How to Survive a Bad College Roommate
While many college roommates end up becoming lifelong friends, some of us are not quite as lucky. If you happen to be living with a roommate who is bad to the bone, don’t panic! Here is a list of 10 ways to cope with the situation and come out on top, inspired by my own unfortunate experiences with bad college roommates.
Try to talk to your roommate and lay down the law. Don’t assume that he/she knows anything that you haven’t overtly said. It is unlikely that you are living with a psychic! What is obvious to you, may be as foreign to them as some obscure Kurdish dialect. I can’t say how many feuds are started by a simple misunderstanding.
2. Have someone to vent to.
Whether this means calling your mom, texting your best friend or talking to your therapist, it is essential that you do not keep your frustrations with your bad roommate pent up inside you. Nobody wants an exploding college student!
3. Have a sense of humor.
When you are living with a bad college roommate, even the smallest thing can start your blood boiling – the sound of his typing, the smell of her perfume, the smile on his face. Take a deep breath and try to remember that when you look back on this in a few years, you will laugh. At the very least, this will make good material for your future career in stand-up.
4. Treat your roommate the way that you would want to be treated.
The golden rule. Seems cliché, but it’s true. While revenge may seem like the easiest option, it has the potential to set into motion a vicious cycle of the two of you constantly trying to one-up each other, all the while making both of your lives a living hell.
5. Find good friends.
They can not only serve as a listening ear, but also provide a room to escape to. When the tension in your room is too much to stand, it is always good to have a friend’s room nearby that you can relocate to.
6. Get a life.
Spend less time in your room. You don’t really need to be there except when you want to sleep. My terrible freshman-year roommate, and dread of being in the same room as him, was just the kick in the pants that I needed to get out and go to the gym, hit up the library or get off my butt and be social.
7. Invest in a good pair of headphones.
If you’re living with a chatty Kathy who always seems to be on the phone or having friends over when you just want to relax or study, this is the perfect escape. Put on your headphones, find your favorite music, crank it up and bid Kathy adieu.
8. Start wearing earplugs and an eye mask.
If Kathy is entirely inconsiderate and doesn’t even realize that she should shut up and turn off the lights when you are going to sleep, this is your best bet.
9. Invest in air fresheners.
For those of you living with Slobby Bobby or Josie Grossy, this is going to be an essential tool. Why let your bad college roommate’s lack of hygiene interfere with your quality of life? You may not be able to get them to do their laundry, but at least you can spray away the smell.
If all else fails, leave. Compile a list of grievances and ask the appropriate authorities at your college to be relocated.
If you find yourself in a bad living situation in college, and, try as you may, you simply can’t get along with your roommate, my sympathy is with you. But that doesn’t give you an excuse to moan, groan and mourn your life. Take my advice, take action and make the best out of a bad situation. Your time in college is too precious to be ruined by one rotten roommate!