College life is about getting a great education, but let's be real: It's also about the overall experience. You'll be enjoying the social activities, cafeteria food (if you're lucky), and of course, dorm life. In fact, dorm life will be the biggest part of the experience since you'll be spending more time there than in an actual classroom.
But the one possible drawback about the dorm experience is having a roommate who came from actual hell. This roomie is worse than 8 a.m. classes, pop quizzes on material you didn't read, and losing your I.D. on college club night all rolled into one. Yeah, some roommates can really be that terrible. From Hoarders-level messiness, to irrational neat freaks, to just plain rudeness, bad roommates can definitely transform college life into a dud. Some roomies can turn out to be extremely toxic to your overall college experience.
But just like that pop quiz you ended up acing, even though you forgot to read and the all-nighters you'll probably pull, you can survive!
Here are a few ways to handle the college roomie from actual factual hell.
1. Get A Mediator
Anything you two are going through could likely be cleared up with a neutral person who can help you see each other's perspectives and come to a compromise. Don't be afraid to make peace.
2. Be Comfortable With Not Speaking
I know I just wrote you should try to make peace, and you should. Still, the kiss-and-make-up attempt doesn't always work for everyone. Don't fall apart just because you and your roommate aren't besties. Get over it, and just know that not speaking to each other just might make for some golden silence. Live your life, be cordial, but don't expect a confidant. Get other friends for that.
3. Do More Than Just Go To Class And Live In A Dorm
You don't have to turn into a party girl, but get out. Go to campus events. Join clubs. Pay for that concert. The more you're out living life, the more you'll enjoy your college experience as a whole. If you're not moping around your dorm room all day, then it's hard to have a problem with your roommate.
4. Buy Your Own Stuff So You Don't Have To Borrow Anything
So, if your roommate is the kind of person who will let you watch her TV or use her Netflix account until you guys have a disagreement, then you just need to start depending only on yourself. Get your own fridge, TV, laptop, etc. No roommate can take the room perks you have for yourself.
5. Kill Him/Her With Kindness
Bake those brownies and offer your roommate some. Say "hello" when you come in, even if he or she doesn't say it back. It won't hurt you to be nice, so just be nice. That way, any personal issues your roommate has with you won't be because you're just as much of a hellish roommate as them.
6. Don't Make Any Unreasonable Adjustments To Your Life Or Schedule For Them
Bring your friends over at reasonable times. Play your music when it's early in the day. Don't break up the things you would normally do in your living situation because of an irrational roommate's expectations.
Live your life, and if they have a problem with it, let them know you have just as much of a right to the room as he or she does. That roomie will either move out, or get over it and shut up. Either way, it's not your problem and shouldn't disturb your peace.
7. Keep A Tally On The Way You Left Your Side Of The Room
All you need is a little photo of how your room looked when you left; just to be sure your roomie isn't taking liberties with your stuff when you aren't around. If you have any proof, then take it up with your resident advisor. No one should be touching your stuff when you aren't around without permission. Don't ever let it slide.
8. Lock Up Your Valuables And Do It Unapologetically
Get a nice safe and put your important things in there. If your roommate asks about it, then let them know you acknowledge that you guys don't get along and you want to protect your more important things. Your roommate can't stop you from protecting your things and that's nothing they can report you for.
9. Come Up With A Cleaning Schedule
Sometimes, sloppy roommates just don't know their sloppiness is unusually bad. Let your roommate know that how they are keeping their side of the room is affecting you and how it affects you (i.e. causing a smell, mold, fire hazard, etc...). Come up with a cleaning schedule together so you don't have to deal with it anymore.
10. Ask For A Roomie Reassignment
Sometimes, things can't be worked out even with silent treatment or the best attempts at being kind. If you truly have a terribly sloppy roommate or someone who is super unreasonable with how they want you to do things, then reach out to your resident advisor and ask for a room reassignment.
Be warned that a lot of times, there isn't anymore room because residence halls often have wait lists. Still, it's worth a shot, and your university will definitely do something about you living in a place that is detrimental to your physical or mental health.