Handling a Difficult Roommate

If you’re a freshman, chances are you were paired with a randomly selected roommate since you most likely don’t know anyone at college yet. But even if you do know your roommate already, or you’re an upper classman who is living with college friends, living in close quarters with someone can be tricky. This is applicable both to tight dorm situations and off-campus apartments, which probably aren’t overflowing with extra space. For instance, if you’re a neat freak and your best friend’s a slob, her messiness doesn’t affect you at all in class or during a night out. But once you move from best friends to roommates, her inability to pick up after herself and her lack of understanding about your frustration may drive you crazy. One preventative tactic is to sit down and have a frank conversation at the very beginning of the year. Talk about what’s important to each of you and what would be helpful from the other person to make rooming together go smoothly. Talk about each other’s schedule too. If you like to rise and shine early in the day to be productive, but your roommate is more of a night owl, plan ways to be respectful of each other’s sleep habits. Becoming sleep deprived is just going to make you both crankier and less cooperative! And when you do get angry at your roommate (and trust me, it will happen!) don’t let things build up to the point that you explode. Let your anger subside and then calmly ask to speak with her about some things you’ve noticed. Then, in the nicest way possible, voice your concerns, make suggestions, and ask for her thoughts. When all else fails, consider involving your RA to get an unbiased third party’s input. Of course if you live off campus you don’t have an RA anymore, in which case you’re on your own. If it gets really bad, you always have the option of not renewing the lease – or breaking it and moving out suddenly if you just can’t bear to live there anymore! Many people suggest living with a good friend but not your best friend. In other words, someone you know you get along with but who will give you space and do their own thing. Rooming with strangers is uncomfortable, but rooming with best friends can be overwhelming!
Source: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2011/07/06/how-to-handle-bad-college-roommate/

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