Living with a party-crazy roommate

Photo credit: Melissa Madrigal, Staff Photographer

For many students, getting to college and moving into the dorms is the first time they have to experience living with another person besides a family member. It can be a hard experience.

After living with your family for so long, you have them figured out and know exactly what to do. Living with a roommate is much harder, especially when they have a different lifestyle than you.

If you aren’t living with a friend whose lifestyle you already know, you need to make sure to meet with your roommates before school starts or at the beginning of the semester. If you haven’t done this already after the first month of school, it’s a must now.

During the meeting, discuss important things such as sleeping and study schedules. You could get lucky if your roommate has the same lifestyle as you, but not everyone can be that lucky.

If you aren’t as lucky, and your roommate likes to party late at night while you like to snooze early, try to get them to be quiet and not turn on the lights when entering the room.  Try to come to some kind of compromise. You both need to be comfortable where you are living, so coming up with a compromise is an absolute must.

If your roommate likes to party all the time, ask them to keep the late nights to, say, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

If the problem is that your roommate is interrupting your studying because they always have guests over,  work out a schedule where some days there are no guests allowed and some days you will study at the library or another place you are comfortable. Make a schedule and stick to it.

Try to talk when you are both calm and not right after your roommate has come in at 2 a.m. after a long night of partying and has turned on the lights, the computer and is blasting the music. You will already be annoyed and this is not the time to discuss. Talk to them the next morning, but make sure you have calmed down first.

You also need to remember that not everyone is going see things the way do. Your roommate may not understand why the things that they are doing may bother you. It may be perfectly normal behavior. You wanting to go to sleep early may bother your roommate. You might need to explain why you sleep early due to your early work schedule and why partying every night just isn’t your style.

If it’s your roommate’s choice to party every night, work out a schedule where the partying doesn’t bother you. Then it’s really not your problem what your roommate does with their time.

It might be beneficial to have your roommate and you both sign a contract about the rules you have agreed on. That way there is no question in each other’s minds what the two of you should be doing.

Don’t bring other people into the conflict. If you are living in the suite-style dorms and the problem is between you and your roommate, don’t involve your suitemates. Having them take sides is not going to help the situation and will probably end up causing more problems.

Your roommate might need some reminding. You can’t expect someone to change overnight, just like you couldn’t be expected to change that quickly. Nicely remind your roommate about your agreement. You shouldn’t have to do this more than a few times. The same may go for them, however. You can’t be harping on your roommate if it’s their night to have guests over, or they may have to nicely remind you of your agreement once in a while.

The silent treatment isn’t going to work. You have to have open communication with your roommate. No one is a mind reader, so there is no way to know there is a problem if you don’t talk about it.

Lastly, if there is a problem with your roommate and you have done everything to solve it, you need to get your RA involved. They are trained for these types of problems and can offer suggestions to make your living situation bearable until May, after which you can find a roommate who doesn’t drive you crazy.

If none of this works, your only option will have to be to move out and find a new roommate.