Maybe it wasn’t meant to be

It is almost Thanksgiving time; which means you have survived more than half of the first semester, midterms, and homecoming. By now, you and your roommate should have a good understanding for each other’s preferred lifestyle. For some your relationship is one that is great, while for others you may be at your breaking point.  It is at this time you have to realistically look at the situation and determine can you tolerate the situation and make adjustments or do you need to explore the options you have at the time. Thanksgiving serves as a time where roommates can go home take a break, regroup, and come back to school refreshed to finish out the semester.

If you are experiencing roommate conflicts, you may want to use the Thanksgiving break to relax, focus your energy on something else for a few days, and determine a way for you resolve any issues you may have.  You will need to be realistic and ask yourself, is my roommate violating my rights or are they just not meeting my standard.  It is one thing to have a roommate who violates your rights as a resident, puts you in harm’s way, infringes upon your privacy, etc. There is also a distinct difference in the two of you having varying definitions of what it means to be clean, quiet, or how to entertain guests.  Decide for yourself what is acceptable for your living environment and what is not acceptable for your living environment.  After reflecting on your experiences and detailing examples, confirm how you feel about the issues.  A room (suite or apartment) meeting should be scheduled with your roommate(s) to talk with your roommate(s) and create house rules or complete a roommate agreement.  If you feel like you and your roommate are past amicably resolving the issues you will want to enlist the help of your RA.  Your RA is trained to help residents talk through issues and resolve any tension they may be experiencing.

Before you decide that things are just not working out and want to move, consider if you have done everything that you could do in the situation.  If rights are not being violated, it is probably a rather simple situation where you will need to compromise and meet in the middle.  Relationships are about compromise and realizing that someone does things differently than you may do things can be difficult to adjust to. Evaluate if your requests are reasonable. It is reasonable to ask your roommate(s) to discuss overnight guest prior to them staying, but it may not be reasonable to ask your roommate(s) to never have guests in the room.  It is reasonable to request that your roommate(s) not disturb you while are studying, but it may be unreasonable if you do not reciprocate.  You will need to compromise and meet in the middle and find a solution that will work for both of you.

If you feel your rights are violated or you have exhausted all possibilities, you may want to consider changing rooms.  It is not reasonable to say “they’re the one with the problem so they should have to move”.  For the sake of happiness you may have to be the person to move.  If the staff interjects they will ask who wants to move and if no one volunteers then depending on the issues all roommates may be forced to move.  It is okay to move on after you have done all you can in the situation. Right before (or during if possible) Christmas break is a great time to change rooms. It will serve as a fresh start when the new semester starts. You want to make the moving out process and smooth as possible. You never want to burn bridges, it is a small world and you never know when you may come across that person or someone that knows that person in the future.

Not all roommate assignments will work out.  It is important to remember to give differences a chance and not to be judgmental and closed-minded.  It may be awkward and require more attention at first, but as long as you develop and display a mutual respect for each other, you should be able to make it work for the short time you will be living together.  When your relationship hits a little turbulence, do not run away, stick it out and do everything on your end to make it work.