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Roommate issues

Meganerd2012Meganerd2012 Registered User Posts: 160 Junior Member
I've been having trouble with my roommates. I have two of them and they both hate me and want me out. I want to get out too, but the residence life is really set on communicating and "personal growth". It's really affecting me and I really don't know what I should do at this point. I could go with the discussing the problem with them, but they are so unapproachable. I typically agree that communication solves problems, but something tells me that this is a bit more complex than that and it won't work out especially since other people on our floor had confronted them and nothing has happened.

I meant to post what I've been barely surviving with all here, but it got way too long. For privacy reasons, I can PM you the whole thing.

Replies to: Roommate issues

  • Flo123Flo123 Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    In the morning, go to the residential life (or whatever your school calls it) office and tell them you want to change rooms for next semester. Do not take no for an answer.
    You are not alone, many people change rooms/roommates when things don’t work. Part of the college experience is learning how to advocate for yourself. They will let you switch rooms, just be firm with them - it sounds like you will be a lot happier that way.
  • Meganerd2012Meganerd2012 Registered User Posts: 160 Junior Member
    edited December 2017
    @Flo123 I'll try again. They are super dead set on working it out, and room changes are literally the last resort. My RD Bascially told me that I confront them and if that doesn't work three times, she'll get involved and have an intervention with all of us so we can get along. She told me that they mostly only grant changes if you have a disability or a health problem.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 11,533 Forum Champion
    Nobody knows who you are and who they are...post the issues.

    Not knowing the issues, these are my general tips on roommate problems:

    How to solve roommate problems:

    0) First think if this is a preference or something that prevents you from sleeping/studying etc. Being annoyed that your roommate never leaves the room is a preference. They have every right to stay in the room. Having them turn up the heat to 80 or stay up to 3am every night prevents you from sleeping/studying. Not being friends with you is a preference. Having 10 people over every day is something that prevents you from sleeping/studying.

    So if an example is the roommate wants to use the overhead light to study to 3am.
    1) Think about the reasonableness of your request. Not having the light on until 3:00am is reasonable. Not being able to use a light while studying during the day because your roommate never gets out of bed isn't.
    2) Take steps to ameliorate the situation yourself. Examples are eye masks, ear plugs, white noise machines.
    3) Discuss issue with Roommate. He may not be aware it is an issue.
    4) See if roommate is compromising...No, he won't use Desk Lamp instead over head lamp.
    5)Think about what you want to the end result to be..that works for both of you. For example: Overhead Lights out at 1:00am, and after that, he goes elsewhere or uses desk lamp.

    5) Go to RA. State the issue, state that you have talked to roommate (because they will ask), state that you have tried other steps (like eyemasks) and ask for help in resolving the situation. "RA, I would like to get your advice on figuring out a resolution to an issue I am having with my roommate. <describe issue>."

    Most likely they will come up with a roommate contract for you both to sign.

    6) Follow the contract..and if your roommate doesn't, then go back to the RA. If your roommate retaliates, go back to the RA.

    7) If RA doesn't follow through or is useless, see if there is a different RA in your building. If not, go to the Housing office. Explain you have gone through the "chain of command"...that is, you talked to your roommate and then the RA but the issue still exists and it is preventing you from sleeping.

    8) If nothing happens, go to Dean of Students. Get your parents involved.

  • tucsonmomtucsonmom Registered User Posts: 450 Member
    Welcome to the art of negotiation. You are dealing with 2 negotiation scenarios here:

    1. with your roommates
    2. with the campus administration/residence life to convince them to let you switch rooms

    If all of the campus residence life policies state that you need to try to work it out w/the roommates first through discussion, conversation, mediation with the RA before they will even consider allowing you to switch rooms, then I hate to say it, but you are going to have to jump through those hoops in order for you to have any hope of reaching your end goal: switching to a different dorm room.

    What you should also consider is what can you learn out of this whole experience for when you DO switch dorm rooms. Is there anything you could handle differently with your next roommate which might help being able to share the same living space with someone else?

    But if you won't even talk with your roommates or approach them about any of this, then that is part of the problem. You will have to demonstrate to Residence Life that you've made an effort to communicate with them.

    Also re: negotiating to get what you want....
    Post #3 is spot on. You need to consider what is a "must have" and what is a "nice to have." Some examples on "must have's" could be:

    - no overnight guests without roommate's approval first
    - no drug use in the room
    - no alcohol in the room
    - no smoking in the room
    - if you want to eat some of the roommate's food, ask first and then later restock what you ate.
    - loud late night phone calls? go to the common room for the phone call.
    - keep late night loud noise in the room to a minimum
    - don't steal each other's stuff
    - leaving the room & not locking the door on your way out

    Some examples of "nice to have's" (can vary depending on your situation):
    - total silence 10 pm - 8 am. This is unreasonable & pretty impossible even for someone who is trying to be as quiet as a mouse. A reasonable accommodation would be for the noise sensitive person to wear ear plugs to bed, get a white noise machine, etc.
    - you want your boyfriend/girlfriend to come visit and sleep in the room with you every weekend.
    - you don't want your roommate to watch TV in the room when you are sleeping or trying to sleep. A reasonable accommodation would be for the TV-watching roommate to watch TV using headphones and the light/noise sensitive roommate would wear a sleep mask and ear plugs and use a white noise machine, too.

  • Meganerd2012Meganerd2012 Registered User Posts: 160 Junior Member
    @tucsonmom @bopper @Flo123

    Update: I talked to my RD again, and I'll will be switched next semester. I was really having trouble with most of must-haves on both tucsonmom's and bopper's list which was having a terrible effect on my health and grades.

    I think what went wrong was that my roommates and I did not set any guidelines for each other and that we were not open to communication. This has definitely been a learning experience, and I will keep what when wrong in mind for living with my next roommate.

    Thank you all for your advice!
  • Flo123Flo123 Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    So glad to hear that! Good luck on your finals and enjoy your winter break :) @Meganerd2012
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