Roommate Issues

Sharing your living space with someone is a difficult task, especially if your coming into college after not sharing a room for several years. Roommates can either be your best friend or your worst nightmare, and honestly it’s up to your personalities to determine which it will be. What I have learned the hard way is: issues tend to escalate when you live together. I have also learned that it is okay not to be best friends with your roommate.

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As a freshman, I had the ideal roommate image: that we would be best friends and live together perfectly. Unfortunately, this fantasy did not play out, which is common for most freshmen. 

From what my friends have told me about their roommates they have either had multiple small problems with them or barley any at all. For me, it was much different. I had my perfect roommate until one night we got into a massive argument that neither of us could work past. This fight, just like any normal fight, left me thinking about who my real friends were. And I believe my real friends really showed after everything happened, which is something I am beyond grateful for.  

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When your roommate situation becomes as bad as mine was, it’s time to talk to your RA (or CA as we call them at Siena). However, you live with this person and do not want to create an unnecessary awkward living situation if there doesn’t have to be. So, talk to your roommate first and address the problem like adults. 

The first step is talking it out, and once this is done both you and your roommate should respect the terms you agreed on. You don’t have to love your roommate, but you do have to respect them. If they don’t like that your side of the room is a mess, clean it up and keep it clean. If you don’t like that they do their homework when you are trying to go to bed, tell them. The point I’m trying to make is the problem can’t be fixed if the opposite party doesn’t know there is a problem. Communication is key.

If talking it out does not work and you feel as though your mental health or your roommate's mental health is being sacrificed by living together, it might be time to take the next step. Typically colleges will have the option to switch roommates for the Spring semester and which can be done anonymously. Personally, I would tell your roommate if you are planning on living because that is the respectable thing to do. It will also probably create less tension than you not being in the room in Spring and then possibly seeing them around campus. 

Another misconception is that going random is the wrong thing to do. Most people believe that you will get stuck with a weirdo and it won’t work out, but sometimes random can be better. Of course it isn’t for everyone, but just because it is random doesn’t mean your roommate is going to be bad.