“Roommate problem” is a topic that has been widely discussed over the years by college students. It is of a true fact that everyone is not the same, people are a little different in their own ways. However, this makes it all the more difficult to find a roommate who fits your character. But there isn’t really much to worry about. If you are facing roommate problems, here are some ways you can deal with it.
1. Know Your Roommate
“Now we should do a stare-standoff until we are both comfortable with each other.”
So you are overwhelmed, it’s the beginning of the year and you are about to start your freshman year in college, finally there is a chance to be away from home to start the journey on building your career path. Your roommate is then introduced to you, right away you know it is a bad match and you then realize that you are never going to be comfortable with your roommate for the rest of your stay. What you can first do is to get to know this person more, understand why he or she acting in a certain way towards you is. Your first impression towards this person could be wrong. It could probably be that their character is just totally different from yours and it just takes time to get to know this person. Invite them out for a hike or simply eat out together, with you, this will create a platform for both of you to know each other better. Do always remember it’s not about changing someone, but rather to accommodate one another.
2. Reach An Agreement
“Let’s reach an agreement, you can only be on your half of the room at all times.”
This is, if not one of the most effective methods of tackling roommate issues. We would always advise that when students first meet their roommates they should sit together and work on an agreement. It is basically sharing their demands and expectations with all roommates, such as stating out the dos & don’ts and house rules during their course of stay together. So in the future whenever problems do arise, you can always revisit the agreement which was set during the onset of the stay that was concurred by all. It’s also good to revisit the agreement once in a while so that the rules set are refreshed in everyone’s mind and that they remain active and not forgotten. Remember to always keep all rules flexible for change, you are supposed to enjoy your university life anyway and you are not setting an environment for prisoners.
3. Proper Communication
“To avoid us getting at each others’ throats, I suggest communication through empty cans.”
When roommate problems do occur, a lot of students tend to either write little notes in their diaries, notebooks or even turn to social media to vent out their frustration. You are right that this is a method to get your cooped up feelings out, but the truth is this solution isn’t going to solve anything. All you are doing is talking about the issue and not acting on it. Worst thing about this is that your frustrations will only grow even more since it’s always in your mind and it’s just going to get ugly in the long run. The only key to tackling this is through proper communication. When we say “proper communication” we mean talking in person, face to face. Trash out everything under the sun that needs to be discussed, take this opportunity not to hold back, identify the issues and solve them together!
Note: When communicating with your roommate on matters that really gets on to you, be it noise disturbance, cleanliness and electricity consumption, whatever it may be, please do not scream at each other. At all times avoid cursing or accusing one another as this is just a recipe for disaster that may even lead to violence. While you correct your roommate of their mistakes, do have at the back of your mind those habits of yours that may not have been acceptable too. As much attention as you would like from them, listen attentively to what they have to say to you too. Always be flexible and willing to make amends. Communication is only successful when it is 2 ways.
4. Do Not Involve Friends
“Not getting external parties involved, but of course, leave an empty seat and a cup of coffee for observers.”
One thing that just gets roommate issues even worst is by getting third parties involved. It’s kind of like adding petrol on an already blazing fire. Naturally, students who face roommate problems just want to turn to their friends for advice. Truth be said, these friends do not really know the magnitude of the problem simply because they are not the ones in it. For this very reason, the advices given to you would probably be based on biased and lopsided judgements especially since they are your close friends. So students should never ever bring in friends into their problems, rather they should sit together with their roommate and talk or work it out.
5. Respect Each Other
“Uhmm … Respect and peace. Chant this together with your roommate on a routine basis.”
Respect they say is reciprocal, if students want respect from their roommate, they should first show them some respect. To throw more light on this, first and foremost students should always have in mind the rights of each other’s privacy. A good example, if your roommate is asleep, keep the noise and light levels at its minimum. If he or she is trying to study, don’t have loud conversations or music in the same room. In short, if you have a feeling that your actions may seem to be a little disrespectful or to be invading your roommate’s privacy, just make sure to get their consent or simply give them a heads up. Respecting your roommate also means respecting their personal belongings, so if you need to borrow anything from your roommate, just ask. Before demanding for respect, just make sure your habits and the way you manage your own premise is worthy of respect.
6. Avoid The Problems
“Please follow this path to a quick exit on all related problems. How wishful!”
This might not sound as good as an option, but sometimes it is the easiest and quickest way to deal with the problem. Let’s be honest, there are definitely times when we think something is a problem while all your other friends think otherwise. Some things are just too negligible to be made a big concern or probably there are times that we may just be over reacting. Head to a nearby coffee shop, campus library, computer lab or to a friend’s place, you just need to calm yourself down and relax. You can even read a book just so that you get your mind of the issue. Life is too short to be stressed over the little problems.
7. Consult Your Residence Assistant Or Student Counsellor
“I’m glad to spare you time on my busy schedule to hear your inter-roommate problems.”
If talking to your roommate doesn’t work out, try talking to your Resident Assistant, or Student Affairs Counsellor. These people are well trained in matters such as these and can give you solutions on how to deal with these problems tactfully. They also do have the authority and experience on how to get involved in the situation without further aggravating the situation with the aim of easing the tension and working out a solution for everyone. Who knows, if the situation is too hard to handle, they may probably get you a new roommate, which means goodbye psycho roomie and hello new life.
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