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Five steps you should take if you’re having problems with your roommate

So, it’s only a couple of weeks into the new school year and you already can’t stand your new roommate? If you think you're having roommate problems, just know that you’re not alone. 25 percent of college students report to have at least one bad roommate experience, according to a study conducted at Brown University.

Students across Salisbury University's campus say that their top issues living with someone else stems from one or more of the following: borrowing personal items without permission, eating each other’s food, messy living habits, poor personal hygiene, lack of respect for each other's personal space and an unwillingness to compromise.

If any of these issues are occurring in your dorm room, try not to freak out, because we’ve all been there. Here are the five steps you should take if you regret not signing up for a single.

Step 1: Communicate

It may sound cliche, but communication really is key. Try and sit down with your roommate face-to-face and respectively let them know the issues bothering you. Chances are, your roommate has their own list of things bothering them as well, and this is a good opportunity to lay everything out on the table.

Step 2: Set boundaries

It’s important for any relationship for there to be boundaries. By creating certain boundaries, you and your roommate will better understand what both of you expect from one another, and there will be fewer disagreements. This could be having "quiet time" after a certain time at night, or that guests can only stay over if you and your roommate discuss it beforehand. By coming up with some rules, you and your roommate are more likely not to step on each other's toes and get along better.

Step 3: Involve your RA

If talking one-on-one with your roommate is a no-go, then you can always get someone to mediate the conversation, for example, your resident assistant. RAs do more than just room checks. They are readily available to talk to, and can be helpful if you find yourself having issues with your roommate.

Step 4: Stick it out

It’s important to understand that you and your roommate do not have to be best friends. Sometimes it’s easier to just stick it out for a semester versus going through all the paperwork of switching rooms. Sometimes problems don’t arise until halfway through the semester or even right toward the end. If you miss your window in filing for a different roommate ,don’t panic. It may be difficult sticking it out for a few months, but it’ll make for an interesting story in the future!

Step 5: Switch roommates

If you end up deciding you don’t want to stick it out, however, and you are in the window where you can switch roommates, go for it. Sometimes people just aren’t meant to live with each other. It doesn't mean you aren’t a good person for not wanting to work it out, it just means you know what you can and can’t handle. Ultimately, you are at college for yourself, and you have to do what you feel will help you succeed. You don’t have to burn any bridges, just keep it civil and move on.

Again, we’ve all had that one roommate who we just couldn’t stand, but we survived and learned a valuable lesson, which is, you’re not going to get along with everyone in your life, but sometimes you just have to get through it and put a lock on your mini fridge.



Editorial editor

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