How to Deal with a Difficult Roommate in College

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I consider myself one of the lucky ones, because my freshman roommate was one of my best friends and still is to this day (shout out to Katie!!), but I have definitely witnessed quite a few roommate relationships spiral out of control in the past two years, and I know it isn’t always easy to deal with. But it can be done.

If you’re dealing with a difficult roommate, there are plenty of steps you can make to take action. Don’t let this relationship suffer, you’re spending months with this person!

1. Address your concerns respectfully. The last thing you want to do in a rough roommate relationship is create even more strife. Remain polite and calm and tell your roommate what is on your mind. Refrain from sounding accusatory or harsh. It will make your roommate much more receptive.

 2. Don’t only state the problem, suggest a solution. In trying to make your issues as simple as possible, tell your roommate what you would like to happen going forward. It can be hard to hear that someone has a problem with the way you’re doing things, but if you give them an idea of what to do instead, they aren’t simply left confused and guessing. Be clear and concise about what can be done to fix the issue.

3. Try to distance yourself. Yes, your room is your room just as much as it is theirs, but it can be hard to spend so much time in such tight quarters (let’s face it, dorm rooms are small) and never get space between you. Learn to step away if things are tense. A little space to breathe will keep things from escalating to an unnecessary point. Take a walk through campus or visit a friend in a nearby room.

4. If the problem persists, don’t be afraid to consult your RA. They’re trained to deal with these situations and more likely than not have had experience with your type of roommate drama. You are only one of the many, many college students that find rooming with a complete stranger a (sometimes) stressful time!

There are several different types of difficult roommates, and you can’t always deal with them the same way. Have you ever had to deal with a not-so-easy roommate? How did you handle it? Let me know below in the comments and help others going through an experience like yours.

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Ali Lowery
Hi! I’m Ali. If I look familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen me over at Ali in Bloom (http://aliinbloom.com), my lifestyle blog. I'm currently an incoming senior at the University of Illinois. I love traveling, painting, nature, and anything that makes me smile. Connect with me on social media!