Why Your Roommate Might Secretly Hate You (+ How to Fix It)

Whether it was the day you walked into your tiny dorm room freshman year, eagerly anticipating the arrival of your roommate who you’d stalked on Facebook all summer, or the first day of senior year when you moved into your first apartment with your three best friends, living away from home is one of the most anticipated perks of college. 

The freedom from curfews and parents is definitely nice, but living with people in such close quarters can be more than we bargained for. We’ve all heard about and had our own fair share of experiences, both good and bad, with roommates, and though you can’t always predict what types of conflicts will come up, there are definitely ways you can keep things from getting too out of control.

We probably all share some typical common pet peeves – the roommate who always leaves the door unlocked, has dirty clothes all over the room, brings over his/her boyfriend/girlfriend every single night, blasts loud music while you’re trying to study – so we may try to brush them aside and just deal with the situation as is. However, here are some real stories about bad roommate experiences turned worse, and advice on what to do so that your roomie relations never reach this level.  Make sure you aren’t guilt of any of these offenses, and if you are, shape up fast!

The Promiscuous Girl

“I live with three girls. One has obnoxiously loud hookups. What's worst is when she'll bring a random guy home and let him wander through our house unsupervised. She'll meet a guy at a bar and then I'll run into him as I'm going to brush my teeth while she's listening to music in her room. If she just met this guy, how am I supposed to trust him walking through our house alone?” –Sick of Strangers

Dear Sick of Strangers,

Agree upon rules regarding visitors from the start, right after you move in. While you don’t need to write up formal roommate contracts like your RA may make you do in traditional dorms, making expectations clear from the beginning will give you something precise to refer back to when problems do arise, and help ensure everyone is on the same page. Instead of deciding on general guidelines, such as allowing people to stay over “once in a while,” agree on specific expectations, such as only Fridays and Saturdays by a certain time. Even if it seems like overkill, you’ll be thankful you had a more in-depth discussion when that day comes when you’re forced to camp out in the lounge for the night or hop out of the shower and see a stranger walking around in his boxers, eating from your fridge.