Roommate Problems: When You Just Can’t Find a Way Out

Turning the doorknob slowly, I brace myself—will she be there or won’t she? The knob opens, and my tension turns to disappointment. Time to face her. I rush in and out of “my” room, exchanging a few books for others. Staying isn’t an option; it just heightens the chance that I’ll have orders barked at me or mean words thrown in my face. I’ll feel judged and ridiculed for doing absolutely nothing wrong. That’s right, the hardest part of my day isn’t juggling classes or cramming for midterms. It’s the stress that comes with living in an unlivable room.

When your days are so packed with meetings, work, and classes, it’s so important to have a place where you can just relax. So what do you do when that isn’t the case? If you’re dealing with roommate problems like I am, it’s time to take charge of your situation. The last thing you should choose to do is live this way because it really takes a toll on your mentality every day.

We’re here to help, here are HCBU’s steps to getting out:

1. Remember that you aren’t alone
Everyone’s had roommate problems. Maybe not to the extent described above, but it’s so easy to get annoyed by someone who’s sharing your common space. Maybe your roommate snores at night, maybe she stays up too late with her lamp on—we’ve all had to ask a roommate to change a behavior like this. Even if it’s just saying “hey, try not to be so loud when you walk in at 5am,” we’ve all been there and you’re definitely not alone.

2. Try talking to your roommate
The easiest way to deal with a roommate problem is to talk it out. If you’re annoyed that your roommate plays music in the room, she isn’t going to know unless you tell her! Sometimes we assume that everyone has the same concept of common courtesy, but at a school with people of diverse backgrounds, that isn’t the case. There’s no use in resenting your roommate for a small behavior that can be easily changed by talking it out.

3. Talk with your RA
If you and your roommate can’t resolve issues on your own without just getting at each other’s throats, go knock on your RA’s door. RAs are upperclassmen trained to help in situations like this. You can use your RA as someone to vent to, someone to give you advice, and even someone to mediate a conversation between you and your roommate.

4. But the problem’s bigger than that?
If your personality clashes with your roommate or you try talking and can’t resolve anything, firstly—welcome to my life. And secondly, as much as you may not want to accept it, it’s time to change rooms. You may be reluctant to move at first, after all you already set up your room nicely, but if your room just isn’t your room, it’s time to move.

Rebecca Shinners is a Her Campus Chapter Advisor and Photo Intern/Freelancer at O, The Oprah Magazine. She graduated from Boston University in 2014 with a BS in Journalism and concentration in Photojournalism. She got her start in magazines writing for Her Campus and was previously an Editor for both Her Campus BU and Her Campus Tulane. Her work has also appeared in Seventeen Magazine, Teen Vogue,, Hamptons Magazine, and Newsday. When Rebecca isn't busy writing and taking pictures, she can be found shopping, petting puppies, wearing the color mint, and going to concerts.