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What to Do When Roommate Issues Arise

What started off as a manageable living situation has devolved into an uncomfortable mess; let’s face it we’ve all been through this at one point in our sweet college lives. As a current resident advisor and as an experienced roommate with unlucky experiences, there are options for dealing with these obstacles. And no, it doesn’t always end in someone having to move out!

1. Develop your relationship  

It can be difficult to bring up concerns to a roommate (especially someone you didn’t know prior to sharing space with them), but ultimately, airing out the dirty laundry will define the relationship you will have. It’s better to get it out than let the passive-aggressive conflict build.

2. Talk to your RA (resident advisor)!

They’re here to help you navigate on-campus living. Roommate issues definitely fall into that category. An RA can provide a fresh perspective and ideas for the future of your living arrangement. They can also speak with your roommate if you’re not able to confront them.

3. Be open to conversation

Mediation can do wonders for roommate relationships. You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate. Sometimes it’s best if you aren’t! Even if the two of you don’t see eye to eye, mediated conversation is a way of mending some bridges. While it is totally okay to have a talk just between roommates, it’s a great idea to invite a neutral third party to negotiate the exchange.

4. Sometimes you gotta say goodbye

Mediation is great, but there are instances where nothing will bring feuding roommates together. It’s healthy to be upfront about your living situation, particularly if you feel unsafe in the room. A safe home doesn’t stand for homophobia, racism, and just flat out bullying. Let your RA know if you feel threatened! If you and your roommate and cordial but just don’t jive well it’s okay to let them know. Chances are, they feel the same way. It’s okay to be apprehensive about living with other people. It can be confusing to navigate at first, but roommates can be the greatest of friends and confidantes.

Some residents may be luckier than others such as, roommates ending up being best friends on the first try while it takes others a couple of tries to find their type of roommates. So don’t fret if you feel like you’re always the unlucky one because there are many more residents who are feeling the same way!

Jess is a sophomore at St Kate's, studying Creative Multimedia with a minor in Promotional Communication. Outside of writing countless papers and crying over broken css documents, she can be found jamming to BTS with friends, eating tofu, or running late to a meeting. 
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