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Oct 16 2016
by Rachel Loia

7 Ways to Handle a Difficult Roommate

By Rachel Loia - Oct 16 2016
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If you've never lived with someone who has caused you even the tiniest bit of grief, you're either lying or the luckiest person in the entire world (my guess is you're lying). The unfortunate truth of humanity is that we all have weird, obnoxious habits that really reveal themselves when you spend an obscene amount of time with someone. Sometimes these annoyances can even snowball to the point where you're unhappy in your own home. A bad environment can affect your work ethic and your productivity; not to mention you're paying to be there! To help you cope with this and still continue to be the best student you can be, here is a list that will help you deal with someone you can't necessarily escape.

1. Learn their schedule.

By knowing where your roommate is at certain times you can avoid them. Understanding their routine can help you create your own that involves them as little as possible. They have class at 8AM? Sleep in. They get back at 11AM? That's your time for the gym. Obviously this won't always be the solution, but it can help.

2. Hang out in the library.

Not only does hanging out in the library get you away from your roommate, it also compels you to study. Quiet study time? Yes please. It's sort of a best of both worlds situation, and it never fails.

3. Talk to them about it.

We can all be annoying, that's pretty obvious, but sometimes we have no idea what we're doing and how it affects people. For example, by gently telling your roommate that talking loudly keeps you from concentrating on your homework, you can make them aware of what they're doing and maybe they will change it. As long as your calm and not attacking them, they probably will listen and keep it in the back of their head. 

4. Discuss common interests.

If you keep conversations light and about things you bond over, there will be much less tension. Say both of you like Game of Thrones, talk about it when you're both in the dorm. Do you honestly think a Game of Thrones fan would object to talking to another Game of Thrones fan? Probably not. It also helps put you on a united front and can even cool down a situation. 

5. Make friends who will let you hang in their dorm

You can always find people whose dorm is a hot hangout and more than willing to welcome you. Just walk past any open door or ask your study group if you can hang at theirs. Unless you are the difficult roommate, I don't think you'll have a problem finding people who will take you in.

6. Get good headphones

Headphones can literally soften the blow of any loudmouth in your room. I got my beats free with my Macbook Air (an offer given to all college students) and they have been an absolute lifesaver. When things are getting out of hand I put on  my beats, click open New Girl on Netflix, and tune it all out. 

7. If things are unbearable, let someone know.

Your RA is there to help. If the annoyance begins to cross lines and makes you uncomfortable, don't be afraid to say something. You should feel safe and content in a place you're paying for. 

Following these tips could really help you out, and maybe make your own dorm survivable. Remember that the best part about college is learning to really get along with people, even if you don't like them. In the end, you'll come out a more developed human being. I wish you the best in your roommate endeavors. Happy dorming!

Lead Image Credit: Universal

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Rachel Loia - Ramapo College

Rachel is a freshman studying biology at Ramapo College of New Jersey. She also loves writing and uses it as an excuse to not do schoolwork. Instagram: @rachloia

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