5 Ways to Deal With a Terrible Roommate

Sometimes roommates aren't as great as you thought. Whether you chose to stay with a random roommate, or you met someone and signed up for a place together, sometimes people aren’t who you think they are. Whether they lied about how often they clean, or how often they let their boyfriend sleep over, here are five ways to deal with a nightmare roommate.

1. Talk about Ground Rules

Moving into a new space with someone can be daunting. After settling in, you and your roommate(s) should get together to discuss ground rules. It’s way better to do this from the start, rather than when problems arise and screaming matches happen. These kinds of rules can range from how many times a week guests sleep over, who cleans what, and how loud your music or Netflix can be at midnight. Even though these rules might be difficult to bring up, I promise that you all will feel better in the long run.

2. Don't yell

The worst thing you can do when you’re already dealing with the worst kind of person is yell. This will only make the situation more difficult. If you decide to yell at your roommate for leaving her clothes everywhere, they’ll probably stop, but resent you. Or worse, she’ll keep doing it and purposefully put the clothes in your area. Instead of yelling, calmly find a good time to say, “hey, when you get a chance, can you pick up your clothes?” You can then use that opening to say, “you know, it does really bother me when they’re always on the ground.”

3. Find a good time to talk

If you never really had that “ground rules” talk, because "that’s boring" "and we’re both decent people, right?" But if you realize you both have different ideas of being clean, ask your roommate to talk. This approach, like before, needs to be calm. Being honest is important, and can be done without being rude.

4. Talk to you RA

If you live in the dorms, and you’ve tried approaches 1 through 3 and nothing has been getting through, talk to your RA. They have great tips on how to talk and get through to your roommate. It’s a small space, and your RA gets that. They can also act as a third party if you want to talk to your roommate with a witness.

5. If all else fails, start searching

Sometimes it’s just best to move. If trying to reason and talk with your roommate is like talking to a brick wall, seeking out a room switch is an option. Talk to your RA about rooms available to switch into, as well as who else looking. The Residence Life Office also has plenty of information on rooms and people in your situation.

The school year can feel long when you have to deal with an unbearable person. The dorms are small, and your room should be a safe space for you.