“Changing the toilet paper will not cause brain damage.”

Dee deck

During the glory days of college, there comes a time in one’s life when they might have to share a room, an apartment or a house with someone. Roommate problems follow next. 

The joys of independent living can quickly turn into horrors when the companion you share your space with is someone you’re non-compatible with.

So, how do you stop those bridges from burning? Here are a few tips to help your roommate experience be less stressful.

Honest and open discussion time

Having a group meeting GIF (Roommate problems)

Set up a meeting time every month or two months to discuss the house rules. Sit together and address concerns. Mediate ways to avoid them. However, throughout it, all try to make sure the tone and atmosphere is maintained.

Come up with a timetable for chores

Just try to complete the tasks as satisfactorily as you can GIF (roommate problems)

Split up chores and keep updating the task list. Too much burden on one person usually later manifests itself as a roommate problem. Prevention is better than a cure, even when it comes to roommate issues

No-judgement zone

Simpsons Homer in a mental health circle discussing his problems GIF

Try not to judge the way an individual eats, studies, and functions. Once the discomfort sets in, the cold war follows. Try to initiate a no-judgment attitude

Reason with yourself

This seem to be more like "You" problem GIF

Be the bigger person. If a family member or a friend close to you would have made the same mistake that your roommate did, would you have forgiven them? If so, and you’re holding onto a grudge just because it’s your roommate then you need to rectify your attitude.

Avoid blame game

Admitting your fault blunder GIF (roommate problems)

Don’t lay the blames directly on them. Understand that for a positive experience, you all have to work together for it.

Set assertive rules

Dirty dishes on sink GIF (Roommate problems)

Set assertive and realistic house goals. Make it known that somethings must be taken care of no matter what the cause of it is. Dirty dishes, laundry days, garbage disposal and bathroom schedules are examples of must-do’s.

Be direct and honest

I'll be the first to admit GIF

Try to initiate an environment where you make sure to talk your problems out face-to-face. Avoid passive aggressive behaviour that might unnecessarily make the situation bigger than it originally was.

Filter your opinions

keep your opinion doggo (roommate problems)

Sometimes, it’s best to keep our opinions to ourselves and let the other person know to do the same. If you point out a situation or behaviour that isn’t closely related to a problem or is a sensitive topic for the other person and isn’t helping to better any situation, keep it to yourself. Afterall, you don’t want to be too nosey and create more roommate problems.

Don’t think you’ll be best friends

She's roommate not bestie GIF (roommate problems)

There are times when your roommates may become your best friends but that isn’t always the case. Don’t set unrealistic expectations. Most problems come from you expecting too much from an individual. Take a step back if you realize you’re too dependent on them.

Embrace the differences

Respect the Office GIF (Roommate problems)

Every person comes from a different family, culture or even continent. Embrace the differences. Ask and educate yourself when it comes to making opinions on them.

In the end, if you realize you’re trying your best, but are still facing issues dealing with roommate problems, we at IGNITE leave no stone unturned. 

Reach out to the Dispute Resolution Clinic, and maybe we can help you figure out how to go back to peaceful shared living. 


Here’s a skill you can work on in college: Leadership

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