Last Updated: July 22, 2013
by Andrea Cerny
College roommates can be a crap shoot. If you go in blind, chances are you could end up with someone who is really different from you. It’s obviously important to be open-minded and remember you can learn a lot from people who are very different and might not have much in common with you. This is not a reason to be unfriendly, be close-minded, or to leave your room.
That said, sometimes roommates can be inconsiderate, messy, disrespectful, or simply bad roommates in many other ways. Now, unless your roommate is a sociopath who does something really crazy like watch over you while you are sleeping, it’s better to try to salvage the relationship.
If you are having some sort of issue with something your roommate is doing, the answer is not to be passive aggressive. Don’t start being messy to combat them being messy, or eat their food if they are eating yours. Set a time that will be good for both of you to sit down with your roommate and talk it out in a respectful manner.
Try not to speak to your roommate in a way that will make him or her defensive. Speak about how you feel as opposed to what they are doing. After your chat, give your roommate some time to change their act. If after a few weeks things don’t seem to get better (or get better initially and then revert back to old patterns), it could be time to start exploring other options.
While moving to a new dorm can seem like a pain, a couple days of annoyance could really change your freshman year experience for the better. If things are untenable with your roommate after you have had a talk with them, approach housing advisers at your school and ask what you can do to change dorm rooms. If you are worried about things being awkward, maybe try to move to a different dorm rather than just a different room in your dorm.
Remember, talk out issues and approach discussions like an adult. But if things still aren’t working out, moving rooms isn’t the end of the world.
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Original Post Date: June 25th, 2012