Dealing With an Annoying Roommate

Ever dreaded going home after class? Afraid your dorm room or apartment will look like the aftermath of a home invasion? Do you expect certain belongings to go missing? Does your leftover Chinese food from the night before stand a chance of making it through the day while you’re away? Living with an inconsiderate roommate can make life difficult. But if you handle the situation like an adult, you’ll avoid further inconveniences while making your college experience less stressful.

Even if you’ve just recently moved in with a new roommate and have come to the realization that the chances you’ll end up friends are slim, you shouldn’t neglect the relationship completely. It’s like dealing with a sibling with whom you don’t get along; he or she will always be around, so it doesn’t benefit you to hold onto any residual anger from the past. Don’t involve third parties and keep the negativity – or trash talking – to a minimum. Treat your roommate with respect and establish a clear line of communication. Always be honest and never repress your feelings; passive-aggressiveness will only add fuel to the fire. Attempt to put them in your shoes by explaining what they’re doing to make you upset. Remember that it goes both ways and the feelings are probably mutual. Understand their issues and commit to improving your behavior. Once your roommate sees that you’re willing to make an effort to coexist, they’ll be more likely to do the same.

It’s important that you set boundaries so that your roommate will know where you stand. If you have early classes and plan to be in bed by 11 p.m., ask them to hang out with their friends at their apartments or at a bar instead of your apartment. If you don’t want to share your food, keep it compartmentalized and in a familiar area so that your roommate won’t mistake it for their own. If you prefer for the common areas to remain tidy, offer to clean their mess and try to get them involved. Make your preferences clear in a mature manner. But if there’s absolutely nothing you can do to improve the situation, contact residential life or apartment management and attempt to make a change. Take the lessons you’ve learned with the bad roommie and use them to cultivate a healthy relationship with your next roommie. If it works out the second time, you’ll realize the previous situation only made you a better roommate.