Learning to share a room for potentially the first time is never easy. Especially when your roommate is essentially a stranger to you. All this, plus the added stress of navigating college, can definitely lead to some roommate conflicts. If you’re lucky, you could be matched up with someone very similar to you in terms of cleanliness, sleeping times, and organization. However, not everyone is that lucky. It could be that you’re matched with a polar opposite of yourself and things just aren’t going well. But don’t freak out completely! Here are some things you can do when you don’t get along with your roommate.
Set some ground rules
Some people skip this step when they first move into their dorm, but I really think it’s essential if you want to avoid major issues down the road. Basically, just make it clear to your roommate what your expectations are from them as well as their expectations from you. This could mean asking permission before borrowing each other’s things, letting each other know when guests are over, or setting a “quiet hours” time frame for your room. It’s never too late to set some ground rules, even if you feel like you and your roommate could never get along. Making your expectations clear leaves less room for issues, so give it a try!
Use your alone time wisely
This may be an obvious tip, but use the time when you know your roommate won’t be in the room wisely! Figure out their class times or weekends that they’re going home to take advantage of some alone time. Even the most outgoing people need some time to recharge, and this can be hard to do with a roommate. Don’t let your roommate be the reason you don’t like being in your room. It’s just as much yours as it is theirs, and don’t forget that! Use the time they aren’t there to just relax and enjoy your alone time.
Meet other people living in your dorm
Sure, you might have bumped into some of the other people living on your floor or dorm building in the hallway, but have you ever said hi? Meeting other people in your dorm is an excellent way to make friends outside of your roommate if you’re feeling like you need to branch out. If making the first move in the friendship isn’t really your thing, try going to an event in your dorm building that lets you meet other people! Having some friends living close by is great when you maybe just need an escape from your room or you just wanna hang out!
Get involved with extracurriculars
If the fact that you just don’t get along with your roommate doesn’t seem to have a solid solution, there’s no reason why you should let that hold you back from enjoying your college experience. Getting involved in extracurriculars is a great way to meet people who share the same interests as you and is a great way to make lifelong friends. By joining clubs, greek life, or any type of organization on campus, you’re spending more time doing things you enjoy rather than stressing out about your roommate. Plus, you’ll be spending a lot more time outside of your room where your roommate can’t bother you!
Study in places other than your dorm
You might hope that your dorm room will be a quiet solitude, perfect for napping or studying, but that’s not always the case. When you want to study, your roommate might want to have a friend over. Or, when you want to play some music on your speaker, your roommate might want to have a long phone conversation. When your actions clash, it’s great to have an escape, especially when it comes to studying. Head to the library, a nearby cafe, or lay down a blanket on the grass to study without distractions. This will remove any frustrations you have when it comes to your roommate being too loud for you to study because you won’t even be in the same room!
Confront your roommate
This next tip might be dreaded by many, but it could just be exactly what you need to do to fix things with your roommate. If you’re the type of person who just lets things slide until they bubble up, it may be in your best interests to just express your frustrations to your roommate in a constructive way before you accidentally explode. Even if it’s just little things, like them never taking the trash out, you should confront your roommate nicely and tell them how you feel. This could open their eyes to all the things that bother you, and things could begin to change for the better!
Ask your RA for help
If things aren’t getting much better in terms of getting along, it may be time to chat with your RA. They’re great at helping sort out roommate disagreements and may be able to offer you some advice when it comes to dealing with your roommate. If it’s a really big issue, they can step in as a mediator to help sort out the conflict and try to make things better between you two. Your RA can also just be an extra ear to talk to if you need one.
Request a room change
If things start to really get serious when it comes to your roommate, it may be time to consider requesting a room change. Now, I wouldn’t suggest doing this until you are really sure you do not want to be living with your roommate, because, from my experiences, it is not easy to just move to a new room. You have to get housing involved and the whole process may take some time, but it may be truly worth it. You should never be forced to live in an environment you are very uncomfortable with, no matter the situation.
Remember that it’s only temporary
If your roommate situation isn’t dire, but rather you’re just simply annoyed by living with another person you don’t necessarily like, remember this: This situation is temporary. Whether you’re assigned to live with someone for one semester or the whole school year, you won’t be living with them forever. No one said you have to be best friends with your roommate, you just have to be able to live with each other respectfully. Your unhappiness with your living situation will pass, so don’t let it ruin your college experience!