Roommates Troy Schleich, a third-year in architecture, Julie Jakse, a third-year in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and Alec Gearheart, a third-year in Health and Wellness Innovation in Healthcare, have resigned their lease for the 2020-2021 school year. Credit: Courtesy of Julie Jakse

Boys? Too messy.

Girls? Too much drama.

Those are just some of the stereotypes Ohio State students who choose to live with people of the opposite gender may hear. 

For Emma Fisk, a second-year in arts management, living in a house of boys the summer after her first year at Ohio State didn’t faze her.

“I had never done it before, but I wasn’t hesitant about it,” Fisk said. “I get along well with guys, I guess, and I didn’t think it would be an issue.”

When a male friend of Fisk approached her about an open room in the apartment on Norwich Avenue he was subleasing for the summer, Fisk considered the proximity to campus and rent — not the genders of the tenants. 

Fisk said the stereotype of college male students being overly messy did not prove to be true in her summer residence.

“Everybody that I tell, they are like, ‘Oh, you lived with boys? They must be so messy all the time,’” Fisk said. “But they really weren’t. They were really considerate of the space.”

Mary Howard, a fourth-year in biology, transferred from Ohio University Chillicothe during the fall semester and moved into an apartment with two males, a female and her girlfriend.

Similar to Fisk, Howard was not worried about living with male roommates, despite her family’s concerns.

“A bunch of people in my family were worried about me living with guys, but I grew up most of my life with guys,” Howard said. “I had my brother, and he was seven years older than me, and I always hung out with his friends.”

Though the female roommate and girlfriend plan to move out, Howard said she most likely will live with the same men next year.

Julie Jakse, a third-year in health and rehabilitation sciences, transferred to Ohio State from Wittenberg University, but she knew right away with whom she wanted to live.

“When I decided to transfer, and I was looking for roommates, I was like, ‘Oh, my God. Why don’t I just live with my best friends Troy and Alec?’” Jakse said.

Jakse said she; Alec Gearhart, a third-year in health and wellness innovation in healthcare; and Troy Schleich, a third-year in architecture, have been inseparable since high school and have always wanted to live together. 

Jakse said a big difference between male and female roommates is the lack of drama.

“It’s very chill. We all have busy schedules, so we don’t really see each other a lot, but I definitely like it better than living with girls because I’ve lived with girls before,” Jakse said.

Gearhart said one stark difference with having female roommates is the decor. 

“My mom walked in, and my mom said, ‘You can definitely tell that a girl lived here,’ just because all the colors match, and there’s a sense of unity between everything,” Gearhart said. 

After spending his first two years on campus with male roommates, Gearhart said the mixed-gender residence is his ideal living situation.

“I prefer living like this,” Gearhart said. “It’s honestly something that I don’t even notice or pay that much attention to.”

Though the trio plans to live in the same place with each other next year, Jakse said there are still some things she misses about living with females.

“You can’t really ask to share clothes,” Jakse said. “Sometimes you just want girl time and you want to talk about your feelings, and boys don’t really know how to do that.” 

As for Fisk, though she currently lives with a female roommate and has plans to live with other women next year, she said she welcomes the opportunity to live with men again.

“I guess there’s a stigma around gender and housing, but I don’t think there should be,” Fisk said. “You should just live with who you want to live with. It’s not a big deal.”