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(I can’t concentrate on homework right now so I’ll start this instead)

ROOMMATES 101: The Guide to Surviving a Random Roommate

*I’ll try to recount my experiences without it looking like I’m just ranting about my roommates. *

If you dorm in college and decide to room with a random then this post could be of use to you. I personally didn’t want to room with a friend because it was just a chance to meet new people and who knows, you might meet your new best friend! If that is the case and you do meet your other half then congrats! You my friend are good to go and don’t need to read further (unless you want to hear about how to deal with bad roommates/stories).

Ok, I’ll start with advice and also provide my own input if it goes with it.

1. SHARE YOUR PET PEEVES!
You might not even know you have them until you start living with someone who constantly does something specific. My roommate is a loud person and I’m not so you can already see how this is going. I never really said anything before but she eats with her mouth open and it makes that chap chap noise, if you know what I mean. I have never been bothered by this AT ALL but I think she created this pet peeve for me. What was worse is when I asked her if she could perhaps chew with her mouth closed and she immediately becomes defensive and goes “I’m not going to change for you.” Talk about a real temper booster.

2. BE POLITE BUT NOT TOO POLITE.
When your roommate is sleeping, it is common courtesy to perhaps not start laughing while watching your show at midnight right? I realize she was trying to cover her laugh but if this goes on for an hour and you have to get up around 6am the next day, tell her to shut up. I should have just told her to be quiet but I thought it would be nicer to hint at it. So I ask, “what’s so funny?” and she goes “oh sorry. I’ll stop. I can’t sleep.” Me: “Yeah me either.” Her:”Is it because of me?” Me:”yeah” Her:”Well, why didn’t you say so?” The fact that she had the audacity to raise her voice just appalled me.

3. HAVE COMMON SENSE
I think this advice should apply anywhere and everywhere. But in a roommate situation: if you see your roommate in bed and she has her eyes closed, it does not matter if the lights are still on, trust me, SHE’S SLEEPING. Especially if it’s around 10-11pm and definitely at midnight (I sleep early because I have to get up early). You do not ask, in your loud voice, “Are you taking a nap or sleeping?” I guarantee that she would not respond to your stupid question because quite frankly, taking a nap or sleeping is still just sleeping. [It sucks because I’m a light sleeper so even if I was asleep, that would have woken me up right away.]

4. DON’T WORKOUT IN THE ROOM
Generally dorm rooms are not that big to begin with unless you get a suite and whatnot. But there is a gym for a reason. In the dorm area, we have a couple of small gyms in specific dorms for people who do not want to walk down to the main gym on campus. Not only is it awkward for you to workout in a small cramped up room but it is also uncomfortable for your roommate to be suffocated with the smell of your feet and your heavy breathing. I finally brought the situation up last week, advising her to try out the gym next to our dorm, again, I use very implicit methods because I thought it’s nicer than just flat out telling her to stop working out in the room. To cut the long story short, I actually had to tell her some reasons as to why she can’t workout in HER room.

5. BE ABLE TO READ A SITUATION
There are two types of people: the talker and the listener. Guess which one my roommate is? Yeah, the talker. I usually enjoy talking to her but I guess after a few events (described above), I just got fed up with putting up with someone who obviously forgot her manners at home. I don’t confront people unless I have to so for people I’m fed up with, I simply ignore them. I am by no means being harsh or unfair, I’ve done my best trying to be a good roommate ( I take care of her when she’s sick, I help her with homework, I let her use my fridge, eat my snacks and give her advice) so is it too much to ask for consideration on my part? If you see that you are taking advantage of your roommate and they don’t act as friendly as they were in the beginning, maybe you should think of what you did. Unless you don’t care then you guys can both ignore each other until the end of school.

6. Utilize your lounge, the library, and study rooms
Often times when you can’t stand your roommate and they’re always in the room, then you know you gotta go somewhere else. I personally don’t like this because it’s my room too so why do I have to leave? But you know, you gotta do what you gotta do. If the lounge is empty, use it. If the library makes you study harder, stay until 8pm and then run back to the dorms. I like going places so when I get back to my room, I just knock out and I don’t have to deal with her talking to me. For some reason, if she sees that I’m in bed (trying to sleep actually), but I’m not sleeping yet, she’ll keep talking to me.

7. DON’T ASK STUPID QUESTIONS
If you ask your roommate whether or not they think you would be able to wear leggings after your shower, I can guarantee the answer would be ‘I don’t know.” Because how would I know if you are able to wear your leggings? And yes, we do not have school on Martin Luther King’s birthday and no, I am not lying to you. (These were actual situations, she really did ask me if we really didn’t have school on Martin Luther King’s birthday and when I said yes, she told me I was lying.) Also we went into a conversation about religion somehow. I think she asked me whether I have godparents and I said no. And then she asked whether we have baptism in my religion (I’m Buddhist by the way and she’s Catholic) and I said no again. Then she asked, ‘then what do you guys do then?’ I told her Buddhism wasn’t that complicated since it was more of a way of life than a religion per se. I guess she got offended (she gets offended often) and goes, ‘Well how would I know that?’ It’s funny because when I told my friend about it, she said, ‘doesn’t everyone know that?’ I guess not.

8. DON’T PUT YOUR MOTHER ON SPEAKER PHONE
This is the weirdest situation I was ever in. It was perhaps 9:30 am and I was on my bed, just catching up with my readings for class and my roommate gets a call from her mom. But suddenly she goes, ‘let me put you on speaker phone.’ Yes, totally, put your mom on speaker phone while I am trying to read but you get to complain if my music is too loud when you’re reading.

9. FIND A COMMON GROUND
It’s extremely important to find a roommate that would at least cooperate with what you want as well. Conjure up your business persona and negotiate if worst comes to worst. My friend told me stories on how she kept finding her roommate in bed with a different guy almost every night. Apparently they forgot to establish the no overnight guest rule. Someone else told me their roommate left her underwear on their bed…yuck.

10. TALK TO SOMEONE
Just because it doesn’t seem like a big deal, doesn’t mean it isn’t! I didn’t realize I was annoyed with my roommate until everything started accumulating and it started to affect me mentally. I was already stressed with school but adding roommate problems on top of that was probably enough to make me break down. I advise just taking to a friend who UNDERSTANDS. I don’t recommend speaking to someone that doesn’t sympathize. They’ll probably just throw salt on your wounds and call you high maintenance when you are simply trying to get through college smoothly. It really makes you doubt yourself and think that you’re the one to blame for everything happening to you. I thought I deserved it because I didn’t appreciate my roommate from last year (who was really nice but we didn’t click. I still have good opinions about her though). But honestly, don’t think like I did. If you have a problem, speak up. Don’t put it inside, or you end up twisting the knife yourself.

Note: I really hope this didn’t said like a rant but I tried to back the advice with my own experiences. I’m sure some people have it way worse than me but you live and you learn. I find it invaluable to be able to handle different types of people.

If anyone has their own experiences or advice, feel free to comment! I’m sure I didn’t get all but that’s all I could think of with my sleep-deprived brain.

I actually feel better, typing all this out. Until next time xx.