Frustrated with your roommate? Think he or she might be frustrated with you? Roommate conflicts are, unfortunately, part of many people's college experiences and can be incredibly stressful. With a little patience and communication, though, it doesn't have to be the end of the roommate-relationship. At the same time, a little patience and communication can go a long way toward determining if it would be best for each of you to find new roommates.
First Things First
If you think you're having roommate problems, there is one of two things going on: your roommate knows it, too, or your roommate is completely clueless. Things may be tense when the two of you are together in the room; conversely, your roommate may have no idea how frustrated you are at how often he finishes off your cereal after rugby practice.
In a space other than your room, sit and think about what is really frustrating you. Try writing down what is frustrating you the most. Is your roommate not respecting your space and/or things? Is she coming home late and making a lot of noise? Having too many people over too often? Instead of writing down "last week, she ate all of my food AGAIN," try to think about patterns. Something like "she doesn't respect my space and stuff, even though I've asked her to" might address the problem more and be easier for your roommate to handle.
How to Address It
Once you've figured out the main issues, try to talk to your roommate at a time that is good for both of you. It's a very good idea to try to set this time in advance. Ask if you can talk when you are both done with morning classes on Wednesday, on Saturday at 2:00, etc. Set a specific time so that "this weekend" doesn't come and go without the two of you talking. Chances are, your roommate knows that you guys need to talk, so give him a few days to possibly put his thoughts together, too.
On the same note, however, if you don't feel comfortable talking to your roommate directly, that's okay, too. But you do need to address it. If you live on campus, talk to your RA (Resident Adviser) or other hall staff member. They are trained to help residents with roommate problems and will know what to do, even if you don't.
1. Be clear from the beginning. Let your roommate know as soon as you can about your little quirks and preferences. .
2. Address things when they're little.Addressing things that bug you while they're still little can help your roommate be aware of something she may not otherwise know.
3. Respect your roommate's stuff. This may seem simple, but it's probably one of the biggest reasons why roommates experience conflict. Don't think he'll mind if you borrow his cleats for a quick soccer game? For all you know, you just stepped over an uncrossable line.
4. Be careful of who you bring into your room -- and how often. You may love having your study group into your room. But your roommate may not. Be mindful of how often you bring people over.
5. Lock the door and windows. This may seem like it has nothing to do with roommate relationships? Locking your door and windows is a critical part of keeping safe on campus.
6. Be friendly, without expecting to be best friends. Don't go into your roommate relationship thinking that you are going to be best friends for the time you're at school. You should be friendly with your roommate but also make sure you have your own social circles.
7. Be open to new things. Your roommate may be from someplace you've never heard of. They may have a religion or lifestyle that is completely different from your own. Be open to new ideas and experiences, especially as it to relates to what your roommate brings into your life.
8. Be open and comfortable addressing things that unexpectedly come up, setting new rules, and being flexible to your changing environment.
9. Address things when they're big. You may not have been totally honest with tip...