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One of the most daunting things about going to college for the first time – after actually finding accommodation – is considering exactly who it is you are going to share that accommodation with. These are the people you will spend your waking and sleeping hours with, your down time with, all your college firsts with. Sometimes it works out great, and you have friends for life! Other times, not so much. Below is a comprehensive list of all the colourful personalities you come across in your college accommodation and how to deal with (or avoid) them.

1. The Party Animal

The Party Animal is the roommate that already has a drink in hand when you arrive on day one with parents and suitcases in tow. The life and soul of the party, this wild child is great for making new friends and always getting you the invite to the best parties of Fresher’s Week. The female Party Animal will have a veritable treasure trove of going out clothes, make up and heels, while the male of the species has the discount passes into whatever club you want, often seen un-ironically sporting a Hawaiian shirt. Be careful though, while this type are great craic week one, they’ll still be offering your apartment up for after parties during study week. Be sure to set boundaries.

2. The Party Pooper

The Party Animal’s nemesis, this roommate rolls their eyes at the mention of Fresher’s festivities. They’ll need 48 hours in advance notice of any prinks planned in your apartment and a document signed in blood that you’ll make sure everyone leaves before 11. Party Poopers flock together, so you’ll notice the friends they have around serving you serious side eye as you resurrect in your PJs at noon after hanging out with Wild Child the night before. Make sure to let them know people are coming over and be respectful of their schedules.

3. The Study Nut

You haven’t seen them in days. Mostly because they’re queueing outside the library for ‘their spot’ an hour before it opens at 6am and don’t return until it closes. They’ve scoped out the entire three floor building and discovered the one space where the sockets work, the chair is comfortable and there’s just enough windows to let in the right light, but not enough to be distracting. They’ve got the study life hacked and you’re constantly clearing their multiple notebooks off of the sitting room table, or tripping over their bag left in the hallway. They’re passionate to the point of obsession about their course. They’re pretty chill – until you steal their sticky notes.

4. The Music Man

‘Anyway. Here’s ‘Wonderwall’ Yes. He’s ‘that guy’. He took up guitar as part of Gaisce, learned ten songs and took someone’s polite compliment that he was talented (probably his mother’s) a little too literally. He’ll tell you all about this ‘super alt band’ that he’s listening to that no one has ever heard of. They’re his favourite for precisely that reason.  He’s the guy that will run back to his apartment from the after sesh just to pick up his guitar and dazzle all the dames with his musical musings. And that’s fine. Until he’s howling ‘Zombie’ through your apartment’s paper thin walls in preparation for the next night out. Invest in ear plugs.

5. The Messy Eater

A roommate that loves to cook is both a blessing and a curse. While the rest of you stare in consternation at the instructions on the back of a noodle packet, they’re chopping up garlic, throwing in spices and producing dreamy smells from the kitchen. The pros of this situation is, if they’re sound, you’ll get a drool-worthy nibble here and there and occasionally a full blown meal that doesn’t come from a packet. The cons however, are the results of all this food experimentation. The dreaded words, ‘I’m just leaving it to soak!’ will haunt your dreams. Towers of dishes and pots and pans and heaps of cutlery clogging up the sink leave everyone frustrated. Try to encourage everyone to clean up after themselves.


5. Your Soulmate

You were meant to be roommates. You agree on everything, down to your sleeping schedules and the correct way the toilet roll should be facing. You back each other up when the other roommates piss you off and you have the best late night heart to hearts. You coordinate on meals, timetables and nights out, because nothing says bestie like a matching colour scheme on a night out! By the second week you know this will be a long lasting friendship – you’ve already asked them to be in your wedding.


While you’ll learn many skills in college, no matter what your course is, one of the most valuable skills you’ll learn is how to deal with people. It can be challenging, demanding and sometimes downright bizarre living with strangers, but you might just meet some of the most important people in your life in your first year accommodation block.

By Fiona Murphy