From leaving days old throw up on the floor to refusing to clean dishes, roommates can be difficult to deal with and awkward to confront. Having a roommate is almost like a rite of passage into adulthood.

Except students living in the dorms freshman year do not have much of a choice in deciding their roommate. While some become best friends, others end up with the roommate from hell.

Regardless of whether a person likes their roommate or not, there will always be problems and issues that arise. Although retaliation or even ignoring them seems easiest, it is better to be straightforward with a roommate than be passive aggressive.

Addressing issues sooner rather than later will take care of the problem before it spirals out of control. Roommates cannot read minds, and ignoring the issue, hoping it will magically fix itself, simply will not work.

Gavin, a current sophomore, quickly realized this his freshman year in the dorms.

“Communication is essential when living with another person,” he said. “I can’t expect my roommate to know my frustrations if I don’t talk to him about it.”

In being open with each other, Gavin and his roommate were able to address any problems that arose. Though they did not agree on everything, they were able to talk without resorting to pettiness or silence.

Even though confrontation is intimidating, it needs to be done in person and not over text. Text leaves room for miscommunication or unintentional bad feelings. In speaking face-to-face, roommates can discuss a problem without fear of misinterpretation or ambiguity. It is simply having a conversation about your needs and what you would like to see as well as vice versa.

A conversation at least makes a roommate aware of your thoughts, and if need be, allows for a compromise. There is hardly a one-size-fits-all solution when dealing with roommates, and a compromise attempts to satisfy both parties.

Whether it is establishing boundaries or hygiene, communication is essential to having a positive roommate experience.


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