Five Tips on Dealing with a Bad Roommate

If you’re currently reading this article it’s probably due to one of two reasons. Reason number one; you are obsessed with CampusLately and you read everything we post, and if that’s the case then

Or you’re reading this article because of reason number two which is; you’re convinced that the person you are living with is from hell, and you are looking for help on how to deal with such a bad roommate and if that then…

During my first year of college I had a roommate who could make any roommate (no matter how crazy they are) seem like an angel. My roommate did everything wrong including, eating my food, going through my phone, and even making a few racist comments.


Living with her was NOT easy however it did teach me a lot (mainly how to be able to survive living with anyone) and now I’m going to pass what I learned on to you all.  Here are my top five tips on dealing with a bad roommate.

1. Realize that not everyone was raised how you were.

 When dealing with my bad roommate a huge thing that helped me was realizing that not everyone has the same upbringing as me. Sometimes you are going to live with someone who didn’t grow up having to clean up after themselves. Or someone who may have different a mindset than you due to the surroundings they come from.  When dealing with a new college roommate it’s important to remember that it may take time for you both to adjust to how you expect the living arrangements to be.


2. Don’t be petty

You know that old saying “don’t fight fire with fire”, well this is especially true when dealing with a bad roommate.  A solution to your roommate blasting the radio while you’re trying to study or leaving trash on your side of the room is not you purposely doing the same to them for revenge. Playing a game of tit for tat with your roommate will only cause more drama in the end, and eventually both of you will lose. No matter how hard it may be always try to stay above being petty.


3. Talk out your problems as they come

No relationship can be successful without talking about the issues at hand and you and your roommate are no exception. Sometimes when living with a person, especially for the first time, you can be a little afraid to tell him or her you are offended by their actions. Did you roommate eat your last snack bar, do they seem to come in extremely late and wake you up, or are they just messy for no apparent reason? No matter how big or small the issue may be, always remember that communication is a major key to a happy living space. Trust me, it’s always best to talk out the problems as they come than waiting for something to push you over the edge.

4. Bring in an (unbiased) outside source

There will be times that even in you accepting your roommates background and communicating with them, you still won’t be able to see eye to eye. If that is that case then try to bring in someone who is unbiased to the situation and can act as a mediator.  If you live on campus then an RA would be great for this (this is what they’re there for) and if you stay off campus maybe try a professor that you both trust. Someone coming in will be able to help you guys see situations from the others point of view and find a common ground to stand on.

 5. A roommate contract may be the way to go

You and your roommate are naturally two different people with two different expectations on how you want your living space to be. A contract (that you both agree on) will force you two to create a living space you both can happily live in. Aspects you may want to include in your roommate contract are; when will cleaning days be, what time is too late to have friends over, and will significant others be allowed to stay the night.  A roommate contract will prevent many potential arguments from happening because now there is a set list of rules you both have agreed to follow.

Let’s recap:

When dealing with a bad roommate start off by realizing that sometimes your roommate isn’t a “bad roommate” but instead maybe they were raised a little differently than you. However, if you really do have a bad roommate the last thing you want to do is seek revenge. Revenge seeking will only cause more drama and make you both unhappy in the end. Instead of seeking revenge try talking out your problems and bring in a mediator if needed. Finally, try to incorporate a roommate contract that includes what you both expect while living with each other. Following these five simple rules will help create a living space you both are proud to call home.

Twila-Amoure McDaniel49 Posts

Twila-Amoure McDaniel is a college student who is majoring in both communications and film studies. When she isn't in class she is more than likely somewhere making videos for her YouTube channel. Her passions include writing, art, and film-making and she currently has plans on going into the film industry. Twila-Amoure does have crohn's disease, however she is very determined not to allow that to stop her from achieving all of her goals in life. Be sure to follow her on all on her social media platforms @TwilaAmoure and feel free to browse through Campus Lately for more of her work.


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