As a senior here at Western Oregon University I have now been through six generations of roommates totaling over 14 people, and with every new roommate(s) there comes new challenges. Some of the challenges you face with your roommates are caused by the environment you happen to be living in, and a prime example of this environment would be the residence halls. In the residence halls the living quarters are so small that normal standards of privacy are immediately different when you have to share a single room with another person, and often a person you hardly know. When I have found with my experience of on-campus and house living is that compromise and open communication is the best way to form a pleasant roommate relationship with the people you live with. The more you know about what the other person’s wants and expects from a roommate the less likely you are to step on any toes and the same goes for them. I have only ever had one roommate situation that I was not able to enjoy my junior year, and consequently the person I had problems with would refuse to communicate her feelings (unless she was already mad about something) and refused to compromise with any of me and my other roommates suggestions. The moral of the story is that most people (with the exception of few) want to get along with their roommates and if you just put out the effort to communicate and in some cases compromise you will have a good experience with your roommates.
Here are 5 ways to deal with a bad roommate.
- keep a cool head as much as possible! When having troubles with a roommate who won’t compromise or agree to reasonable requests make sure you don’t lose your temper. Some ways to cool your temper may be leaving and returning to the argument later, trying to understand the others point of view even if you don’t agree, and possibly bringing in a mediator to help guide the conversation in a productive way.
- Compromise is key! Make sure you keep in mind that different people have different needs and wants which may lead them to behave in ways your not used to dealing with. Make sure that you do what you can to keep the peace whenever possible without violating your personal morals.
- Learn to except that some people will not like you no matter how much you want them too. Some people come to college already sad or angry about leaving home and the unsuspecting new roommate will have to deal with those negative emotions.
- Look for things you and your new roommate may have in common. Forming a new relationship with someone you just met can be very hard but one of the best things to do are to look for something you have in common and build off of that.
- Know that eventually everything will be alright! Dealing with roommates you don’t get along with can be very stressful especially on top of the stress of college all on its own. When in the situation and you are stressed and worried remind yourself that eventually things will work themselves out and you will either get new roommates or learn to get along with the ones you have. Stay strong and do not give up.