Starting college can be fun, especially if you’re dorming. However, dorming isn’t all that fun if you live with a roommate that you can’t get along with. Not everybody is always going to get along with their roommate. Sometimes, personalities clash and there’s no way you can be friends. However, that doesn’t mean you have to start fights and turn this difficult roommate situation into a bigger issue than it has to be.
Photo: Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
I’ve seen a lot of roommate situations turn violent. In order to make sure you don’t ever have to go through that, you have to Step Up and be the bigger person in this situation.
It’s important to be mature. Get rid of your “I’m always right” mentality. Sometimes, you have to bite your tongue and be the bigger person in order to settle disagreements, or else you’re going to be uncomfortable in your own room. As scary as confrontation can be, it is necessary. If you don’t confront your roommate about what he or she is doing that makes you upset, then nothing will get accomplished. When you both are home, speak to your roommate as if it’s just another conversation, and then casually, in a sincere way, bring up what your roommate has done. Sometimes, when you speak to each other in a calm manner, things can easily be fixed. Let your roommate know that you’re upset and then afterwards, set some boundaries. Establish boundaries that they will know to not cross, and have them give you boundaries to not cross; this creates a mutual understanding between the two of you.
Sometimes, roommates won’t listen or they’ll continue to do what upsets you. If reminding them to refrain from doing these things does not work, you may need a little help. There’s no reason for things to get violent or for your safe place to feel uncomfortable. When it doubt, turn to your RA. Do not involve your friends or your roommate’s friends. Involving someone with a higher power can be more helpful than a friend. When I was having problems with my roommates and they weren’t understanding, I immediately went to my RA and he set up a meeting with us. Voices were raised and we all got hurt, but in the end, it helped a lot. It allowed us to finally understand one another, so it helped us to get along. Involving our friends just caused chaos and more problems, so I suggest that you only involve your RA. Of course, not every situation is the same. Have your RA set up a meeting with you, your roommate, and your RA so that you all can work something out together. Let your RA know what you want to accomplish and what the “goal” of this meeting is. That way, it doesn’t have to turn ugly. Sometimes, these RA meetings won’t help, but the main point is to at least let your RA know what’s going on. When you let someone with a higher position understand what’s going on, they have a better chance of solving the situation and making sure that both sides feel comfortable. So, any time you’re in an argument with your roommate, let your RA know. He or she will try their best to help you solve the matter, and as long as you update your RA about what’s going on, they’ll know that you are trying to solve the issue.
When in doubt, you may have to divide your room. Sometimes you’ll have a roommate who just won’t listen. It happens. Sometimes you’ve done all you can, so it’s time to set up a curtain to divide your room so that you don’t have to see your roommate. This curtain will make you more comfortable because, if you can’t see your roommate, sometimes it’ll lessen the anxiety attacks. If anything, turn to friends and ask if you can sleep over their place once in a while to give you and your roommate some space. If your room can’t be your safe place, then find safety in a friend’s place.
I hope these tips help you in dealing with a bad roommate situation. It’s always hard to be the bigger person, but you’ll feel a lot better to know that you tried to solve the matter and gave it your best shot.
My name is Linda Tran. I'm 24 years old from Boston and I'm majoring in Marketing with a concentration in Social Media at the Southern New Hampshire University. A fun fact about me is that I learned coding and HTML at the age of 11.