Conflict with a roommate can be a stain on your college experience. It’s always unpleasant coming home when you don’t get along with the person in your shared space. However, instead of simply accepting your fate, there are things you can do to prevent drama.

1. Discuss Your Problems

Never expect issues to resolve themselves if you stay silent. A passive aggressive approach — such as making it obvious that you’re annoyed about something or complaining to someone else and hoping it gets back to your roommate — will only make things worse.

First, recognize that your roommate may be unaware that something is upsetting you. After all, what’s normal for one person could be offensive to another. Invite your roommate to a discussion about living together and talk calmly and kindly about anything that’s bothering you. Make sure to ask your roommate if there is anything you need to change, too.

2. Give Each Other Time to Overcome Issues

Long-standing bad habits can be difficult to change overnight. Plus, your roommate may need time to find solutions to whatever is leading to the conflict between the two of you. Give your roommate a chance to make adjustments, and only have another conversation about the problems if you don’t see any progress or if your roommate is taking too long to uphold his or her end of the bargain.

3. Find a Mediator

Some causes for conflict may be too big for the two of you alone to resolve. In these cases, it’s best to find a mediator. If you live on campus, an RA is a good choice. Otherwise, find someone else who can be neutral and who can help you work toward a solution. It may be beneficial for each of you to initially talk to the mediator one-on-one without the other being there. The mediator can then come up with an action plan or arrive at a compromise that means neither of you will be too unhappy.

4. Remember It Won’t Last Forever

The good thing about college is that you tend to live with the same roommate for only a short time before moving on to different accommodations. If your situation is uncomfortable but bearable, just remember that it will be over relatively soon. You can always spend more time in other places — such as the library when you want to study or your friends’ homes during evenings and weekends — to limit contact with your roommate.

Of course, if the situation is unbearable and unresolvable, the only solution is to find alternative housing. It’s best if you can switch rooms or apartments with someone you know. However, if that’s not possible, the only option may be to break your lease. In this case, learn from the experience to make better choices for your living arrangements next semester.

You’re much less likely to face roommate drama if you don’t share a room. This means moving off campus and into a student rental. Oshawa students can receive their own room in a three-bedroom suite or five-bedroom townhouse at Foundry Simcoe. Apply now before all the units are gone.

rachel_grier@outlook.com

Author rachel_grier@outlook.com

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