I remember it all too clearly. I squished myself and a cart full of luggage into an already-packed elevator, walked down the hall to my dormroom, placed my hand on the doorknob, took a deep breath in, and silently prayed that I didn’t have a horrible roommate.
Let’s face it- your college roommate is usually a hit or miss. Can this person potentially be your best friend and future bridesmaid? Yup, I’ve seen it happen. Can this person irritate you so much that you spend most of your year complaining about how horrible it is to live with her? Yup, I’ve seen it happen.
If you’re one of the unfortunate souls who fits in the latter category, then have no fear. We have a few ways to try and counter this seemingly horrible situation. The following are a number of roommate horror stories that we’ve encountered and ways that we would handle it. Read on for The Annoying College Roommate Guide:
5 Ways to Address the Annoying Roommate
“My roommate during my first year of college was the worst! I once came home to strangers making out on my bed and a bunch people sitting on my stuff. My roommate decided to throw a party in our dorm without even telling me.”
SOLUTION: Speak Up
Here’s the crazy thing- despite how obviously rude they are being, there are actually times when your roommate may have no idea that they’re doing anything wrong. It’s important to be vocal and let them know when they’ve made you feel uncomfortable. More often than not, they will be taken by surprise that they were being rude and they will mend the situation. And if they were aware that they’re being rude, but did it anyway? This lets them know that you won’t passively let it slide.
“I had my schedule planned out perfectly. All classes were in the afternoon so I could stay out late without having to wake up early. My roommate, on the other hand, decided to take 8am classes and was sooo loud getting ready in the morning. So much for more sleep.”
SOLUTION: Know their schedule
It’s inevitable that people will have different schedules. If you have a plan to sign up for late classes, let your roommate know. There’s no guarantee that they’re going to change their schedule, but at least they’ll know to keep quiet.
Don’t hesitate to sit your roommate down and make rules with each other. You’re not being uptight- you’re just making sure they know what’s not okay. Of course, this shouldn’t be one person dictating what’s allowed and not allowed in the dorm/apartment. You both live there so you both have to agree on these rules and abide to it.
For any relationship to work, there has to be a give and take. Maybe your roommate could use a smaller lamp or try studying in a lounge. Maybe you could start wearing an eye-mask. Find a give and take system that works for the both of you.
“I kept noticing that whenever I left my wallet, I would end up missing money. At first I thought I was just being neglectful with my spending habits, but once I almost caught my roommate in the act of stealing my cash. Never ended up feeling safe in that room again.”
SOLUTION: Talk to your RA
When matters get serious, you need to handle them accordingly. You know when things have gone too far and you need let other people in on the situation. Advocating for yourself is not “tattling”. Besides, if your roommate is going to act like a child who doesn’t know better, then they may as well be treated like one.
Of course, all this may not even apply to you. You may have the perfect roommates who cleans after themselves and shows all signs of proper courtesy. Its important now to stop and take a good look at the situation. Are you being as nice to your roommate as she is to you? You may not even realize it, but the annoying roommate could even be you.
5 Signs that YOU Are the Annoying Roommate
-You keep taking your roommate’s food.
You didn’t get to go grocery shopping so you decide to take a cereal bar from your roommate’s stash. No biggie right? Your roommate tells you that he/she doesn’t even mind so you feel like you’re in the clear. Soon enough, you’ve continued this for a week and before you know it, all the cereal bars are gone. Don’t be this person. No matter how kind your roommate may be, they will still feel some sort of resentment if you eat all their food. Keep it to a minimum and make sure you pay them back some how at a later time.
-You sleep through your alarms.
I am horribly guilty of this. For your sake, I hope you don’t fit into the category of deep sleepers. Known for our instinctive habit of hitting the snooze button or worse, our bear-like ability to sleep through all of our alarms. If you have this habit, you are warned- your roommate will hate you in the morning. If it takes sleeping with an alarm next to your face to ensure you wake up to it, do it.
-You add an additional roommate.
So you have a new significant other and you two can’t get enough of each other. In fact, you two are now connected at the hip. While your roommate have no problem with your relationship itself, this is still another person taking up the already cramped up space. This is another roommate (except one that doesn’t pay) and non-stop third wheeling for your roommate. Stop. Even if its your friends that you constantly bring over- its hard enough trying to get alone time, don’t ruin it further.
-You don’t understand study-time.
You need to be mindful that you’re living with someone that does not have the same schedule nor the same study habits as you. If you’re on the phone, you may be interrupting. If you stumble in late at night drunk from that party, you may be interrupting. If they have their headphones turned up to the highest volume possible just to avoid hearing you, you may be interrupting. Be polite and respect their space.
-You don’t clean up after yourself.
When your clothes start piling over to your roommates side of the room, you have a problem. If you’re wondering why your roommate never has people over, it may be because they don’t want their friends to see the jungle that you two call a room. Clean up your own mess!