Boarding School Transfers in Mid-year (struggling with roommate)

Hi, this is my first post. It took me a while, but I think it’s time.

I am a new sophomore at a household name BS. Before I came here, I was a top student at my local public high school. I never dreamed of attending a BS until a distant relative shared their experience about financial aid packages at these schools. I took the advice, applied to 3, and was fortunate enough to be accepted by 2.

My school is rigorous academically, but it was within expectation and I have been coping just fine. It is the social aspect that I find stifling. The main challenge is that I was put in a room with a classmate who comes from a major donor family. This roommate has acted entitled since day one, and is extremely messy and sloppy. For example, he does not shower after every lax practice session. Nor does he have any shame about smoking weed and having casual sex in certain corners around campus.

I honestly do not care what he does when he is not in our room, as long as he doesn’t get caught. His attitude has been pretty much “they can’t do much about me, because my family paid for xxxx facility.” Not his exact words, but the donation is talked about a lot.

Having said that, his sloppiness has really been bothering me. I complained to him a few times about cleaning the room but he totally ignored it. I then reported it to the dorm parent, but not much was done. Instead, he yelled at me for telling on him, and warned that I’d pay a price for this.

I then asked the dorm parent to move me to another room, but the request was flat out rejected - “If we were top accommodate your request, it would open a can of worms, as many other kids would want to have a change too.” While I understood the reason somewhat, I still believe that the rejection had to do with his family status.

I really don’t think I can stand this much longer. Do you guys have any advice on how to handle this? I am considering to transfer back home if this does not work out. However, I really love my school a lot, and would hate to quit it like this.

Alternatively, will other BS take mid-year transfers? I feel that I burned my relationship with other schools that accepted me, and wonder if I can get in others with an FA package in the middle of the year. I would hate to go to another school as a junior as college counseling would start right away.

Thanks for bearing with my long post. God bless.

I don’t know about mid-year transfers, I doubt it as FA is already allocated this year. But if you want to move next year, there are schools with all single rooms. DA for one, after freshman year is singles. Sorry you are having this experience! Is there someone higher than the dorm parent you can talk to?

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Yes, talk to your advisor.

From your description, it doesn’t sound like this roommate conflict is all that unusual, to be honest.

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If you like the school, don’t consider leaving because of the roommate. Do talk to your advisor. You may want to visit the dean and see if they have suggestions. Roommate issues are real, at BS and college.

If you both had friends who wanted to swap roommates (i.e., come up with your own solution), could you do that?

I had an awful roommate my first year of college and know how oppressive it can feel. And I totally appreciate your frustration with the “class system” you’re feeling. You can also find ways to endure…

Study in the library. Hang out in friends’ room. Buy an air freshener. Iow, keep your things there and sleep there. Keep your stuff neat because that’s what you can control.

Yes, some schools do take mid year transfers, and some, especially one that accepted you before, might reopen that offer. But this doesn’t seem like the right reason to do that. Put differently, this is a real problem, but transferring is the wrong answer.

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:white_check_mark:

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The OP stated that the roommate said he would “pay a price” for talking to the dorm parent. Who knows what the roommate meant, but that sounds like a threat to me. I’m a new BS parent, but if my kid told me their roommate said that, I’d be on the phone pronto to the administration and get my kid a different room at the very least. I know BS kids are supposed to self-advocate and whatnot, but parents should be involved if threats are involved. And if the school did not accommodate, I would pull my kid from the school.

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Something similar happened to kiddo Freshman year - also, the roommate made a threat very similar to what the OP described. Dorm parent did nothing - Dean of Students did nothing.

What I would do differently and what you might consider?

  • Don’t leave a school just because of a crappy roommate - he’s the problem, not you.

  • Record the events (especially any threats) in writing - send the email with your parents CC’d on it to the Dorm parent, advisor, and Dean of Students.

  • This type of situation can be really difficult at schools where Freshman have mandatory study hours in their dorm rooms! Is this your situation? Can you study in the library at night?

  • Discuss with the school’s health center or school psychologist how this roommate’s behavior is having a significant impact on your mental health, sleeping, etc. They will have to document how this situation is diminishing aspects of your wellbeing at school. If it’s impacting your health, then you have a stronger case for getting another room.

  • We heard that same line about “if we change your room, then everyone will want that”….interesting how a couple of kids we know got this to happen due to mental health issues.

  • Sometimes, students leave after winter break - maybe another place will open up.

Finally, the OP describes an entitled kid, lax player, smoker, and has sex in various corners of campus……sounds like I know this school :thinking:

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Definitely agree. That sounds like a threat. Do not tolerate that. Tell your academic advisor and state you feel unsafe. Maybe also email that conversation so there is a paper trail. Hang in there!

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OP, sorry that you are going through this. We did not have this situation yet my son’s friend at BS had exactly this with the kid of a school donor. The parent got involved and was talking to administration. Things did not change right away yet within several months things got better and they ended up changing a room parent as well.

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