As part of your housing application at most colleges, you have to fill out a roommate survey that contains the basic questions: Are you a smoker? Are you a drinker? Are you neat or are you messy? I checked the appropriate boxes and sat back in my chair with a very relaxed feeling. All signs of this survey pointed to the likelihood that I was going to get a roommate whose answers matched up with mine. Worrying about whether I would get a bad roommate or not was no longer on my to-do list before school started.
Move in day came and I was so excited to meet my roommate. I had seen pictures of her on Facebook and we had been emailing back and forth about what we should each bring for our dorm room. We had a lot to plan, since we had our own kitchen and bathroom, however we did not have separate bedrooms so our beds were about ten feet away from each other.
I have had my own room since I was born. Having never shared a room with any siblings before, I had no idea how sharing a room with another college girl would be.
My roommate was very nice. We got along great and were a lot alike. But, that was only for the first couple months of school. After semester break ended, we came back in January to a nice cleaned room. We were excited to start our final semester of freshman year and ready for our new classes to start that following Monday. This is where problems arose. Turns out my roommate had made a ton of friends from across the state over break. Little did I know that all those “friends” she met, would soon be taking over my room and start spending nights at our place. I was locked out of my room many times, so I would have to sit outside the door in the hallway until she came and told me it was safe for me to come in, of course after the guy left our room. I would find empty beer cans thrown behind our dressers and have our room smelling like alcohol mixed with the after scent of puke on our carpet that was not cleaned. We had a different boy in our room every weekend. It even happened the weekend my parents came up to visit me. I set my alarm for 8:00 am that Saturday morning just to make sure the guy was awake and would leave the room. I tried talking to her and telling her how I felt about having different boys in here at nights and how it was somewhat uncomfortable, but that did nothing. It was like she did not even listen to me. The problems got so bad that I turned to my Resident Advisor. Unfortunately, my RA was a party hopper and didn’t really care too much about it. If I wanted this solved, I would have to learn how to give and take with my roommate and her “habits”. I often went to the library if I needed to study since there was too much going on in my room. On weekends, I would go visit my friends at a nearby college and have a great drama free weekend with them.
The issues reoccurred throughout the rest of the school year. We did not even talk for the last two weeks of school, including move out day. I packed all my stuff, got it all cleaned out, and had my dad come and help me pack all my stuff into the car. I left with one look back at my side of the room, and without a word to my roommate sitting on the other side. As of today, I have not talked to her once since those couple weeks before school stopped.
After semester break, my room was no longer considered “my room”. It was no longer a place I could do some nice and peaceful studying, or where I could have a good night sleep. We all want to have good roommate experiences so here are some tips on how you can solve your roommate issues if you have any:
Talk to each other about your daily routine the first day you move in so you know how each other like to live in their room.
If a problem arises, talk to your roommate about it. If you don’t talk about it, nothing will change. Confront her and tell her how you really feel about it and see if you both can come up with a fair and equal solution.
If talking to her doesn’t work, go talk to your RA. That is what they are there for. Tell her the problems you are having and why it is bothering you.
See if you can spend as little time in your room as possible when your roommate is there. If you are trying to study, go study with a friend in her dorm or at the library. If someone spends the weekend, go visit home or another family member. Better yet, see if one of your friends at a college near you would like a visitor for the weekend. That way you can still enjoy the weekend without having drama attached.
If none of these works, contact your housing director immediately. Tell them all the problems, steps you have tried to fix them and that you would like to move into either a different dorm or different building. You can also have your parents be contacted in case you need their permission.
Remember, there is always a way to fix the problems. You might have to put in a little effort, but there is always a way.
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