Moving into a freshmen dorm is an exciting time for students. This is the place where you will make friends, share stories, and stay up all night studying, among other memorable experiences. However, if you don’t get along with your college roommate – how will you deal?
1. FORCED FRIENDS? Just because you are living with someone doesn’t mean that you have to be best friends forever. Ideally, it would be great if you and your roommate get along perfectly, enjoy each other’s company, have all the same interests, and are instantly attached at the hip. But let’s face it – that’s not the case for many people. Accept the fact that you both have just met and there may be an awkward transition period as you start living together and sharing the same space. Respect each other’s things and privacy, like you would with any other family member or friend. Realize that you can like each other, but do not have to be best friends. In time, your friendship may even grow naturally.
2. HOW DO THEY FEEL? If you are miserable with your roommate situation, chances are that your roommate may feel the same way. In a respectable manner, try and ask your roommate how they like the living situation and if there is any issues they would like to discuss. Try and feel them out to see if they feel the same as you before you declare that you want to switch rooms.
3. WHAT IS REALLY BOTHERING YOU? What is frustrating you the most about the roommate situation? Do they use your things without asking? Are they rude and disrespectful when you are trying to sleep or study? Do they always have a herd of people over late at night? Are they disgusting to live with? Determine what issues you will not and cannot live with – and if it something that your roommate is not willing to compromise about, then maybe it is best if you go your separate ways.
3. TALK TO THEM. At some time, you will reach your breaking point. You will determine that you don’t want to live with your roommate anymore, and you will need to address the issue. Find a time when both of you will be alert, sober, and not preoccupied with other things. Plan a time and place in advance, so that both of you can collect your thoughts and have a mature conversation without flipping out on one another. Remember that not everyone is meant to live with each other. Just because you want to move out does not make you a bad person – it just means that you and your roommate don’t mesh well together in a living situation.
4. TALK TO YOUR RA. After chatting with your roommate, you will both need to escalate the issue and talk to your RA (Resident Advisor). They are trained to advise residents with roommate problems, so they will help you both find new housing.
5. STAY FRIENDLY. Since you are planning on attending your college for four years, chances are you will run into your (ex) roommate often. To make the best of things, try to remain friendly with one another and not burn any bridges. In most cases, roommates didn’t do anything wrong – students just realized living with someone else was a better “fit”. While you don’t have to be friends with your estranged roommate, it may be better for everyone if you both are nice to each other.
Have a college roommate story to share? Comment below!