Roommates, revisited

When Caroline posted about her college roommate experience, I’ll admit that I groaned just a little bit. You see, I did not end up with a best friend from the random roommate selection. In fact, my experience was fairly negative.

There were opposite schedules and clashing personalities — overall a bad mix. But here’s my point in posting a rebuttal of sorts to Caroline’s perspective: If your roommate isn’t destined to be your BFF, but rather your nemesis, consider what could make your situation better.

Here are some options to think about:

  • Talk it out. Sometimes, the issues you may be facing could be solved with a quick roommate meeting to set up a schedule or talk through your concerns. Always try to work through things out directly as a first step.
  • Get involved. A few weeks into my first semester, I was very thankful for my involvement at the student newspaper, which kept me fairly busy outside of my dorm room. An activity that keeps you busy in your spare time could be just what you need to make it through a less than desirable roommate situation.
  • Find “your place” on campus. Maybe your studying happens at the library instead of in your dorm room. Or hanging out with friends is something you do in their room or at the student union. For me, I found a haven in my sorority house — it was a great way to escape and get to know folks at the same time.
  • Know when enough is enough. Sometimes you can work out roommate issues, but other times the stress of dealing with a roommate situation can affect you negatively. Seek out options to change roommates. Policies vary by school, so check with your resident advisor to learn the process. My second semester stress levels were much lower when I moved in with a new friend — and btw, she is still a good friend to this day.

Are there any other suggestions from folks who have dealt with roommate issues?

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