How to Put Up With Your College Roommate

How to Put Up With Your College Roommate
  • Opening Intro -

    You thought you did a good job screening your college roommate only to discover that he or she has some peculiar habits.

    Like staying up to 3 a.m. when your first class is at 7:30. Or, listening to grunge rock when you prefer pop.


Whatever, you’re stuck with your roommate for the rest of the academic year. And, if you don’t learn to get along, you’ll both be driving each other crazy, perhaps creating a situation where one of you could eventually be charged with a heinous crime.

Let’s take a look at some ways you can mend your differences, perhaps by calling a truce before the war escalates:


— He wants this and you want that. You may not be able to get your roommate to change his music habits, but you can have him turn the music down. He’s been wearing earbuds, but you still hear the shrieking that he thinks passes for singing. Maybe you can gift him with a pair of Etymotic hf5 ear buds that do a better job at isolating sound. Then, he can turn the music down.


— Perhaps the best approach to a quirky roommate is to take stock at what she adds to the mix. Her eyebrows obsession may mean she spends hours in the bathroom, but if she makes a mean pot of chili and willingly shares it with you along with her southern fried cornbread, why complain? Anyway, said roomie always does exit the bathroom when you really need to use it. Count your blessings — you could have been stuck with a psychopath instead of a harmless, but annoying neurotic.


— Pull out the roomie by-laws to see what recourse you have with a stubborn roommate. Your college may have an intervention plan in place, one where you can have an intermediary present to resolve disputes. Ask your college dorm supervisor to step in especially if your negotiating has reached an impasse. Be mindful that your list of complaints could be countered with your roommate sharing her list of complaints about you.


— If all else fails, you can end your rooming relationship the moment you are allowed to do so. This might mean a midwinter change, an in between semesters move where you get to leave your room and find a new roommate. Just make sure that you know this person and all about his or her quirks first before making a change — you might end up in a more difficult situation.

If anything, dorm living can help you appreciate your annoying younger brother or sister, being thankful that at least with them you have someone whom your parents can keep in line.

See AlsoHouse of Horrors: Establishing Rules for the Roommate from Hell

College Living reference:

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Categories: Personal Advice