What You Should Do if You’re Having Roommate Problems

Communicating is key to solving roommate problems.

Flickr user naraekim0801

When you stick two people into a tiny dorm room, problems are bound to surface. Even roommates who are the best of friends will have friction from time to time. So what do you do if you’re having roommate problems?

Talk it Out

Well let’s start off with the obvious one. Communication is key, after all. This should always be step one. If you have an issue with a person, you talk to them to see if you can resolve it between yourselves. Whether it’s a nasty habit of theirs—leaving laundry out, eating your snacks, watching movies when you’re trying to sleep, etc.—or they’ve said or done something harmful/offensive, talk to them about it. Plenty of roommate problems can be solved by talking to each other about the things that are bothering you.

Go to an RA

If the problem persists or is serious enough, the next step is going to your floor’s RA. They’re there to give you a helping hand no matter the issue, so roommate conflict is pretty common for them. Typically at the start of the school year, your RA will sit you and your roommate down and go through an agreement contract that all of you can refer to if issues come up. They’ll have experiences and resources that you might not, and act as an authority figure. Don’t be afraid to go to them either. If communicating can’t sort out your problem, an RA is a great person to go to and are trained to handle issues.

Offer Compromises and Suggestions

Sometimes it’s not enough to just describe the thing that’s bothering you. It helps to offer solutions to the problem. For example: “You’ve been leaving dirty socks around the room, why don’t we get a hamper for laundry?” It’s much easier for someone to change if they have a starting point.

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