Living with a complete stranger in a tiny dorm room isn’t exactly easy. After the honeymoon phase during the first few weeks of college, there’s almost always a guarantee that things won’t always be sunny and drama-free. If you’re in a tricky situation with a roommate, first know that you’re not alone. Roommate problems are far more common than you think. These 4 common roommate problems may seem like the worst now, but by following this list, you can learn to deal with them in a strong, constructive way.
The 4 Most Common Roommate Problems and How to Deal With Them
1. Messy vs. Clean Freak
You love your space completely clean or maybe even minimalist. She, on the other hand, couldn’t care less about some trash on her desk or the spill in the fridge.
How to Deal: Cleaning expectations should be number one on your roommate agreement. Be honest with how you prefer (or don’t care) about your room’s appearance so they know off of the bat what to expect. If the agreement isn’t being enforced, consider a common ground. Designate a cleaning day or time in which both of you are around.
2. Night Owl vs. Early Bird
Pulling all-nighters can be just part of the college experience, but if you’re living with someone who is devoted to their 5 AM sunrise jog or who is a fan of the 8 AM class, you may be doing more harm to them than good.
How to Deal: Standardize your bedtime and implement quiet hours. A good rule of thumb is that 10 PM to midnight on most weekdays should be wind down time. The night owl should turn down their TV or use their desk lamp while the early bird prepares for sleep. For surviving an early bird, request that she or he use a vibrating alarm, avoid using louder appliances such as a coffee maker and use headphones.
3. Socialite vs. Homebody
There’s always one roommate who loves to be the life or the host of the party. But for every social butterfly, there is a couch potato introvert who just wants them to go home.
How to deal: Here’s another case where expectations should be set at the very beginning. And while compromise may work here, it’s important that the person who would rather keep their dorm off-limits to parties be heard first. They may have valid fears about theft and damage or be against party activities. All of this is understandable. If you’re the party thrower, seek out a new venue or find a few friends with a roommate who is more down with hosting.
4. The Borrower vs. The Hands Off
Sticky fingers can create huge issues in a roommate situation. But beyond theft, over-sharing can also hurt feelings and lead to misunderstandings. Who is right in this situation?
How to deal: This one is pretty straight forward. If it belongs to you, it belongs to you alone. Stand up for yourself if your roommate is taking the liberty of borrowing without asking. Make it clear what is and isn’t off limits. If she/he still doesn’t listen and you’re not able to remedy the situation with other help, consider purchasing a safe or chest with locking abilities and keep all valuables out of harm’s way.
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