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Dear Debbie, What should I do if I have a psycho roommate?

Having+a+sneaky+roommate+is+not+something%0Amost+people+want%2C+but+it+can+be+a+great+learning%0Aopportunity.
Having a sneaky roommate is not something
most people want, but it can be a great learning
opportunity.

Having a sneaky roommate is not something most people want, but it can be a great learning opportunity.

Shelby Guidry

Shelby Guidry

Having a sneaky roommate is not something most people want, but it can be a great learning opportunity.

Rachel Goodman, Reporter

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Well, the good thing is you are not alone. Almost everyone deals with a difficult roommate at some point in their college career. And though it may be difficult, dealing with a bad roommate can be a great opportunity for personal growth. It is how you respond to the difficult people and situations you are faced with that defines you.

The most important thing you need to do is decide if you feel safe. If you live on campus and truly feel that you are in danger from your roommate you should talk to your R.A. about a room change as soon as possible. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your R.A. you can go to the housing office and any of the staff there should be able to help you. The housing office is located in the Delta Commons Suite 100 and everyone working there is trained in how to handle these situations and it is their job to make sure that you are provided with a safe and secure living environment.

If your roommate concerns are more about clashing personalities as opposed to actual safety concerns, your R.A. can still help you. Your R.A. can mediate a discussion between you and your roommate. Together you can voice your grievances and decide what needs to change to improve your living situation.

If you live off-campus, or you don’t feel your situation warrants R.A. intervention, you can still improve the situation on your own. Problems should be addressed as they occur, but not necessarily in the heat of the moment. Sometimes, it is better to come back to an issue in a less emotional time.

Being successful roommates is all about communication. You will never find someone who you agree with all the time but if you and your roommate can be open and honest about your concerns, you are much more likely to live together peacefully. If your roommate is leaving dishes out until they grow legs, try and talk to them about it rather than angrily doing them yourself.

Your aggravated sigh is not an effective form of communication. If your roommate is doing something that causes you daily distress you need to address it calmly and directly. Don’t scream or blame them. But don’t back down or be bullied into silence. If you allow someone to step all over you, they will.

Before coming to college, many people relied on their parents to clean up after them and it is important that you do not fall into a replacement-parent roll. A person who has never washed a dish in their life will not notice anything is different when those dishes left scattered about your dorm “magically” disappear.

I know it can be hard to talk to someone calmly when you’re upset with them. You may have to compromise and swallow your pride a bit, but nothing will change if you do not take the steps to make change happen.

Part of being an adult is accepting that you will not get along with everyone you meet. A bad roommate may feel like the end of the world, but it is not. If you manage to learn something from the situation, it is something you can carry with you for the rest of your life.

If you have any questions for Debbie, email her at [email protected].

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Dear Debbie, What should I do if I have a psycho roommate?