What If I Hate My Roommate?

Sharing space, stuff and bills with another person can be challenging.

For many students, the dorms are your first experience living independently (as in, no parents!) with people your own age. You might be placed with a “random,” someone you’ve never met before. Or you might decide to share a room with someone from high school.

Either way, there are bound to be disagreements. Especially in the close quarters of a dorm room. Even more if you get assigned a suite and have as many as three roomies! Here’s how to stop problems before they start

Meet and Greet
Some schools will let you know who your roommate is before school starts. If you can, give your roomie-to-be a call or, even better, make a plan to meet in person. This will give you a chance to get to know each other before you start sharing a bedroom

Set Ground Rules
Get ahead of potential problems by establishing some rules. What items will you share? Are visitors allowed in the room? Who will clean what? An honest conversation can help you both manage expectations.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Let’s face it. Your roommate is bound to have at least one annoying quality. And believe it or not, he or she might not think you’re 100% perfect either. Sometimes you’re both just going to have to grin and bear it.

Ask for Help
If your roommate is doing something you just can’t deal with — say, they’re bringing drugs into the room or you feel your safety is at risk — ask your RA for help. He or she is trained to help in situations like this. They can also walk you through the process of switching roommates, if needed.

I had a tough roommate situation my sophomore year. My roommates were nightowls, but I had to be up at 8 a.m. for my organic chemistry classes. When I asked them to keep it down, they were usually respectful. But sometimes I didn’t bother saying anything because I just didn’t feel like rocking the boat. Sometimes they would also use my stuff, which I didn’t appreciate. I just toughed it out. It was annoying, but it wasn’t that bad.

– Leyna Stemle 21, senior at Florida Southern in Lakeland