Roommate Troubles

Sometimes, self-care ends up being more of a team effort than you would expect. While it may not be intentional, those who you live with can end up having a detrimental effect on your lifestyle. Maybe they’re keeping you up at night with loud music, maybe, they keep making a mess of the place. Whatever the reason, here are some tips for how to resolve these issues with your roommate.

1. Personal Improvements

Before confronting your roommate up-front, it might be a good idea to see what you might be able to do first to mediate things on your own terms. For example, if your roommate is a bit louder than you’d hope for when you’re trying to sleep, wearing noise- cancelling and white noise headphones could help you both coexist better. If mess and clutter is an issue, perhaps your roommate may simply need proper motivation for cleaning. Consider getting a vacuum if you don’t have one already or check to see if you’re missing trash bags.

2. Talk to them

If acting on your own isn’t enough, then the absolute next step to take is mature communication. Have a proper discussion where you calmly establish your issues and name where you want to see improvement. It is important to show respect and understanding during this discussion. Do not come at your roommate with hostility or aggression, even if you find their behavior frustrating, as that will only motivate them to come at you just as hard.

3. Set Standards

On the subject of roommate communication, consider if there’s a chance that they weren’t given a proper idea of what you are and aren’t comfortable with. Try to establish some house rules with them: How clean the house should be, how loud they should be at night, how often they can invite friends over, etc. Discuss with them and compromise on what expectations you both should set with one another. Again, it is important to be as tactful and non-hostile with these discussions as you can possibly be, else they may not bother listening.

4. Consult with staff

If bringing your grievances up to your roommate isn’t working out, then you should consider taking them up with the school staff. Check with any officials, maybe an RA or a faculty member, and let them know that you feel your roommate may not be compatible. These people can grant you some advice on how to resolve these issues, and intervene when appropriate or necessary. If you have had frequent arguments with your roommate about their behavior, it’s important to let the staff know, especially if any of these confrontations ended up turning violent.

5. Room Change

If all else ends up not being serviceable, then it seems you may have to part ways with your roommate. You may feel attached to that dorm of yours, but if your roommate refuses to cooperate, then it may not be worth it. Familiarize yourself with your college’s policy regarding room changes and speak with the appropriate officials as clearly and consistently as you can. Make it clear to your roommate that you’re looking to make your exit and allow each other prepare accordingly for your departure.