Living out in the real world is an interesting transition, depending on how you’re able to go about it. Some people are lucky enough to get a good job in a decently priced city that allows them to have their own place. Some people live with their parents. The rest of us had to get roommates. Now, if you’re a normal college graduate, you’ve probably had several roommates by this point. The difference is, your typical college roommate is just that–typical. But when you’re faring for yourself outside of college, the roommate landscape becomes much more…diverse.
Old College Friends
Like so many other aspects of our college lives that bleed over into our real world lives, roommates often come with it. Some people stay in the same town they went to school in, so it’s pretty easy to just set up shop with a couple other people who are sticking around. The opposite version of this is when you’re moving to a big city. Usually when you first move there, the only people you’ll possibly know are people from college who also happened to move out there. That’s what happened to me. I moved out to Los Angeles, and the only human beings out of the 23 billion who live in this traffic hellhole were a few of my fraternity brothers, so we obviously gravitated to each other and decided to just get a place for all of us. There are advantages and disadvantages of this. On one hand, you already know each other and you’re really good friends, so the day-to-day living is usually fun. On the other, it can be harder to get into the mindset of being a responsible adult when everything and everyone around you just reminds you of the days where taking a day off to get drunk and play golf was an acceptable option.
You don’t really know each other that well, but you know each other well enough to live with one another. For the first couple weeks, the two of you got along great, then something happened. You never saw him from the time you woke up to the time you went to bed at night. Maybe he’s an early riser. Maybe he has a girlfriend. Regardless, the two of you never see one another, but the bills are always paid on time. You’d be worried about his flaky ways, but you really don’t know him all too well. Your rising suspicions will be confirmed when he introduces you to his new girlfriend a month later.
If you’re not lucky enough to have connections in the new town you’re in, you’re going to have to live with someone you don’t really know. There are many ways you can go about finding a roommate, from getting an introduction through a common friend, all the way to…gulp…Craigslist. If you choose the latter, the likelihood that you get stuck with a weirdo skyrockets. There are a lot of different types of weirdos. Some are pretty benign and okay to be around, like the guy who plays 15 hours of “League of Legends” per day, has no discernible job, but cleans his dishes. Then there’s the awful kind. You know, the crazy-pants kind, where you come home from work to discover him in the middle of the living room wearing a tutu as he has his friend film him lip-syncing a Britney Spears song while his other friend tosses in glitter from off-screen. By the way, if you thought that example was oddly specific, it’s because it’s a true story.
The Casual Drug User
Some people just have an affinity for drugs. You’re a big kid, so you’re going to inevitably run into, and possibly live with, these people. The most common version of this is obviously the pothead. I honestly don’t mind potheads. They tend to be laid back, and they’re usually pretty good about letting you smoke, too, when you’ve had a rough day. The only problem is that if they’re not diligent about the way they smoke, they can ruin the smell of your whole place and make every visitor you have assume that you’re also a degenerate. But casual drug use doesn’t stop there. Drug dudes come in all shapes and incomes. If you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel, you might get stuck with a meth head, whereas your buttoned-up finance roomie could be a coke fiend. Both have equal potential to be anxious and dangerously unpredictable.
The Successful Guy
It can be rough when your friends are at a way higher success level than you are, not because of jealousy (or at least not only because of jealousy) but also because it separates you. You can’t afford to do the same things they can. You don’t have conversations about the same stuff they do. This is all magnified when you live with this person. You have the same basic template for your rooms, but his is well-furnished and clean, whereas you don’t even have a bed frame yet. And it’s weird to say “yet” in that scenario, given that you have no immediate plans to actually buy a bed frame. By the way, there’s a decent chance that if you don’t have a weird roommate, and the guy you live with really has his shit together, you’re actually his weird roommate..