Dealing with annoying roommates

Photo Illustration Becky Vu/Printz
Photo Illustration
Becky Vu/Printz

Some people are lucky enough to have the perfect roommate. It might be a person who is considerate of you and your belongings. It might be someone who wakes up and goes to bed at the same time you do, so there’s no worries about keeping quiet. Some people even consider the perfect roommate as someone who has a totally different schedule and is never home.

Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to have a perfect roommate. I see this happen a lot with freshmen, but it can  happen to anyone.

No one is immune from having horrible roommates, whether you share a room, a suite, an apartment or even a house.

So, what do you do if you are stuck with an annoying roommate? The thing most people do is just ignore them. Maybe they made a mistake.

Maybe that person didn’t know you were saving those baked cookies or that you prefer their toothpaste to stay out of the sink. Those little things aren’t a big deal at first, but they can end up driving you crazy.

Another thing you shouldn’t do is be passive-aggressive about certain situations.

More than once, I have experienced people putting sticky notes across the room with reminders like “let’s clean up after ourselves” or “keeping the room at this temperature makes me too cold.” This is not the way to go about things.

It may be a way to make sure your roommate sees the note in case you don’t get the chance to see them, but it comes off as a bit cowardly.

It conveys, “I have a problem with what you do but I don’t have the guts to say it to your face.”

When dealing with annoying roommates, just be honest about it. Talk to the person about any problems you have. They may not even realize what they are doing is aggravating.

Talking to them also shows you think what they have to say is important.

It’s not just one person running the show and the other one has to deal with it. Talking it out helps your roommate respect you and maybe they will stop doing those things that bug you.

Senior biochemistry major and resident assistant, Arik Shams is in his fourth year living on campus, and he has advice for dealing with difficult roommates.

“I’d say the best way to get along with a roommate is to interact with them, make conversation, find things in common,” Shams said. “Make an effort yourself before writing someone off as a bad roommate and complaining to your RAs. As with any sort of relationship, it’s not going to happen overnight and it’s going to take a little effort on both sides.”

What if you have that nightmare roommate who doesn’t care what you have to say and will continue to do whatever they want? If you live on campus, talk to your resident assistant.

Jessica King, a junior photojournalism major, is a second-year resident assistant for Century Park.

“The first thing I would say about dealing with a roommate you don’t get along with is to go to your RA before things escalate, and don’t feel like any issue is too small,” King said. “We’re extensively trained on conflict resolution and really do want to help.”

Well that’s great advice for anyone who lives on campus, but what about the students who don’t? Students still have conflicts with roommates in their apartments or houses.

A lot of the same advice can still apply. Talk to them in a mature manner and let them know how you feel. Some people are very open to honest discussion. If it still doesn’t work, King offers a great piece of advice.

“Another important thing to remember is that you are both adults that are in college, not high school,” she said. It makes everything easier if you are just civil to each other.”

That is probably the most important thing to remember. In life, you have to deal with all kinds of people you may or may not get along with. Just because you don’t like someone doesn’t mean you can just avoid him or her for the rest of your life.

Part of college is getting prepared for the real world, and learning to work with others is part of the real world. Just be mature about things.

Make the most of your time together and remember that no roommate situation is permanent.