I’ve been having some problems with my roommate since we moved in before NSOP. He always leaves his stuff around, meaning I have to walk around his dirty clothes, class books, and used plates/utensils if I want to get to my clean half of the room. He also keeps the room really warm, which has become sorta uncomfortable since the heat was turned on.
He’s very reserved and spends all his time in the room between his classes, while I’m out during the day or in Butler at night, so I never feel like there’s a good chance to talk to him. What should I do? I feel like if I don’t address these problems now, I’ll have to suffer for the rest of the year.
Freshman and Confused
Dear Freshman and Confused,
Moving away from home and living with another person in a relatively small space can be a shock for some people, and their habits and personality may not always immediately adapt to new circumstances. So before you do or say anything, just consider your roommate’s feelings and experiences. He may be in a tough spot right now, especially with midterms upon us, so don’t try and resolve your issues in a hostile manner.
The simplest thing you can do is talk it out with your roommate. If your schedules don’t really match up, try and just be in the room before he leaves for class or when you know he’ll be coming back from class. That way you can ask him to discuss the issue when you know you both have the time. Remember, you want to approach your roommate with respect and kindness. He probably doesn’t even realize he’s creating a bad environment for you both to live in.
If that doesn’t work, you can always talk to your RA about your issues. RAs are trained to deal with these types of problems, and your RA has likely dealt with roommate disagreements in the past.
What you’re experiencing is just the growing pains that all college first years inevitably have to deal with. If you approach the issue with a sense of kindness and friendship, you can definitely resolve your roommate issues.
Wishing you and your roommate happiness,
A suburban mother’s worst nightmare via Shuttershock