Top 3 Roommate Problems (And How to Deal)

July 14, 2016 0 Comments Life on Campus 623 Views
Top 3 Roommate Problems (And How to Deal)

Starting college can be an exciting time what with all the new friends, romantic experiences and parties, but it can also be rather stressful if you’re living with a roommate you don’t get along with. Many come with the idea that their college roommate will become their lifelong best friend like Ross and Chandler from Friends, but they often end up disappointed when things don’t go as expected. There are a dime-a-dozen reasons for conflicts between college roommates, but 3 issues in particular are quite common but also have simple solutions.

1.) Too messy

Everyone has a different criteria for cleanliness and it’s more than likely you will disagree about issues like clothes on the floor and food wrappers lying around, but the way to overcome this problem is to compromise and work together in keeping your space clean since you’re sharing. If your roommate’s messiness is bothering you, it’s best to step up and talk to them about it instead of letting the issue go on. But if that doesn’t work, you’ll need a plan that works for both of you.


Try making a chore schedule. This way you’re both accountable for cleaning and you’re doing an equal amount of work. It’s best to come up with a schedule at the beginning of the year so that you know exactly when you are unavailable for other activities. Unexpected situations will arise though, and when that happens try and tell you roomie as much in advance as possible, and maybe even offer a solution such as taking two of their turns in exchange for one of yours.

2.) No personal space

Living in such close quarters with anyone is bound to cause friction no matter how well you get along with the person. It’s always fun to have some one-to-one bonding time, but everyone needs a break once in a while. If you find yourself getting annoyed at each other for minor issues, more often than not you just need space from each other.


Go hang out with other friends, exercise at the gym or study at the library for a while. This breather from your roomie will help you gain perspective and when you return to your room, you’ll likely drop frivolous issues.

If the issue is that your roommate is a homebody and you’d like the place to yourself every now and then, encourage them to commit to something on campus. If that doesn’t work, steer them toward the library or student lounges on campus to hang out by themselves. And if that fails too, just politely remind them that the room is yours too and that you’d appreciate having some alone time once in a while.

3.) Mooching and borrowing

Living with someone brings a close comfort level fairly quickly. While you wouldn’t mind your roommate eating one of your granola bars every now and then, you would mind if they mooched your food all the time without bothering to replace it. Similarly, you may not mind if they borrowed your baseball cap without asking, but you would mind if you never got to wear it yourself and it came back stained.


It’s a good idea to discuss boundaries with your roommate when you first move in. Make sure you tell them specifically what you are and aren’t comfortable sharing. Whether it’s clothes or sitting on each other’s beds and chairs, lay out the ground rules from the get-go. If this doesn’t work, there’s nothing a little polite communication won’t solve.

When in comes to food, sometimes roommates end up with double of the same item and it can be an honest error when one eats the other’s food. But to avoid any awkward situations, try labeling your food. When your roommate sees your name clearly marked on the item, it’s less likely that he or she will help themselves.

Living with a roommate is an important experience and teaches you a lot in life. It’s important to make good memories with your roommate, which is why the best thing to do when something bothers you is, just communicate!

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