How to Handle Horrible Roommates
College is without a doubt a huge change, and on top of all the other adjustments, you have to adapt to living with non-family members. Even if you are rooming with your best friend, disagreements are bound to come up at some point during the year. And what happens if come move-in day you realize you will be living with a truly horrible roommate?
Here are some helpful tips on how to make the best of a bad situation.
Make a roommate agreement
Although this first recommendation may sound like a ridiculous reference to the Big Bang Theory Roommate Agreement, it can spare you and your roommates some disagreements down the line. After you move in, set aside a time to make a list of Dorm Rules with your roommates. Make sure all your roommates agree to the rules and participate in the discussion by contributing their own rules.
Some discussion topics include quiet hours, individual study habits, times you will allow guests, cleaning routines, and a morning/night bathroom schedule. The bathroom schedule will help you avoid those early morning moments of, “oh crap I have class in 15 minutes and someone is in the bathroom.”
Talk about it
Whether you have one other roommate or seven, cooperation and communication are key. Whenever a potential disagreement arises, sit down and talk about it. The situation will only become tense and awkward if you wait and hope it resolves itself. Being confrontational or aggressive about your disagreements will only worsen the situation.
Divide the jobs
USC has three different on-campus dorm options: the traditional one-bedroom dorm, apartments, and suites. No matter the room style you have, you and your roommates should equally divide the cleaning responsibilities and the stuff you need to buy for the dorm. You can even make a chart that rotates jobs so no one person gets stuck with the dreaded bathroom clean-up.
Understanding is key. Since you are sharing a confined space with another person, you have to respect each other’s privacy, possessions, and quiet hours.
If you decide that your roommate is unbearable, consider getting a room reassignment. Your roommate can have a big impact on your overall college experience, so do not let one person ruin what could be one of the best times of your life. On the other hand, do not be afraid to roll the dice by randomly choosing a roommate. Of course, you run the risk of ending up with a terrible roommate, but you can also meet new people and possibly make a life-long friend.