For some college students, living with another person or maybe a few other people is brand new to them. Sharing a small living space with a complete stranger can definitely result in some issues. Not to worry! I have some key tips to deal a difficult roommate:
Whether the issue you have with your roommate is minor or major, you should always address it sooner than later. The longer you hold off on telling them what is bothering you, the more you will dislike them and find other small things to be mad at, just because. More than likely, you both have not met each other prior to move in day, so remember that this individual does not know your likes and dislikes, along with both of your bad habits. Therefore, it is best to definitely be completely honest about everything.
Although you need to address the situation with full honesty, you should still be respectful and remember that your roommate has feelings too. When talking with them about what is bothering you, try not to point the finger at them so much, rather, you should simply express the way you feel. Everything should be “I feel… It bothers me when…” and so on. Describe the facts and what you have seen or heard. Then acknowledge how you feel and assertively but respectfully ask for what you want to happen. Additionally, try to make compromises and negotiations with your roommate because after all, you have to share a space with them. You wouldn’t want to always feel tense and miserable in your own room. Lastly, always be confident! Be confident when confronting an issue and be confident in what you want. This is a part of the college experience; learning how to assertively get what you want.
Set ground rules from the very beginning. To prevent any trouble, you can always create rules and set boundaries together. Talk with each other and brainstorm some rules for each of you to follow. Create some boundaries and agree to not cross them. If this is done in the beginning of the semester, you are less likely to have any major conflicts with your roommate.
If all else fails, never hesitate to go to your RA. Normally, there are Resident Assistants assigned to each floor of your residence hall. You will meet them at your floor meeting within the first week of school. They are there to help you with any problems and answer any questions you may have about housing. Do not be afraid or think that it is “snitching.” This is not just an issue on the playground at recess. This is your new home for some time and things can become very severe very quickly if you don’t address the minor issues before they spiral into bigger ones.
Having a roommate is a huge adjustment, but once you both have settled some issues, or set boundaries for each other, things get way better. Sometimes, your roommate even becomes your best friend! Go into college with an open mind about everything and watch how much you learn about yourself and the types of people you want around you.