How to Deal With a Horrible Roommate

It’s the nightmare that all incoming freshmen think about and a reality for some unlucky college students: the roommate from hell.  Although your university attempts to match you with a like-minded roommate, you may still encounter someone who leaves pop cans all over the room, uses your personal items without asking or creates gossip about the things you discuss with your family and friends in private.

Here is a warning to incoming freshmen: Brace yourselves because you could potentially have to learn how to deal with a horrible roommate. Roommates are not like your siblings who may make you want to pull your hair out. These are strangers whom most of you have never met a day in your life, but who you must live with for an entire semester or even a year. There are ways of dealing with situations that are less than perfect, and here are a couple of tips I’ve learned through my experience.

  1. Communication is key! You mean, I have to speak to my roommate?!? Yes, that means you actually have to put your cell phone down, close your Facebook, pause your Skype session, look at your roommate and tell them that you two need to speak. Statistics show that the stereotypes placed on roommates are three times more likely due to the fact that people choose to communicate improperly. You have to speak with the person you’re living with and tell them the things that you like, don’t like, what you’ll share and every other thing that makes up who you are as a person. It’s essentially how you begin to grow up in college. No matter how introverted or extroverted you are, communicating with your roommate will most likely alleviate potential problems in the future.
  2. Don’t gossip with your friends. While communication is key, the wrong communication can cause drama that you don’t want or need. Instead of telling your dorm about how Jane likes to leave her Doritos on the floor, you could take the time to either tell her or choose to just pick them up yourself. No one, no matter who you are, nobody likes to hear about problems between themselves and the person their living with from people they barely know. It’s embarrassing. Before you choose the road most traveled, why not give your roommate the respect of telling them to their face?
  3. If all else fails, speak with your Residential Assistant. If you’re communicating with your roommate and not spreading around heartless gossip, then the only other option is to speak with your RA about the situation. RAs were put in place because they’re someone who’s your age, but who can maturely help you deal with the situation you’re facing. In some cases, your RA will set up a mediation between the two parties and request that you both create a roommate contract at a last attempt at solving your differences. If that doesn’t work, then you have to go through the process of changing roommates.

At the end of the day, you’re going to eventually deal with someone in college who doesn’t make your list of people you plan to speak with on a daily basis. Sometimes these people are your roommates; however, learning to become an adult starts with you being able to face your situations with a mature mind. Don’t always believe what your friends or the media tells you. Roommates from hell do exist, but how you choose to deal with the problems is what makes the difference in the end.


I’m reading America’s Courts and the Criminal Justice System

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