Newest Fish in the Sea: Confronting your roommate

A guide for initiating uncomfortable conversations

Laynie Clark, Assistant Arts & Life Editor

It’s your first year in college and you realize that your roommate is not a match made in heaven. You are sick and tired of their dirty dishes and sticky fingers, so what do you do? Being in a situation like this tends to be mentally straining and emotionally conflicting because you want to aggressively tell them off, but that is simply not the way to go about it. If possible, you want to try and salvage the relationship between you and your roommate because you are stuck with them for a while. Well, what are you going to do?

Unfortunately, you have to do something because you will continue to be miserable if you are constantly walking on eggshells around them. The best way to start the process is by writing out a list of all of the things or situations that have not been ideal for you. For example, never washing dishes, late nights out, taking your possessions and whatever else is weighing you down. Creating a list will help you sort everything out and decide which issues take priority over others.

After you have created the list, you need to drink a good cup of confidence to call for a roommate meeting. If you have multiple roommates then this method is ideal because you can address all of your roommates at once without having to specifically call anyone out. If you only have one troubling roommate, then it might be best to share a meal and conversation with them. It is crucial that you do not attack them because they will immediately become defensive and that will only add fuel to the fire. Kindly talk about the things that are bothering you and hope for the best reaction. 

After the conversation, two things could happen: the roommate will make a conscious effort to be better or they will not care and continue on with their usual day-to-day routine of not washing dishes and staying out late. At that point, you will just have to survive the rest of the semester while looking for new living arrangements. Start planning out where, and who, you want to live with the following year because that will be the light at the end of the tunnel. 

The most important thing to take away from this is that you do not want your sucky roommate situation to get in the way of enjoying yourself. While it certainly is not ideal, you just have to put it out of your mind and go find peace elsewhere because college is the place for epic memories: not harbored anger towards a roommate.