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The five types of roommates all students will encounter

Trinity College Foundation Studies

Thu Jun 09 2016


THE slob, the noisemaker, the neat freak… every student will probably encounter at least one of these types of roommates in the course of their studies. Trinity College Foundation Studies students Tracey Le and Vivian Yao offer their insight on what it’s like living with five different types of roommates. 


One of the key skills you will not be taught in any of your classes is how to live with others. As international students, you might not always have the luxury of choosing your roommates and chances are you may end up living with some peculiar characters.

Sooner or later, you’re probably going to encounter at least one of the few different types listed below so it’s best to brace yourself and prepare now if you anticipate your next roommate will be quite the handful.

The slob

What’s that weird smell in your room? Is that a box of pizza on the floor? If you have a roommate that never seems to take responsibility in cleaning up, just know that you are not alone.

Chloé, an international high school student, says she is “fed up” with her roommates lack of cleanliness and argues that this type of roommate is one of the worst.

“Her clothes are [always] all over the floor. She [leaves] her plates on the shoe’s shelves. It’s been three months since the last time she vacuumed our room,” she said.

The noisemaker

Obnoxious Girl Singing

It doesn’t matter if it’s 3.00am in the morning or 10.00pm at night; if you’re having an 8.00am exam the next day or spending a nice Friday night in after a long week, your roomie will cause a ruckus and create noise where ever he or she goes. Even their footsteps are so annoying!

The only thing worse than their own noise is that of their terrible music which Lexi, a student at Monash College, knows all too well.

“I’m not a huge of fan of heavy metal music at all, but my roommate is. We can never decide what song to play when cooking or cleaning. At first, I thought to myself this won’t bother me much, but then she started playing her music at 2.00am when I [was] trying to sleep.”

The food thief

Photo: Tracey Le

A common scenario – you’ve left a post-it note on your food but the food thief has struck! | Photo: Tracey Le

Picture this: you’ve just bought yourself a nice piece of cake and left a note saying that it’s yours in the fridge. You go away for a bit only to come back to a fridge without cake. If this sounds like a familiar scenario, then you might have a food thief in your midst.

The food thief believes in the age old saying “your friend’s food always looks better than yours” and Iranian international student Nazanin has unfortunately had her food swiped by her roommate in the past.

“I don’t really have evidence showing that she ate it, but there’s only her and I in the house. If not her, then who?”.

The food thief might not just take your food, they may also sneak into your room and take bits of stationary for no good reason as well!

The neat freak


It may sound good to have a roommate who loves to clean and keep order, but what if he or she is a neat freak? Contrary to the slob, the neat freak will go above and beyond what is expected when it comes to keeping the house clean.

This means no more eating in front of the TV and you receiving constant warning messages about not cleaning up the kitchen. Sometimes however, even the neat freaks themselves may know that they are hard to live with.

In our experience, we’ve had instances where the neat freak would order roommates and guests who’ve just emerged from outdoor activity to not sit on the couch (or any other furnishing within the apartment), and instead to just sit on the floor. How rude is that?!

The ideal one


Photo: Stella Chai

Not every roommate is as annoying or crazy as the ones mentioned above. If you’re lucky enough, you may find yourself living comfortably with an ideal roommate that you can get along with amicably.

Susie, a student at Trinity College, is fortunate enough to have found the perfect roommate.

She and her roommate, Julia, became the best of friends after only living with each other for three months. And as her roommate is also a former student of Trinity College, the advice that she has received from her experienced roomie has been invaluable to her as an international student.

“Without her help, I couldn’t have adjusted to a new life [abroad] so quickly.”

Susie also adds that she “feels at home” with her roommate. “She is not only my roommate, she is my family.”

This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collaboration. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch with us via