What to do if you have roommate problems

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Some students struggle to find a roommate or suitemate that they are compatible with.

By Lindsey Sheen
Copy Editor/Spectator

College is a time for new adventures, socializations and surroundings. Most adults will tell you that your college years will be the best time of your life, the people you meet there will one day be in your wedding and those lifelong friendships will withstand everything.

That may be true; college can definitely be the best time of your life, if you make it that way. New students must learn to adjust to different sleep schedules, classes, food, being away from home and most importantly, people. The toughest modification for most college freshmen may quite honestly be, living with a roommate.

There is a huge amount of people who enter into college at the same time you do. Each person has a unique background that is different than your own. For example, some students may have siblings or could be an only child. Some may have parents who are divorced or who are happily married. Others may have lived with a grandparent their whole life or, unfortunately, could have raised themselves all on their own. Whatever the scenario, the fact is, it’s a huge transition to just up and live with someone new, especially if you have never had a roommate before.

Luckily, there are some tactics that can help if you aren’t having a pleasant encounter with your roommate.  According to an article on Greatist.com, dealing with roommates that are hard to live with such as, “the antisocialist” may be easier to handle than you think.

“Allow the roommate some space, but kindly invite him or her into conversation every once in a while. Try suggesting books, articles or movies you can watch together. But don’t feel rejected if turned down…avoid trash-talking the roommate to your pals,” the website said.

No matter what type of roommate you live with, the night owl, the sex maniac, the dirt bag or even the stress case, there are similar solutions you can use to try to make college a happy time for you.

The nice thing about Edinboro is there are different living setups on campus. There are traditional dorms like Rose and Earp Hall, but there are also eight other residential buildings known as the Highlands. The Highlands are really nice because you can live with up to one or three other people and in certain cases you can still have a room to yourself.

However, just because there are different living arrangements, that doesn’t always mean that situations with your roommate are going to be blissful.

Kaitlin McMahon, a senior at Edinboro, had a rough experience with one roommate in particular when she first transferred here a couple of years ago. Her suite was set up where she had lived with three other girls, but was fortunate enough to have her own room.  There was one girl who she and her other roommates did not get along with.

“She would be up until three in the morning sometimes and would always be so loud and invite people over and basically party all night, while the rest of us were trying to sleep,” McMahon said.

McMahon tried to confront her about it, and when that didn’t work, she would leave her roommate notes, explaining what was bothering her. Unfortunately, her roommate did not seem to care enough to change her ways and her RA did not have a solution for her.

Therefore, McMahon ended up spending as much time out of her room as possible, so she wouldn’t be bothered. Although she did not spend a lot of time in her room, she was still able to focus on her schoolwork, be a part of a sorority and find time to spend with her friends. In the end it all has worked out for her.

Another senior at Edinboro, Marie had a roommate her sophomore year in the Highlands that she struggled to live with. Her roommate was constantly using her belongings without asking. Marie said that she would “kill her with kindness” to try to get her to stop taking what didn’t belong to her. “The best thing to do is to try to confront the person.

Even if talking it out doesn’t solve everything... it’s better than not saying anything at all,” Marie said.

There are additional solutions such as, setting boundaries, trying to see situations from that person’s point of view or just avoiding them at all costs. Nevertheless, always remember college can be the best years of your life, so make it worthwhile and as memorable as can be.

Lindsey Sheen is the copy editor for the Spectator. She can be reached by 814-732-2266