How to deal with a bad roommate

How to deal with a bad roommate

Nicole Caporaso

One of the biggest adjustments in coming to college as a freshman is sharing a small dorm room with someone 24/7.

It can be especially tricky if you have never previously met this person, you’re not quite sure how this person behaves or what they like and don’t like.

Of course, I’ve heard roommate success stories in which the two roommates become best friends and live happily ever after. However, I have more often heard horror stories about roommates who constantly fight or don’t talk to each other at all.

If you aren’t the biggest fan of your roommate, here are some tips to improve the situation:

Sign the roommate agreement at the beginning of the year and if necessary, write up your own.

Print out the roommate agreement that University Housing has created. It lays out the rules, such as what time each of you would like to turn out the lights on a weekday or if it’s okay to talk on the phone while your roommate is studying or sleeping. If you don’t feel like it covers enough, write your own roommate contract and nicely ask your roommate to take a look at it.

If there is an issue you would like to discuss with your roommate, communicate in person.

Communication via technology can be easily misconstrued and interpreted in a way not intended. If your roommate does something you don’t like, such as leave their stuff on your side of the room or play music at 3 a.m., tell them in person that it has created a problem.

Have someone mediate.
If you feel that you absolutely cannot talk to your roommate in a reasonable manner, have someone mediate a discussion. Ask a neutral party such as your resident assistant.

Choose your battles wisely.
It’s natural for someone you’re living with to get on your nerves sometimes, but if you are bothered by your roommate at all times, you shouldn’t make it known. Telling your roommate that you hate every little thing they do can just lead to an extremely hostile environment when the two of you are in the room, and that won’t help anything. Don’t nitpick, only bring up the important issues.

Last resort: Room change.
University Housing does not allow room changes during the first two weeks of the fall and spring semesters. But, if the situation is irreconcilable, see your resident director for instruction on moving to a new room.

Story: Nicole Caporaso, News Reporter