Coping with a Bad Roommate

Living with someone you have never met before can be a challenge, but living with one of your best friends could be the challenge you never expected to face during your college living years.

Looking back on my roommate experiences in college, I can assuredly say I have seen both the positive and negative sides of living with a complete stranger and with one of my closest friends. However, I never could have predicted that living with one of my good friends would start to hurt our friendship.

When we first decided to live together, we thought everything would go according to plan. It would be a blast to have sleepovers, cook meals together, have movie and wine nights with a bunch of our friends over, and have someone to do everything with. As it turns out, the more time we spent together, the more we got on each other’s nerves and realized we were not as similar as we thought we were. When we tried to address some issues to make it easier to live well alongside one another, it turned out that that no compromises could be made and our friendship was put on the line.

In the end, we realized that our friendship was the thing that we needed to focus on first and foremost and from that point we worked together to reach a compromise to live well together for the remaining of the school year. Reaching out to our RA, or Resident Assistant, and talking to other friends and our parents really helped us solve our problems and get a new perspective of the situations we were struggling through.

From washing the dishes to late night house parties, we were able to figure out which parts of living together needed a little more attention and finding ways to make it bearable when it got too tough to handle. Even though our friendship was strained until move-out day, with time, we were able to rekindle our friendship and move on from the messy roommate living situation. 

Some tips I would suggest to help cope with living with a bad roommate are to talk to your friends and family. They know you better than anyone else and they can help provide a new perspective on the bad situation. In moments of stress and agitation, it can be easy to become absorbed in your own way of thinking so reach out to others for advice. If you have one, your RA can be a great source to help mediate and help you and your roommate talk through problems and reach a compromise. If you have done everything you possibly could to save living with a bad roommate and save your friendship, you might have to take a step back and move into a different room or house to get some space and focus on your friendship without the pressures of living together.