A Crazy Roommate Survival Guide!
To put it plainly, my first college roommate was a megabitch. Sharon* (named changed to protect the dreadful) and I never spoke. Our room was silent and filled with angst. I would try to start conversations on topics I knew she enjoyed (dance, The Bachelor, being the biggest jerk ever) but she would usually respond with one word answers or with exaggerated sighs.
The worst part? Sharon was super fun and nice with every other person on our floor but for some reason couldn’t stand me.
I made myself scarce and tried not to be in the room when she was. I hid out in the dorm lounge and the cafeteria. Meanwhile, Sharon did the opposite and made my life a living hell.
The final straw came the night she came home drunk at 2 AM before my first big test. She shushed her gentleman friend loudly as they stumbled into our room, then she dragged the poor shlub up onto the top bunk of our bed for what had to be the most awkward dorm sex ever. I told myself that night that I would try to find a new roommate. Sharon must have heard my prayers because a few weeks later she asked ME to move out so she could live with her best friend. I didn’t even feel like arguing or complaining. I just said sure and amazingly enough moved into the open room right across the hall.
Since then, I’ve had some great and not so great living situations, but none of them taught me as much as my first semester at college. Here are a few tips for those of you taking the plunge into dorm life.
1. Be Flexible, But Don’t Be A Pushover
Being a good roommate is all about compromise but once you start taking a dive in every argument, it is impossible to earn back that respect. Decide which things are worth fighting for (no sex on the top bunk while you’re awake is a good place to start) and stick to it.
2. Don’t Sink To Their Level
Crazy roommates will fight dirty. They may yell, scream, write passive aggressive notes, hide your stuff, etc. Nothing will piss them off more than you being the bigger person. Act like an adult, be respectful, and try to communicate face to face as opposed to via a dry-erase board and strategically placed post-it notes. Trust me, this is harder than you’d think, but it will save you a lot of petty fights and slammed doors in the long run.
3. It’s Okay To Move On
Sometimes people just aren’t compatible. You can try to be friends, you can try to be civil, you can try to just co-exist but sometimes it just doesn’t work. If you’re in the dorms, talk to your resident advisor, or contact the housing office. Ultimately, don’t be afraid to get out of a hostile situation and move-out. It can be easier said than done, but if your situation warrants, it may be the only way to resolve it.
Just remember: Class may suck, your clubs may keep you busy but your living situation shouldn’t give you a headache. Do your best to stave off drama from the beginning. Communicate, think positively and pick your battles. If that fails? You better take top bunk.