Problem:You’re in a summer program, and your random pairing is making you wish you asked for a single room instead.
“She was extremely sloppy, disappeared for days on end without telling me, spoke extremely loudly, and burst into the room at odd hours of the night,” said one Harvard sophomore about her disastrous roommate.
Solution: “Bring up your concerns with her, but not in an accusatory way, because then it might turn into a 'war' of all the habits you dislike about each other,” Alyse said.
Let your roommate know that the way she’s acting is not okay, and you both need to work out an arrangement where everyone’s needs are met. If the discussion gets too heated, bring in a resident advisor to act as a third party.
Problem: You’re abroad or away from home for the summer, and your roommate’s homesick behavior is bringing everyone down.
Gina Mussio, junior at Ohio University, experienced this with one roommate during her summer in Italy: “About halfway through our study abroad experience she completely lost it. She realized she was out of money and cried just about every day. She often stole our food and never, ever cleaned up after herself.”
Solution: Being so far away from home can be tough, especially when you’re used to relaxing summers spent with loved ones. But don’t let someone else’s poor attitude ruin your entire experience. Sit down with your roommate one on one (so she doesn’t feel attacked by multiple people) and explain why her behavior is ruining everyone’s experience. Ask what you can do to help make her time better, but let her know that she needs to stop acting out. As a last resort, be prepared to contact the study abroad program asking for her to be removed from your accommodations.
Problem: Your roommate’s boyfriend has basically moved in with you.
“One of my roommates started dating her boyfriend and then he practically lived at our place 24/7...he left his trash, clothes and other stuff just lying around,” said Meredith Schlabig, a junior at Dayton University.
Solution: “She might be feeling as if they are meant to be and wants to spend every minute of every day with him, possibly making her sensitive to your comments. Be prepared for some backlash and possible references to instances when you had a guy stay the night,” Alyse said.
She suggests staying calm and expressing what is bothering you and why. Talk about what is and is not acceptable behavior for him while he’s in the apartment. To be fair, include times that your place will stay a guy-free zone for everyone.