How to Avoid College Roommate Drama
By Kia Robinson
This article originally appeared on ESSENCE.com for a back-to-college content partnership with TLC.
If you’re entering college as a freshman, there’s a high chance that you’ll have a college roommate. For some students, sharing a room will be a brand new experience. For others, this may be the norm. Regardless, it’s important that you find a way to successfully navigate this experience with your roommate. Rest assured, having a college roommate doesn’t have to be the horror story that everyone makes it out to be. While we can’t promise you that there won’t be any issues, we can provide some tips that will hopefully make the next few months as smooth and seamless as possible. After all, your room will become your humble abode away from the classroom.
The fact that you are living on campus already proves that you’re willing to try something new. Weather you wanted a roommate or not, keep your mind and your heart open to the idea that your roommate(s) may possibly be completely different from you. And that’s okay! In fact, this may be a learning moment for all involved. Most importantly, always remain respectful of how others operate from day to day no matter how much their routines differ from yours.
It’s important to set boundaries from the very beginning of the semester to avoid confusion months later. If need be, lay out a list of responsibilities and chores that will help maintain order in your space. This doesn’t have to be a big ordeal but it should be something that’s discussed early on in the year.
Address an Issue The First Time
It’s very possible that you’ll run into a few obstacles during this roommate-ship. That’s normal. However, if your roommate has done something that didn’t align with the boundaries set in the beginning or something that rubbed you the wrong way, it’s important that you address it the first time it happens. More often than not, drama ensues when an issue wasn’t addressed the first time it happened. Now it has happened for a fourth time and you’re furious. Nip things in the bud as early as possible, with reason of course. Sometimes your roommate may not even realize what they’re doing is bothering you.
It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It
When addressing anything, be mindful of your tone. Understand that the way you approach a situation has a direct impact on the outcome. If you approach someone with a negative demeanor, there’s a strong chance they’ll give you exactly what you gave them – negativity. This won’t accomplish much so watch how you approach others and circumstances.
Always use the manners your parents worked so hard to instill in you. Always say please. Always say thank you. Always apologize when you’ve done wrong. It makes for a better living experience for all involved.
Kia is a recent college graduate that's simply trying to grasp the concept of "adulting". She enjoys hugs, quotes, a good book, and all things motivational. Her favorite book is The Alchemist and she can watch Girlfriends all day long.