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How to Deal with a Bad Roommate
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katie goodrich journalist 


Meet Katie, the summer 2016 ICI Intern: I’m Katie Goodrich, a senior journalism major at an ICI member campus. I believe in grammar, justice and the right to ice cream. I am fluent in English, sarcasm and gibberish. My talents include an incredible memory for '90s song lyrics, power naps and having just enough bad luck to produce great anecdotes.

How to Deal with a Bad Roommate

January 11, 2017


Not every random pairing is meant to be, but it’s OK not to be best friends with your roommate.


One of the biggest fears students have about college is living with someone they’ve never met, which makes sense after all those “Stranger Danger” speeches. But your roommate will probably be normal. You just might not get along.

Not every random roommate pair will instantly become friends, but that is OK. I did not have a good relationship with my freshman year roommate, but I survived and came out a more considerate roommate in the end.

My roommate and I had very different majors, very different hometowns and very different sleep schedules. The latter caused the most tension between us.

The best way to handle roommate disputes is to simply talk it out. I sat down with my roommate and told her how I felt about her blow drying her hair at 7 a.m. when I did not have class until 1 p.m. Yes, the conversation was awkward, but it started a discussion about what our expectations were of each other.

If the conversation does not work, go talk to your Resident Assistant. They are trained to solve conflicts and settle differences between people. Your R.A. could set up a mediation that will let both you and your roommate talk about the problems in the room and come up with some solutions.

students in dorm room

The best advice is to be open-minded. Meeting new people and living with them can be hard, but it teaches you a lot.

If you do not click with your roomie, try meeting the other people in your unit. Walk down the halls and see who left their doors open for a chat. Ask someone if they want to grab lunch together. You will also meet people in your classes. Making friends will help you grow your support system at school, so you have people to talk to when you need that shoulder to lean on.

Another option is to find a study spot you like that’s not in your room. It could be the library or a bench outside, but having a place to do your work away from your room will give you more space.

In the end, it’s alright if you and your roommate do not perfectly gel. I know I would have been so unproductive if I lived with my best friend. The situation is also a good learning experience.

Plus, you get to choose your roommate as a sophomore, which means there is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

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