Living on campus or in an off campus apartment can be very difficult for students. Many times, you’re joining strangers or acquaintances under the same roof with totally different living styles.
But imagine living with the already known difficulties plus one very aggravating situation: the fifth roommate. Not using each other’s personal items and not raiding each other’s food comes easy in comparison to this situation. While some students never have to face this reality others are living with it every day.
The fifth roommate, other wise known as the “big elephant in the room,” can tear apart some friendships, make rooms uncomfortable, and create some very bad drama between roommates.
The “big elephant in the room” can be anyone that isn’t part of the original housing agreement, that means someone’s boyfriend, girlfriend, side piece or even best friend can fall under this category. They can sometimes even be family members.
They’re called the fifth roommate or the “big elephant in the room” because they can’t seem to take the hint that they have over stayed their welcome. And even worse, their host (your roommate) can’t seem to understand that either!
When a group of Kean students were asked about the fifth roommate issue some said they have been through it more than once while others seemed to get upset at the thought of even having to go through such a thing.
One student, who is currently living on campus with her fifth roommate, said that it’s so uncomfortable for her and she doesn’t know how to speak to her roommate about it.
Handling this issue can be very nerve racking and drive some people to extremes like moving out; however, before a move is deemed the only solution there are some rules that can help prevent or cure the awkward fifth roommate situation.
Communicationis one of the most important rules to establish and needs to be understood by everyone living in the house. When lines of communication are broken between roommates more drama can arise.
When you don’t like something that is going on in the house or want the fifth roommate out talk to the official roommate. Plan certain days that everyone agrees company can spend the night.
Make rules that are fair for each person in the house or dorm and don’t forget to have them in writing just incase someone forgets them.
The most important advice is to respect one another’s space and privacy.
If your roommate tells you they want your guest to leave, be understandable; it takes a lot for a person to say what makes them uncomfortable.
Rules are needed for a healthy living environment so don’t be afraid to establish them and make sure to say what you want and what you need when setting them.