Whether they use your stuff without your permission, invite people over during your study time or simply don’t know how to clean up after themselves, a difficult roommate can make living at res a bit of a nightmare. So, if you’re dealing with one at the moment, here are a few things you can do to sort out this uncomfortable situation.

Draw up a cleaning schedule

If you’re dealing with a messy roommate, then you might want to draw up a cleaning roster so that you can both share your responsibilities equally. Talk to them about the importance of keeping your living space neat and take initiative in making sure that you keep your side of the place as tidy as possible.

Talk to them

Has your roomie invited a third person (a boyfriend or bestie) to live with you? We know how annoying this can be and it can leave you feeling uncomfortable in your own home. The best thing to do in this situation is have a candid chat with your (official) roommate about how you own the space as much as they do and it isn’t fair that they’ve invited someone else to share what is usually quite a small space. Whatever you do, avoid being passive aggressive or simply letting things slide just to keep the peace - set clear boundaries from the beginning rather than waiting for the situation to get completely out of control.

Get someone to mediate the situation

So you’ve set up a cleaning schedule and had all the difficult chats with your roommate, but nothing’s changed? It might be helpful to get your building Resident Advisor (RA) or any other neutral third party to mediate. You may find that this makes it easier for the both of you to share your grievances and come to an understanding.

If all else fails, ask to be reassigned

Some situations just can’t be sorted out and that’s okay. Talk to your RA or a building manager about being assigned a different room or roommate. This may seem a little bit extreme, but your peace of mind and comfort are important, even when you’re at res. It doesn’t help your studies to be completely miserable with your living conditions, either, so there’s no reason to stay if there’s absolutely no way to improve relations with your current roommate.

Having to live with a stranger for an entire year can be extremely challenging in the beginning, but if you’re willing to work things out by communicating with them, it might lead to a lifelong friendship. It’s also good to remember that you’ve got to be just as considerate and respectful of your roommate as you expect them to be of you. In the end, the best thing to do is to talk about your issues and work on finding a rhythm that works for the both of you. Good luck!

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