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How to Manage a Difficult College Roommate

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Photo by Sofia Alejandra from Pexels

I won’t share my college roommate’s name to avoid embarrassment. He seemed like a nice guy at first, but it didn’t take long for things to go downhill. His parents invited my girlfriend and me to dinner while he was at basketball practice, which didn’t sit well.

“They never take me out to eat,” he told me once we got back.

Although we shared some laughs and had some arguments, there was one issue that was always problematic. He would sleepwalk.

I could hear him pacing the middle of the floor most nights. It made it impossible to go to sleep.

One night, he was sleepwalking in his underwear and left the room. Our doors could be set to lock automatically, which most of us did on the floor at night. When my roommate couldn’t get back into our room, he went across the hall to find an open door.

Then he crawled into bed with one of the other guys. The screaming we heard woke up everyone!

Difficulties Don’t Need to Involve Arguments

My difficulties involved a physical issue. Some roommate relationships get strained because of odd working hours, clashing class schedules, and other logistical challenges.

You’ll also encounter those roommates that are the exact opposite of who you are. They might be rude, irrationally neat, terribly messy, or behaviorally toxic.

The first step to resolving your issues is to get a mediator involved. When a neutral person can evaluate what is happening in your relationship, it is a little easier to find a place where compromises can happen.

If you don’t experience progress with the help of a third party, these tools are also available in your toolbox.

Embrace the Silence

The best way to have an enjoyable college experience is to make peace and find compromises with your roommate. That outcome isn’t always possible. That person doesn’t have the power to control how you think or feel because those elements are under your control. Let the frustration go, embrace the idea of silence, and be cordial. You can find a best friend elsewhere.

Get Out of the Room

The college experience should involve some fun activities. You can attend concerts, grab lunch, or join a campus event to develop your connection. It’s harder to have problems with a roommate when both of you have an investment in creating a positive outcome, even if it ends up being a working relationship.

Depend on Yourself

It’s easier to manage a challenging roommate when you don’t need to depend on them for your needs. Having a refrigerator, computer, and TV under your control eliminates the power dynamic that some people use. No one can legally take your stuff if you disagree!

You might trust your roommate, but you shouldn’t trust them with everything. Lock up your valuables, keep an inventory of your items, and speak with your resident advisor if you encounter problems. If the issues won’t resolve, it is always possible to request a new room assignment.

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