What to do if your College Roommate is a Difficult Person

The time spent in college is often a blur of classes, work and socializing. College can be an exciting and stressful time in a person’s life. One thing that can add stress to hectic college life is having a difficult roommate.

It would be very unrealistic for anyone to claim there are easy ways to solve problems you may encounter when dealing with a difficult roommate. All that can really be said is that there are suggestions and tips that might make it less stressful in the long run.

* Personal evaluation

Before you decide to confront your roommate, stop and think about yourself. What is it about your roommate that you find so difficult to handle? Are you being over sensitive? Are you annoyed with your roommate because she has a different or unique lifestyle that is polar opposite of your own lifestyle?

People are different, that is part of what is exciting about the college experience: exposure to a diverse group of people and cultures. If you think that maybe you are just having a rough time adjusting to someone who is your polar opposite, then try being patient with her and yourself. Maybe once the shock has worn off, you will discover that while you do not choose to embrace her lifestyle, you can actually become tolerant of her as a roommate.

* Talk to him/her

Sometimes talking to your roommate can help resolve a lot of difficult situations. Your roommate might not be aware that he is annoying you. People deal with the college experience in different ways. This is an ideal scenario, however, talking to your roommate about certain issues might end up escalating the situation.

Sometimes it seems like some people just enjoy being difficult and causing drama.  The key thing is to not let your roommate have the upper hand; it is your room too. Avoid petty fights and arguments but do not allow him to bully you either.

* Limit interaction

It will be almost impossible to avoid your roommate altogether, however you can limit some interaction with her. You can try studying at a library or with friends, hang out in other places besides your room when you know she will be there.

If you refuse to be run out of your side of the room, then you can always wear headphones and drown her out with your favorite music. Note: you can also get many audio books and some research material that you can listen to, which is easier to absorb while listening through headphones. Perhaps you two can actually work out some sort of schedule or agreement in order to somewhat peacefully live together. 

* Student adviser

Speak to your resident adviser about the problems you are having with your roommate. These type of issues are part of the reason most dorms have resident advisers in the first place. Ask for suggestions on how to handle the situation. 

* Transfer

Sometimes when you end up with a difficult roommate things, for whatever reason, cannot be worked out amicably. You may want to consider transferring to another dorm room. Switching rooms can be a hassle and rather annoying, but it might be the best solution in some cases.

* Off campus residence

There are many pros and cons to living off campus. This should be the last resort when dealing with a difficult roommate. An off campus apartment can get you away from the hassles of your roommate as well as away from the pressures of dorm life.

It can also introduce new problems like monthly bills, transportation to and from school/work. You may also have to consider getting roommates to help share the monthly expenses, which can put you in a similar situation with another difficult roommate.

It is an annoying fact of life that you will have to deal with difficult people from time to time. There may be a difficult coworker or neighbor or cashier at your favorite department store. You do not have to like these difficult people and the situations that arise from contact with them, however, you will have to learn how to cope with them.