The ultimate guide to minimizing common roommate issues

Are you ready to move out of your parents’ home to attend university? It must be exciting since you will leave your hometown and live on your own. For this reason, you should find movers in Columbia MD to help with relocating all of your beloved items. However, most students prefer to share their living space with a roommate. It is a good way to save money on rent and avoid loneliness. In addition to this, a large number of students opt for living in a dorm where they have no choice but to live with a roommate. When two people share a space, problems are bound to happen. For this reason, here is the ultimate guide to minimizing common roommate issues. 

Prepare yourself to live with a roommate 

Here are some aspects of a shared life that you should think of before looking for and moving into an apartment or a dorm. 

  • Adjust your expectations – having a roommate can be the best experience of your college years. However, sometimes two people can be so different that it becomes difficult for them to live together. For this reason, adjust your expectations as your roommate might not be your next best friend. 
  • Be realistic – since you will share your living space with another person, try to think about their needs as well. Therefore, you need to be realistic and prepare for a different lifestyle.  
  • Prioritize – as mentioned before, you will not be able to lead the same lifestyle as before. You will have to change some of your habits. For this reason, learn how to compromise. 
two smiling women in woods
Your roommate can be your new best friend

Solve common roommate issues by not ignoring problems  

You are not going to solve common roommate issues by avoiding problems. You will just make it even worse. For this reason, you should deal with any issues when they first appear. In addition to this, in order to minimize roommate issues, consider writing a roommate contract. Organize a meeting and both sides should list their wishes and complaints. Based on these points, write down a contract that will satisfy both needs. These points should include noise level, cleaning schedule, guests, alcohol, personal belongings, etc. If your room is messy, then discuss your options. Maybe you both can rent storage Baltimore together or leave some items at home. If you discuss these topics early on, you will be able to prevent these problems from happening later. 

What to do when conflicts happen 

Roommate issues are going to happen. It is almost impossible to avoid them. For this reason, here is what you should do in order to solve them. 

  • Be prepared to negotiate – again you should not be stubborn, but ready to negotiate. Solving common roommate issues is a collaborative effort. Do not be offended nor you should attack your roommate, but rather, settle your problems peacefully. It is important not to cause a huge argument as any roommate issue is easy to solve. 
  • Define the problem – when you want to confront your roommate issues, do not generalize. You should be specific about your complaints. Maybe the problem is not that big as you first thought. In addition to this, your roommate will know exactly what the problem is. If you are defining the problem ambiguously, then your roommate might not understand what the problem is. 
two girls sitting on swing
Talk to your roommate about the problems

Solve common roommate issues by talking to residence staff 

College life is stressful because of all the exams, papers, assignments, etc. For this reason, it is important to reduce the level of stress in your life. This means, do not engage in fights with your roommate. It is normal that your roommate will have some habits that can upset you. However, this does not mean you should confront your roommate while being upset. For this reason, you should cool off before discussing the problem. In addition to this, if you see that you cannot reach the agreement, work with residence staff. The staff members are trained to help students with their problems. Lastly, it is important to know when to give up. If you see that your roommate has no intention of changing their habits, then ask for another room. 

The benefits of conflicts 

Usually, people believe that conflicts cannot be a good thing. In some aspects they are right. However, when you are a student, common roommate issues might teach you some valuable lessons. For example, you can improve your communication skills. You can learn how to communicate in order to solve your problems. Next, you can change your values. Maybe you can become more objective and emphatic, and less selfish. In addition to this, you can also learn how to negotiate and compromise. These two skills are extremely important to have. For this reason, when you are sharing a room with a person you do not know, you will have to learn how to compromise and negotiate. You should not stubbornly insist on doing things your way since you are sharing a room with your roommate. Therefore, they also have the right to decorate their space the way they want.  

three girls talking about common roommate issues
Learn how to communicate in order to be friends with your roommates

List of common roommate issues 

If you are about to move into a dorm, here are some common roommate issues you can expect. 

  • Messy roommate – more often than not, you can end up with a roommate that does not care too much about the cleaning schedule. Either try to talk to them or ask to change the room. 
  • Taking without asking – it is unacceptable to take someone’s stuff without asking. Again, talk to your roommate and set some boundaries 
  • Splitting up costs – you can either share costs or you can buy food and toiletries only for yourself.  
  • The “third roommate” – it is lovely to be in a relationship. However, it is not nice to have your partner over all the time. Again, talk to your roommate or file a formal complaint. 
  • Noise complaints – your room should be a place where you can relax and rest. For this reason, either try to solve the noise problem by communication or file a complaint.