Roommate horror stories are pretty popular topics of conversation at college. Everybody’s got them. Follow a few simple guidelines to ensure you're not the awful roommate everyone's talking about—and learn to deal with your terrible roommate.
Respect Each Other
First and foremost, if you don’t respect them first, they sure as hell won’t respect you. Your parents have hopefully been teaching you what respecting others mean since you were about four. The same rules apply in college as they did in preschool.
Be Considerate – If your roommate is sleeping or attempting to sleep, keep the noise and light levels down. If in doubt, ask yourself if you would be annoyed if your roommate did whatever it is you would like to do to you. If the answer is no, take it elsewhere.
Keep Your Hands Off Their Stuff – Respecting your roommate means respecting their stuff. Just don’t do it, especially with personal items like brushes and stuff like that. It’s gross. If you really need to borrow something of theirs, always, always ask before you do. If they say no, don’t get offended. Some people just don’t like other people using their stuff. This goes especially for food. It’s super annoying to open the fridge and see that your lunch that you planned to eat is now gone. If you eat your roommate's food, it is absolutely your responsibility to replace it.
Set Ground Rules
Now that we’ve reviewed what it means to respect each other, you and your roommate should also establish some ground rules. For instance, when people have phone conversations in the room while your roomi studying. Here is a list of things that you and your roommate should touch on as far as ground rules go:
Talking on the phone – inside the room, outside the room, on the balcony, in the closet, whatever. Make a compromise, but the tie should go to the person studying.
Smoking – This. Is. So. Important. If you have a balcony, establish if it’s okay for the smoker to smoke on the balcony. Be careful if you agree to smoking on the balcony or you could end up with your roommate’s chain smoking friends living out on your balcony. I don’t think smoking is allowed in any dorm room, but make sure to set your expectations early.
Visitors of the intimate kind – This seriously could warrant its own post. If you have someone of special interest with you, you need to remember that the room belongs to two people. . Additionally, check with your roommate if they’re comfortable with your lover spending the night if this proves to be the case. If they’re not, respect their wishes.
Cleaning – Discuss duties for cleaning and whose job it is to do what. Dividing responsibilities of cleaning will make keeping your room cleaner and it will help ease roommate tensions if you both pitch in.
When All Else Fails…
Sometimes, no matter how much you do, your roommate will still drive you crazy. When respecting, cleaning, and ground rules don’t get you where you want in your rooming situation, all is not lost, even if it seems like it. There’s still a certain amount of damage control that you can do.
Deal with it – There are just some things that you are going to have to get used to when living with another person. Sometimes, you just need to suck it up and deal with it.
Talk to your roommate – Sit down and have a conversation with your roommate about the key things that really irritate you about the situation. Whatever it is, don’t yell and don’t accuse. Be calm and friendly and simply explain your situation. Focus on the big aspects.
Talk to your RA – Do not do this before you talk to your roommate. Going above your roommate’s head is inconsiderate. You are big boys and girls now. You can work your problems out by yourselves.
Get out of your room – This is probably the simplest of all solutions. When your roommate is in your room and doing something irritating, just leave the room. Go to the library or a campus computer lab if you need to study.