Dealing With Your College Roommate

Tips On How To Handle Those Roommates From Hell
Photo by joshjanssen

In order for any relationship to be successful, compatibility is key. We all want to be able to come home at night to a place where we feel safe, and comfortable. If you don’t have the option of picking your own roommate, you may be faced with some challenges.

Below is a list of some personality types you might get stuck rooming with, and 5 helpful hints on how to make it work:
  1. Crashing with chatty cathy: What kind of hours will your roommate be keeping? Everybody has their own academic schedule, and their own sleeping patterns. If you’re a night owl, you want to make sure you don’t get stuck with an early bird. If your roommate enjoys having guests over late at night, and you have 8am classes, it’s just not going to work out. While socializing in college is crucial, you’re entitled to some sleep. Some people don’t know when to put a sock in it, and it’s not your job to teach them how to play the quiet game. Avoid those face-talkers at all costs!
  2. Residing with the recluse: Moving away from home for the first time can be difficult. Sometimes people need a little push to go out and let loose. But remember, there’s a fine line between an introvert and a loner. You don’t want to force your lifestyle onto your roommate, but you may not want to be associated with their social shortcomings.
  3. Sleeping with the secret agent: Theft is a common concern on many college campuses. Be smart and keep your possessions in a safe place. To avoid sleeping with one eye open, make sure you talk to your roommate about what privacy means to them. Some people are more private, and may not want their personal items to be touched. It is important to respect that. I had a roommate who compulsively stole headbands, and hoarded them at home. Keep your guard up for those crazy clepto’s.
  4. Dwelling with the dawdler: Will you be shopping for food and household necessities separately, or would you rather split the grocery costs? If your roommate is a procrastinator, they’ll probably be leaving these decisions up to you. Don’t let them cop-out- set up some fair house rules you can both agree on.
  5. Slumming with the slob: Is cleanliness important to your roommate? Can you smell them from across the room? News flash people- axe is not a soap substitute. If you’re a clean-freak, living with a pig will be an instant issue. I had a roommate who let the dishes pile up until I had no choice but to wash them myself. Avoid the chore cheaters. Creating a simple chore chart can alleviate the stress of deciding who will clean what. You’re an adult now, and that means taking pride in yourself and learning how to balance responsibilities. Find someone who feels the same way.
If all else fails you can try contacting your res ed advisor to switch your room. Feel free to post comments about bad roommate experience. 


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