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The Common Issues When Living with Roommates and How To Solve Them

By | December 11, 2013

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roommate issuesRoommate conflicts are unfortunately part of many people’s college experience and can be very frustrating. A little patience and the right communication can go a long way into creating a healthy environment when living with roommates. Most common problems are related to food, space and noise. It can be said that most of these problems are as a result of one dorm mate being inconsiderate of the other. Some people know they are causing problems to their roommate while others are clueless.

In the shared areas, problems can arise in terms of how much space one partner takes over the other. An example would be when your room has two shelves and the roommate spreads her things in both of them. Your friend might be calling in friends who come to your room and make all sorts of noise when you want peace. Speak to your friend in unthreatening manner about how much the guests are affecting your stay. If possible come up with a schedule of when they can visit. Negotiate on a system that is convenient to both parties.

The problem of the territory can expand to use of your roommates personal properties and food. While it’s possible for mates to share the cost for items like dishes, electronic or other devices, certain things like perfume, clothes and toiletries are personal property. It can be very frustrating to realize your mate is dipping into your personal items in the refrigeration, like your Greek yogurt, which does not come cheaply by the way. You can solve this problem by labeling your food and always tell your colleagues to ask whenever they want your stuff, otherwise report to the residential advisor because it can be termed as theft.

Noise can be very stressful especially when you want to rest. The common problem with noise is wrong timing. Roommate A wants to study in silence while roommate B has already invited friends for a chat as they listen to music. This is where the power of negotiation comes in handy. Remind your partners that you are uncomfortable and that the room belongs to you too and deserve to be comfortable. If this happens often, remind your mate to ask for permission before inviting guests.

A messy and untidy roommate is another common occurrence. A standard rule that has to be established is that shared space must be kept neat and clean. Schedule cleaning days and spare one day to wash the place together. Talking out might be a little awkward but this is totally fine and normal.

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