Why My Roommate Hated Me


*Names in this article have changed for safety


If you’re living on campus for your first year of college, you’re going to meet all kinds of people. Arguably, the most important you’ll interact with is your roommate. If you’re lucky and you get paired with someone who is similar to you then it might be smooth sailing for the rest of the year. In other cases, it might be a nightmare. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen a lot of great friendships bloom from being roommates but it sometimes is a hit or miss. When I moved in I had the idea that my roommates and I would become best friends and eat dinner in the dining hall together, but that wasn’t the case. If you’ve seen Pitch Perfect, then you know Beca’s roommate really didn’t seem to like their living arrangement. That was the relationship between my roommate and me.

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I first realized my roommate Elizabeth* and I wouldn’t get along on move-in day. I arrived at my assigned time with six of my relatives and started to unpack my many many boxes. Shortly after, Elizabeth showed up with four of her relatives into our already crammed triple. I didn’t appreciate being intruded on, especially because I wasn’t able to say goodbye properly to my parents because Elizabeth’s family was three feet away.


I soon learned that Elizabeth was a very quiet person. She liked to keep the blinds closed all day and didn’t interact with anyone else. I don’t blame her for being herself but it's hard to live with someone who doesn’t express themselves. I’m in no means an extrovert, but I went out and had fun with my friends and would come home late, so it was easy for us to not get along.


I know it’s difficult to not get frustrated, but it’s important to remember that people come from different backgrounds and experiences. I don’t know Elizabeth’s home life, maybe she was just eager to have her own space away from home, or maybe she had never shared a room with anyone before and didn’t know to to react. All in all, Elizabeth and I were completely different and in life you won’t always have the pleasure of interacting with like-minded people. Take this as an opportunity to learn to communicate and develop skills that are necessary in life.

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If you find yourself in a similar situation or you’re the type of person that takes preventive measures, here is what I recommend.


1. Create a Roommate Contract  

I know, it sounds unnecessary, but if I could go back in time I would have signed one right away and made boundaries clear from the beginning. I’m no saint. I know having my boyfriend spend the weekend with me every once in a while wasn’t the most comfortable thing for either of us and I take responsibility but if Elizabeth had voiced her concerns from the first time I asked, there might have not been so much tension. The contract will save you both so much trouble and will make each of you accountable.

2. Use Your Common Sense

Common sense is relative but really take into consideration how you want to be treated by your roommate and give that same energy back. Our third roommate, maybe a story for another time, didn’t like turning off the main light, so I made a contraption out of a curtain rod, a table cloth, and the cracks between my bunk bed to create a curtain so the light wouldn’t bother me when trying to sleep. If she had analyzed the situation, she would have realized I was just trying to sleep. Keep your eyes open to the little things and take into consideration other people’s feelings and needs.


3. Talk to Your R.A.

Your Residential Advisor is there for a reason. They’re trained to help you transition into college, find resources and resolve issues with your roommate(s). My R.A. was a perfect resource for my predicament. He was able to mediate the conversation while being completely unbiased, helping us resolve the matter at hand was his only concern. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, the sooner a solution can be reached the better.


If you end up disliking your roommate, don’t feel bad - it happens. Not everyone will like you and vice versa. I chose to write Elizabeth a letter expressing how I felt because I knew confrontation wasn’t our thing, and in the end that letter allowed us to verbally voice our concerns and we were able to reach a compromise. Just realize that you’re an adult now and there are more appropriate ways to handle the situation than being childish. Once your first year of college is over, consider it a fresh start and leave the past behind.