JWU Student Blogs

Real Talk: Roommate Troubles

It’s that thing that you go into college thinking, “I’ll never have that problem!” It is an issue that other people deal with, sure, but you? You’re easygoing and dare you say it, a pretty cool person. Why would a roommate ever have an issue with you? And hey, if someone is annoying you, you just talk to them! No big deal! You are going to head off to college, be best friends with your roommate, and neither of you will ever lock the other one in the bathroom. Cool.

I’m going to get real with you. Everyone has roommate troubles. Everybody. Whether you move in “blind,” not knowing your roommate from Adam until move-in day, or you met them at orientation, or they’re your best friend from back home. Living in the “cozy” spaces of residential halls is enough to cause tension within any dynamic.

Am I saying that any roommate pairing is doomed to end badly? No way! It’s all about how you manage the tension, especially as the year goes on and maybe those habits that didn’t bother you at first are starting to make your eye do that little twitchy thing. Now, I would love to sit here and give you a list of solutions to dealing with situations with your roommate, but that wouldn’t be fair to anyone. Every dynamic is different and there is no magic “Solve It” button. I’m sure you know all of the clichés already anyway. Everyone expects to hear “Communication is key!” to pretty much every problem nowadays. I mean, it’s true though. Communication is HUGE. It is THE most stereotypical piece of advice ever, but in practice, it is actually so difficult. It is worth it though. When it is hardest to communicate your feelings is probably the most important time to do so. Tell your roommate when there is an issue so you can get it fixed right away instead of letting the situation sit and build up. Let me repeat that point because it is really important: Tell your roommate when there is an issue so you can get it fixed RIGHT AWAY instead of letting the situation sit and build up. Because you can be surprised at how quickly things can build up, and dealing with the mess when those issues blow up can ruin relationships.

But hey, there are always those lucky few that just seem to click with their roommates. They seem like best friends and they do everything together. And you will definitely be jealous of them. But take it from me, no roomie is perfect… and that’s the cool part, because hey, you aren’t perfect either. Don’t try and force a best-friendship with the person you live with, but do seek to enjoy their company. Remember, make friends besides the person who sleeps 10 feet away from you… but also try to make friends with the person whose toothbrush sits right next to yours.