How to Deal with a College Roommate Who's Being Difficult by:Nancy Haverford
For many people, one of the realities that has to be dealt with when going to college is moving out of the house and into a college dorm or apartment. Sure, some may find it quite exciting that they get to be away from their parents and experience college living on their own, but what happens when they get stuck with a roommate who is difficult to deal with?
Roommates come in all different walks of life; some are quiet, tidy, and kind, while others can be loud, shabby, and obnoxious. If you are having a hard time dealing with your college roommate, for whatever reason, then read on to find out how to make peace, get along, and live in a happy and harmonious relationship.
Find out what your roommate does that pushes your buttons
The first step to dealing with a difficult roommate is to find out why you think your roommate is being difficult. Remember, different people come from different backgrounds, so what is annoying or unbearable to you may be perfectly fine for others (like your roommate). Do you get annoyed by the dirty linens tossed about the room? Are you upset that your roommate always plays loud music or has friends over? Is your roommate just plain obnoxious? The sooner you figure out what is bothering you, the sooner you will be able to confront the problem and find a way to solve it.
Keep an open mind about the situation and be willing to compromise
Now that you have a good idea of what exactly is bothering you, it's time to put a little more thought into the matter. Try to be reasonable in your assessment of your roommate, because you may just be a bit too finicky or your expectations for your roommate may be a tad too high. In other words, you may be thinking too much about your own needs and desires, without keeping an open mind toward your roommate's needs. Think of areas in which you are willing to compromise with your roommate. Perhaps you wouldn't mind guests during nights that you're out working or during weekends. Make a list of some of the compromises you are willing to make and try to be fair about your judgment.
Approach your roommate and negotiate
There will come a time when you will probably have to confront your roommate about the issues that are bothering you. When you do, be kind, considerate, and gentle. It wouldn't help any if you threw a tantrum, going off about every little thing that your roommate does. Remember, you may be roommates for a long time, so it's important to be diplomatic about the situation. Try not to make your roommate feel as though you are attacking him or her. Explain your position, what you are having trouble with, and express that you are willing to make compromises if need be.
Here are some more tips that may help:
- Setup schedules for visiting hours, days, and times.
- Agree on schedules for using the bathroom, kitchen, entertaining guests, etc.
- Try not to be the boss of your roommate, because your roommate also deserves his or her own privacy.
- Offer alternatives that you can think of and be open to the alternatives that your roommate presents as well.
- If worst comes to worst, talk with your resident advisor about how you can deal with the situation and if there is a possibility to switch rooms (or roommates).
About the author
Nancy Haverford writes sample essays about myself to help college and university students ace their personal statements and get into their school of choice. Aside from the sample essay about myself, Nancy also contributes by writing articles about school life and various aspects of education.