What to Do if You Aren't Close With Your Roommate

Everybody assumes they are going to be best friends with their roommate. They assume they’re going to go out with them every weekend, go to football games together, do homework, eat meals together, and stay up talking all night long. Only a select few have the absolute privilege of turning these dreams into a reality, and some just cannot get along with their roommates. No matter the reason behind the conflict - different personalities, an inability to compromise - sometimes the relationship cannot be saved. Nothing could prepare me on how to deal with the ill-fated relationship with my roommate, but hopefully, I can help anybody struggling with a bad roommate and let you know you aren’t alone and there are some things that can make your living situation a bit more tolerable.


Lean on Your Family 

Understandably, living with somebody you constantly are fighting with or ignoring is draining. I know that many articles warn about talking to your parents too much in your first few months in college, but I have found that opening up to my family and asking them for advice has been the absolute best thing I can do. New friends at school don’t want to hear complaints 24/7; they grow tired of the pessimism and aren’t interested in surrounding themselves with that kind of negativity. As much as your parents want you to be happy, they want to help you, and they want to do everything they can to make your situation a bit more bearable. I have called my mom and dad so many times in the last month looking for comfort and advice. Without them, I’m not sure how I could stay sane.


Make Your Space Happy

Coming home to a negative atmosphere is disheartening, so it’s imperative to make sure your room or your side of the dorm is completely your own and extremely bright and cheery. My sheets and decorations are all white and pink, and I have many pink picture frames filled with happy photos of my family and friends. Gray is a popular color for girls’ dorm rooms these days, and I know how important it can be to have a trendy room, but, trust me, making sure your space is cheerful goes a long way in brightening your day. This one may sound a bit dumb, but I promise it actually helps!


It’s OK to Move Out

Sometimes the situation becomes too much and takes up too much space in a person’s head. Sometimes, it’s impossible to ignore the situation, and that’s okay. It’s important to know when you physically can’t handle the stress anymore because living in a toxic environment can become unhealthy. Remember that you aren’t letting your roommate “win” because there really is no competition. By moving out, you are showing that you are the bigger person and showing that you don’t need that kind of unnecessary negativity in your life. It may be slightly embarrassing to physically have to move all of your stuff out of a dorm and into a new one, but, in the long run, you will be better off for it. The space in your brain being taken up by the constant problems with your roommate can be replaced with new friends you meet and new clubs and activities you join. But remember to find a new roommate you know you are going to be able to live with. What's the point of moving out if you find yourself in a similar situation? If you find someone you think you could potentially live with, go eat dinner together, walk to classes together, hang out in each other’s’ rooms and make sure you are making the right choice.

Trust me, I know it’s disappointing to have a roommate you don’t get along with. I thought my roommate and I were going to be best friends and have the most fun dorm in the building. I thought we were going to dance around our room to loud music with all our friends all the time. Instead, my room is generally silent and neither my roommate nor I speak. Although the situation isn’t great, it has forced me out and about to meet all kinds of new people I wouldn’t have if I were stuck to my roommate like glue. I have joined multiple clubs, go to each football game with new people every time, and introduce myself to random people in the dining hall and in class all the time. You may feel awkward and uncomfortable, but the people you meet may actually be in the same boat as you, and they want to make new friends just like you do. You won’t be best friends with everybody you meet, but it’s important to have people you can grab dinner or study with, so you don’t have to suffer in silence in your dorm room alone. I know the situation makes the transition into college life more difficult than it already is, but little things like calling home and bright, comfy pillows on my bed actually make a big difference.