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How to Handle Roommate Conflict, as Told by an RA

Living with people will always challenge you in some way. Living with strangers can be awkward, but living with friends is often even more difficult. In the beginning, everything is new and exciting, but as time goes on your roommates’ little quirks become annoyances that can push you over the edge. No one is exempt from roommate drama and 99% of the time the problem is something much more simple than you’d think: nearly every problem you face is due to a lack of communication or some kind of miscommunication.

As an RA, I face roommate conflict like everyone else does, but as a neutral third party. From my experiences, here are some tips to help you and your roomies keep things friendly!

Get comfortable talking:

If you’re like me, you’d almost rather suffer than stir the pot, so be prepared to have conversations that might be uncomfortable. Just take a deep breath, and say what’s on your mind. Remember that the problem will only get bigger the longer you hold it in.

Think before you speak:

If you find you come across too harsh or speak rudely when you’re frustrated, take a moment before you speak to consider how you would like to hear what you’re about to say. When one person sounds angry, it opens the door for back-talk and arguments.

Don’t prepare what to say:

If you are upset and come up with an agenda to say, forget it. The things you want to say when you are angry or feeling hurt will likely be hurtful in turn.

Let everyone speak:

Chances are, the person who is upsetting you is also upset by something. In order to move past the conflict, everyone needs to be able to say what is on their mind.

Don’t be afraid to contact your RA:

Bringing a third party into the situation can help to clear things up. Your RA is trained in conflict management and knows not to take sides, as well as how to address the issues your room is facing. Whether it’s a simple disagreement or a major conflict, your RA would love to help you and your roommates through it!

 

My name is Chloe Thirion. I am a twenty-one year old Accounting major with a Management minor in the Honors College at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.  I currently work on campus as an RA in Residence Hall One and at a daycare for kids under three years old.    I like the simple things in life. I love shopping for office supplies. A neatly organized to-do list can make me  positively giddy. I carry a small legal pad and a pen with me so I can take notes as I need. My favorite pizza is  margherita. I love coffee, tea, and hot chocolate and I believe there is a time and place for each. I like to  daydream. My favorite thing to do is read.  I have little, little siblings-- my brother Rhett is thirteen and my sister Lilly is six. I like to be the boss; that might be obvious from the birth order situation. I might even go so far as to say I'm a control freak.    I hope to go on to get my Master's of Accountancy after my bachelor's. I like school; I tell people it's the only thing I know how to do, but I'm (half) joking when I say that.
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