College tips: Coping with a ‘party animal’ roommate

You head off to college determined to carve a successful path for yourself, ready to take on the challenges of adulthood. However, once you get there, you find you’re paired with a roommate whose visions of college greatly differ from yours. To your dismay, it seems your new dorm buddy is more interested in drinking and partying than focusing on the books.

This may be one challenge you didn’t anticipate having to contend with. Within a few short weeks you find you are sick of the late night visitors, loud music, phone calls and texts coming in at all hours of the night and, perhaps worst of all, getting woken up by your roommate stumbling in at 3 a.m. when you have a test first thing in the morning.

How do you deal with a party animal? There are a few approaches you can try that may improve the situation.

Talk to your roommate

Opening the lines of communication is the most direct and effective way to solve a problem in any relationship. Your roommate may be completely unaware that you are even bothered by the party environment and that these behaviors are disruptive to you.

Expressing your feelings may immediately resolve the situation because your roommate becomes aware of your concerns and, as a result, be more considerate to your viewpoint in the future. Most people are open to discussions, and you might find you have more in common with your fun-loving roommate than you’d originally thought.

Go to your resident advisor

If after having a conversation, your roommate completely ignores your feelings and is not interested in any sort of compromise, you can try and seek advice from your resident advisor. He or she may have some other suggestions or approaches you can try. Or if necessary, intervene and mediate the situation.

Request a change of room

If neither of the above settles the situation, asking to change rooms may be a potential solution. This may or may not be a resolution as it probably depends on available rooms in your college’s dorms.

If all else fails . . .

If none of the above approaches help to resolve the conflict, consider buying a good set of earplugs and throw a pillow over your head when you go to sleep to block out your roommate’s noise the next time he or she stumbles in at dawn. OK, well this isn’t a permanent, or even a real, solution, but it may get you some uninterrupted sleep. In all seriousness, dealing with a roommate who is a party animal is frustrating if you don’t share the same interest. And consider chances are your roommate is possibly frustrated with what he or she perceives as “stuffiness” and may view you as a prude.

Unfortunately, there are times in life people have to cope with unpleasant situations, but learn how to deal with them in a mature fashion. The best course of action is to jointly create agreed boundaries with one another, and make concessions to be considerate of one another’s lifestyles.

Another option is to simply try and stick it out until the end of the term. It may be you don’t click with your roommate, but at the end of the year, you can simply part ways.