Having a new roommate can be a tricky situation. A roommate can be your best friend, or biggest enemy. While some conflict is common among roommates, it is important to realize where to draw the line between minor inconvenience and serious issue. Here are some helpful tips to help you decide when to report a roommate problem to your residential advisor.
If You Have Already Talked To Your Roommate
Sometimes the simplest way to solve a roommate issue is the most direct: talk to you roommate directly about what is bothering you. It is possible that something that is a major issue to you may be something minor for your roommate. If your roommate does not know what your issue is, she or he cannot address it. When you talk to your roommate, do not start the conversation in a confrontational tone. If you do this, your roommate will likely act defensively and respond in kind. It is important to talk to your roommate calmly and patiently in order to address whatever your issue is. Make sure not to just talk yourself; be sure to listen carefully and see what your roommate says. It is likely that your roommate may be bothered by some of the things that you do as well. So having a nice, calm dialogue can be a great way to diffuse tension and solve a problem. If all else fails, you can then talk to your residential advisor about your issue.
If Your Roommate Has Threatened You
If your roommate has threatened you, then it is important to discuss your problem with a residential advisor immediately. It is important, especially in a college setting, that you feel safe in your home environment. So if your roommate has tried to fight you or threatened you in any way, it is important to seek outside help. Remember that threats can be both violent and non-violent. If your roommate is verbally abusive, that is another act that is wrong and should not be tolerated under any circumstances.
If Your Roommate Seems Suicidal
College can be hard for many people, as they adjust to life away from home, often for the first time. If your roommate seems extremely depressed to the point that you suspect she may be suicidal, it is important that you talk to your residential advisor immediately. People go through ups and downs, and it is important that your roommate gets the help that he or she deserves. Therefore, if you even suspect that your roommate may be contemplating suicide, or has inflicted self-harm such as cutting, go to your residential advisor right away.
These are some quick tips to decide when to report roommate problems to your residential advisor. If you have already talked to your roommate, or if your roommate is abusive or suicidal, talk to your residential advisor to resolve your problem.