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Tips for Dealing with an Imperfect-Matched College Roommate


Since the second semester of college is starting, or has already started for you, it is important to think about what you want to be different this semester. I know for me, last semester, the college roommate situation was definitely less than perfect. The disrespect and lack of boundaries took over and created an overall horrible experience. So, I am going to tell you things I know would have made the situation more bearable.

The first thing I wish I had done was to be clear about certain rules that were important to me. In college, it is important to get a proper night’s sleep, especially due to the large amount of work we must do every day. Having a roommate invite people into the room for a movie night that goes on to 4 am (!!) while you have an 8 am class the next day is not going to work. Also, developing quiet hours for homework, zooms, etc. is very important to limit the inevitable frustration. Always remember, it is your room too, so you need to create rules that are important to you and bring them up in a conversation. Be firm, but also listen to your roommate’s thoughts as well, and come to a conclusion that you are both happy with.

Second, it is very important to address little problems while they are still little. If your roommate does or says something that makes you uncomfortable, bring this to their attention because otherwise, the problem will get out of control. I promise you that the moment of discomfort about addressing a small problem will pass, but letting it get of hand will lead to something much bigger.

A big thing that is necessary for a good experience is simply being a respectful person. Always respect your roommate’s things, and don’t touch them unless you ask for permission. Make sure you don’t invade on their side of the room, unless there is an agreement between the two of you, because those rooms are small enough. Also, a big thing that people don’t always remember is to make sure you keep the door locked. In a split second, someone can go into the room and steal something - how would you feel if someone stole your roommate’s stuff for example? It is not worth it.

I want to say this again, remember that it is your room too! You are paying good money to stay there and you, your stuff, and your space should be respected. If things aren’t working out, reach out to a Resident Assistant, as they can be there to listen and possibly take action if things get out of control.


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