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Problems with my roommate. Am I being inconsiderate or too lenient?

AlaneqAlaneq Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
Hi there. I am a first year student and I have been having problems with my roommate since last semester. He's a pretty nice guy, but we just live different lifestyles and he can't seem to adjust to it. At the beginning of the semester, he requested for me to use headphones whenever he was in the room and I was watching TV/playing video games. No big deal, I've followed that since then. Shortly after, he asked me if I would mind stopping vaping in the room, which I totally understood, so now I vape in the bathroom. Shortly after this, he became vocal about how difficult it was for him to fall asleep, since my TV is very bright to him, and I fall asleep much later. I suggested that he buy a sleep mask, since I stay totally silent for him at night, and the light was the only issue, but he didn't like that idea. Instead he asked if I could turn my TV's brightness down every night after he went to sleep. I reluctantly agreed, but I have terrible vision, so this caused me to squint and give myself headaches. Some time passed, and I was visiting home, telling my mom about the situation. She told me she thinks I'm being overly kind to him, but she thought of a good idea to help the situation. She went to Home Depot and helped me build a wall out of PVC piping that divides the room in two. I hang thick blankets over it and it seriously sheilds the light. I put it up last week and he said it worked great, but early this morning, I was up watching TV, and he started his passive agressive complaining again. He told me to turn the TV off. I think I should go talk to my RA because I'm happy to not vape in the room or wear headphones, but I think it's a little much for him to literally ask me to go to sleep when I've done all of this for him. He could get a sleep mask and some earplugs. I'd even be happy to purchase them for him! What do you think? Sorry for the rant. I appreciate all input.

Replies to: Problems with my roommate. Am I being inconsiderate or too lenient?

  • rjm2018rjm2018 Registered User Posts: 115 Junior Member
    I hang thick blankets over it and it seriously sheilds the light. I put it up last week and he said it worked great, but early this morning, I was up watching TV, and he started his passive agressive complaining again. He told me to turn the TV off.

    @Alaneq, it sounds like your roommate was happy with the blanket idea to shield the light from your tv, so I don’t understand what the problem is now since you’re also listening to it with headphones. I also don’t know what your dorm rules are on vaping but I would think that should be done outside instead of your room or bathroom.

    From what you’ve shared, it sounds like you’ve tried to be accommodating. It is your room too so you both have to make some compromises. Otherwise, you both risk getting a different roommate that could be worse. You need to talk to him and find out why he initially liked the blanket idea and now he doesn’t. Is it the sound? Do you have the volume up so high on your headphones that he can still hear it? Can you turn your tv so the back of it is facing his side? My D watches shows/movies on her phone and her computer, could you do that? Maybe save the tv for gaming at a time you can both agree on. If you’re a night owl, can you find another area to hang out in where you won’t disturb others?

    Try talking to him first then, if things still aren’t going well, talk to the RA. With only hearing your side it’s hard to know if your roommate has a legitimate beef or he thinks his opinion is the only one that matters. Remind him that you are both paying for the room so you need to come up with ideas that work for both of you.
  • SuperSenior19SuperSenior19 Registered User Posts: 122 Junior Member
    On one hand, I feel like literally building a wall with blankets and PVC pipe shows that you're putting in the effort to accommodate your roommate, which is a nice thing to do and he should appreciate it.
    On the other hand, how late do you stay up? If you stay up until, say, 3am and your roommate has to wake up at 6am, I can see how it would disrupt his sleep; if it's only an hour or so later, that's a different story imo. I agree with previous posters that watching TV on your phone or turning the TV in the other direction is a good compromise.

    If you do feel the need to go to the RA, maybe don't mention the vaping thing. Since it's presumably not allowed in the dorms, it might make the RA biased against you before you even get a chance to talk about the TV issue. Not vaping in the room is a pretty reasonable request and tbh so is using headphones, but he can't tell you when to sleep if you're being relatively quiet.
  • AlaneqAlaneq Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Thanks for all of the responses. The TV is 50" and is already facing away from him. I'm not making any sound at all at night, but I do stay up quite late. I feel that's my prerogative since I pay rent there, and I have my own lifestyle, but I also don't want to prevent his sleep. Hence the wall I put up. I'm going to talk to the RA today and see what she thinks, and I won't be talking about the vaping issue as some posters mentioned. He's cool with me using it in the bathroom, I just mentioned it to illustrate the full situation. I will however be mentioning my suggestion for him to get a sleep mask. I think it's his time to compromise. Thanks everyone!
  • EmpireappleEmpireapple Registered User Posts: 1,408 Senior Member
    Gaming and the use of T.V.s in room is a whole new problem for sharing rooms. Personally I think colleges need to treat this activity the same as smoking and drinking and ask in the placement questionnaire if roommates want gaming going on in the room. I think in today's day and age students need to decide if they will game in the room or keep it to the lounges. Dorm rooms are very small and gaming is bright, loud, typically constant at late and odd hours, and obnoxious to many.

    I think it's great that you have agreed to vape out of the room now annoying those in the bathroom (it's no different than smoking to non-smokers) and made some accommodations regarding the t.v. , but your habits and lifestyle are ones that are dominating and obnoxious to living in a small space.

    I think you and your roommate both need to find more compatible roommates but hopefully you can get through the semester.
  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 8,459 Senior Member
    If you put up a wall to block the light and you're using headphones to mute the sound how did he know the TV was on?
  • rjm2018rjm2018 Registered User Posts: 115 Junior Member
    edited February 13
    I am guessing that you never shared a room before college. You may think you are being accommodating, but the 50" TV is just too much.

    I agree with @techmom99, that is a huge TV for a small dorm room! That’s bigger than our main TV in our great room! The ambient light is probably reflecting off the ceiling and walls that are not being blocked by your curtain idea. You are lucky your roommate has been so patient with you but it sounds like his patience is wearing thin.

    If you are playing games while your roommate is trying to sleep, it may not be just the TV. I would be annoyed by constant tapping sound from your remote controller too....

    @griffin1031, also brings up a good point. You may want to rethink your visit to the RA bc it could backfire on you if your roommate gets irritated at your gall and decides to spill the beans about your vaping in the room/bathroom.

    You need to get a much, much smaller TV and you BOTH need to decide on how late and early you are to be on it. If the TV is drastically smaller and you’re just watching shows/movies he may agree to later/earlier hours for viewing but gaming should NOT be done during normal sleep hours! As a parent, I would be ticked if I knew how big your TV was and that you were most likely gaming during the night and affecting my kid’s sleep.

  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn Super Moderator Posts: 39,130 Super Moderator
    Yikes, I agree. I can't even imagine a 50" TV in a dorm room.

    I am biased - when our oldest son went to college, his roommate played games until all hours of the night. It was a really bad situation.
  • LuvsLabsLuvsLabs Registered User Posts: 268 Junior Member
    This is in a dorm room, where you both are attending college classes and working toward a degree that will hopefully enhance your employable value in the future, right? I think any student who is working toward that general goal has a right to expect a quiet bedroom in which to get a healthy night's sleep every night.
This discussion has been closed.