCD! If you’re a believer of cleanliness, you’ll probably get along fine with this super organized germaphobe; but if you’re not, get ready for lines to be drawn. How to deal with them, you ask? Talk to them about jotting a schedule for cleaning times that suit you both. Both of you should be comfortable with cleaning and not think of it as a dreaded task.
3. The ‘Sharing is Caring’ One
If you slowly start to realise your snacks are disappearing overnight or you’re spending way too much on drinks you’re not drinking or finding clothes missing from your closet, please welcome the roommate who takes the quote ‘Sharing is Caring’ quite literally. These roommates are not necessarily mean-spirited. They just have a loose sense of boundaries.
Talk to them about it calmly first, they’ll realize the error of their ways and stop using your things without asking. If they don’t, invest in some lockable storage containers. They can’t use what they can’t get to. Right?
4. The Messy One
A.k.a, the lazy roommate. For this roommate, your room can never be clean. They spend most of their time pursuing their ‘hobby’. The hobby may be playing video games, reading, writing, sleeping or binging-watching TV shows. If there are any dirty dishes, you’ll probably be the one to wash them, even though they’re not yours. You might also end up making orders for them, like picking up their groceries when you get your own. Do not allow the roommate to take advantage of you. Though you could profit from getting a lazy roommate by sharing lazy weekends in.
5. The Party Animal
Whether it is in the middle of exams or the beginning of the semester, these mates will always find a good reason to party, and worst of all, not alone! They will invite friends over and party hard till 5 a.m., so be ready to join the party or do some confrontations. With this roommate, you’ll wonder if they’re really enrolled in classes, or if their classroom is the dance floor.
No matter which type of roommate you end up with, it is always an experience you will later look back on. So, go back and reflect which kind you’d jam with. Or even better, if you are one of these!