Finding the right living situation in can be hard in college. You may not feel comfortable, it may be a bit confined or the location may not be the best. One common factor that can negatively affect a living situation is when you can’t seem to get along with your roommate. You may not have anything in common or maybe you just rub each other the wrong way. If you are having a tough time figuring out how to deal with a bad roommate, there are few ways you can alleviate the issue.
1) Try talking it out
This is one of the simplest solutions to any form of conflict. If there is something you may want to discuss specifically, bring it up in a calm manner when you both have a little down time. If it seems there is just a general discomfort among you two, just simply ask if there is anything you can do to make the living situation better. It never hurts to ask.
2) Try to understand the other person
Sometimes we don’t get along with another person because they are totally different from us. Every person you meet has different sleeping habits, taste in music, crazy food cravings and cleaning methods. It can get frustrating when you don’t feel like the person you are living with lives the same way you do. Vocalize some things that you absolutely cannot change, like your nightly routine, and share what you are willing to change according to their habits. If they prefer to sleep with a light on, buy a sleeping mask. Living with another person is all about compromise.
3) Ask them how they are feeling
Figuring out how to deal with a bad roommate is often as easy as a conversation. Sometimes we get so caught up in our lives, we assume people around us feel the same way that we do. Ask them about how they feel about the living situation or even about their day. Everyone processes tough days and conflicts differently and it’s important to understand how the person you are living with handles certain situations. And you can share your process as well!
4) Take the high road
If you feel like your roommate is mistreating you or being unfair, don’t respond with similar behavior. Stooping to that level will only create further tension that neither of you will want to live in. Be the bigger person and try to resolve the issue maturely. In the end of the day, you can always walk away knowing that you did everything in your power to handle things respectfully. Regret of your own behavior is not something you can shake off easily.
5) When in doubt, speak to an RA
If you feel like you have tried every option and still aren’t getting anywhere, speak to your Resident Advisor. They could act as a mediator, or help to set you up in a new room. RA’s are there to help in any way they can, so if you feel like you need an ally in this situation, they could help to come up with a few solutions. If there isn’t a Resident Advisor in your case, you can check the status of you rent agreement and look for a new place. In the meantime, you can find solace elsewhere on campus or in your town. Check the dining hall, the library or the coffee shop. Don’t feel like you are constantly trapped in a difficult situation. Always remember to enjoy where you are in your life and don’t let a sour experience damper this exciting time for you.