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Dealing with roommates

How to deal with the roommate you have when he/she is not the roommate you want

It can be extremely difficult learning to live with a roommate, especially as a freshman who doesn’t know anyone. As Sean Heffron details in “The Skinny on Your First Year in College,” 49.7 percent of college freshman reported that they had difficulty getting along with a first semester roommate. So, even though college administrators do their best to match up roommates based on majors and other factors, it is extremely common to feel that you and your roommate do not click at first. Although, for the most part, this feeling dissipates after some time, some students have issues with roommates that go beyond having different backgrounds.

If you find yourself having problems with your roommate, you should always talking things out with them first. Stay calm and voice your concerns about the problems you’re having. Be sure to do this without attacking your roommate. Instead, address the behavior in a general way. When voicing your concerns, be sure to offer to make changes yourself and encourage your roommate to voice their concerns if they have any. Also, try to find some common ground, so that you can act more like friends and less like enemies.

If the situation becomes worse, or if your roommate ignores or attacks you, don’t be afraid to get a mediator involved. Usually, the best individuals to bring in as mediators are R.A.s and hall directors. They can offer and unbiased, insider-look at the situation that others may not be able to provide.

If all else fails, and the situation becomes unbearable, then have the guts to move out. Although you would naturally assume that the party at fault should be the one to move, that is usually not the case. Complaints can take weeks to be processed and investigated by administration and the living conditions may only get worse in the meantime. Rather than relying on others, take it upon yourself to change and improve your living conditions by finding a better environment in which to live. There other students out there who will make great roommates. All you have to do is find them!

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