Ways to De-Stress When Your Roommates Are Driving You Nuts

No matter if you're rooming with total strangers or sharing a triple with your BFFs, roommate problems are inevitable in college. Since everyone has their own personal living styles, some clashes are bound to come up over bed times, loud phone calls or messy bathrooms. Instead of bottling up your irritations, here’s how to maintain your cool and relieve the tension when your roommates have you at the edge of your wits.

1. Find a non-dorm quiet space

Escaping from that tiny room, even if it’s only for an hour, is essential to maintaining your sanity. Take advantage of campus study lounges rather than doing all your reading at your desk. Even better, clear your head by bringing your books to the park or a cute café and give yourself and your roommate(s) a much-needed break from each other’s company.

2. Take a step back

When any group of people constantly spend time together, little quirks and personal habits can suddenly seem much more annoying than usual. So if you're about to snap over the way your roomie clicks her pen or calls her mom twice a day, take a couple deep breaths and keep in mind the small stuff isn’t worth starting a huge fight.

3. Vent your issues

Rather than let every small annoyance fester for weeks and then all come out in one big, angry blowout, call up your mom, sister or BFF at home and just rant for awhile. Even if they don’t have any advice to give, just saying all of your thoughts out loud to someone else is a proven technique for relieving anxiety. 

4. Choose directness over passiveness

If you’ve got an issue with one of your roommates, tell them. It almost seems too obvious, but most of the time the simple solution is the easiest. If you’re scared of coming off as too confrontational and creating a bigger issue, plan out your words in advance. Practice phrasing what you want as questions rather than demands and people will be much more likely to listen. Try “Hey, could you take care of your dishes tonight?” rather than “Get your nasty grilled cheese pan out of the sink!” Above all, make sure you talk to the other person one-on-one. Don't try to avoid the awkwardness by leaving notes around the dorm or asking a mutual friend to bring it up for you.

5. Get some outside help 

If you’ve tried all the above tips and still find yourself constantly frustrated with your living situation, it’s time to look into more serious resources on campus. Universities will have mediators available to sit down in a group therapy session to hear all sides of a conflict and suggest their own solutions.  This outside intervention can be very helpful because it brings a totally new perspective to the problem and prevents any one girl from feeling like she’s being ganged up on. 

No matter what roommate woes you may have, make sure to find some strategy for solving them as soon as possible. Your room at college should be a relaxing, safe space away from class, not another source of stress in your life.