Dare to ditch your demon roommate

By on October 4, 2013

When I arrived at Quinnipiac my freshman year, I was blissfully optimistic about what the year could hold. There were endless opportunities for clubs I could join, classes I could take and people I could meet. Add in the fact that, for the first time in my life, I was living with a complete stranger who may become my friend, and it seemed as if it was bound to be a wonderful experience.

Unfortunately, after one too many cold shoulders and nasty looks, I began to realize that having a roommate wasn’t going to be all sunshine and buttercups.

In fact, this should be considered college lesson No. 1: when it comes to friendship, school and your career, you will not like, or be compatible, with everyone you meet. Accept it, embrace it and go forward knowing that, however patient you may be, there will always be people who rub you the wrong way. On the flip side, however fabulous you may be, you need to be prepared to not always be adored. This is life, especially in the adult world.

These people — the ones who are clearly not your soulmate or godparent to your future children — they will always be there. While you might not be thrilled to end up living with one of them, complaining about them behind their backs is not a solution, and neither is suffering in silence.

If your living situation is making you unhappy or uncomfortable, you need to address it.  Communication is the key to coexisting, especially in such close quarters. If your roommate is inexplicably mean to you, ask them why, they might not even realize that they are acting that way, and will hopefully try to change it going forward. If your roommate is partying too hard, tell them that their antics are impacting your academic or social experience. If, God forbid, your roommate isn’t bathing, have a discussion with them about hygienic standards.

Obviously these conversations aren’t fun, and starting them may seem impossible, but it really has to happen. If you need advice or moral support in the situation, speak to your resident assistant; they are prepped with management techniques to deal with these issues. Chances are, you’re not the first person to go through it.

If you have attempted to work through your problems, and your roommate or roommates are still an issue, you have a decision to make. It is time to evaluate the situation, and ask yourself if the people around you are impacting your quality of life. If having a bad roommate is making you miserable, or making it difficult for you to form new friendships, then it is time to move on.

It is easy to tell yourself that moving is a hassle and that you don’t want to offend your roommate, but in the end these excuses are only hurting you. It is okay to make your own happiness a priority, because no one else is going to do it for you. If you have handled it correctly then you are not giving up, and you are not taking the easy way out because you have already tried to face the problem.

At the end of the day, some problems don’t have a solution. Furthermore, some problems aren’t worth the time, effort and emotional stress required to fix them. If you are unhappy, do something about it.

Coming from experience: do not let a bad living situation ruin your semester and certainly don’t stretch it out through the whole year. Do not be a martyr, and stop making excuses that allow you to stand around wallowing in despair. If you find yourself in a bad housing situation you need to be proactive, advocate for yourself and get out while you still can.

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