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Common College Roommate Problems

By Meg G.

College roommate problems are bound to happen. Whenever you put two or more people in a confined area, eventually something will happen that will upset one or more of the people. There are a few distinct college roommate problems that are quite common. Knowing about these problems in advance will help you ensure that you and your roommate keep a livable relationship.

Eating Your Food

Chances are that you have to share a fridge with your college roommate. If you go to the store and load up on snacks, you can bet that eventually your roommate will munch on your food without your permission. Your roommate will most likely sneak the snacks when you are not around. Then, when you go to grab your box of Cheez-Its, you will be stunned to find that there aren't any left.

Before you confront your roommate, you need to make sure that you haven't ever munched on your roommate’s snacks without permission. You may not think so, but your roommate will notice just like you noticed. If you are guilty of the same crime, bite your tongue this time. Don't eat your roommate's snacks again, and if your roommate continues to eat yours, tactfully bring the issue up.

Borrowing Things Without Permission

So, you looked in your closet one day for your favorite black turtleneck, only to find out that it's gone. Once you spot your roommate, there she is wearing your turtleneck. You ask her what she is doing and she claims she didn't think you would mind. You are furious.

First, you need to set ground rules with your roommate. Let her know about the things you really don't want her to touch. She isn't a mind reader and she could honestly believe you won't mind—either because she wouldn't mind in the same situation or you never minded in the past.

Inviting People Over Without Asking

You had a long day at work and you are looking forward to lying down in your dorm room and getting a nap. When you arrive, you find that there are five people crammed in your very small dorm room. So much for taking the nap! Don't lose your cool in front of your roommate's guests. It's rude and it's not their fault. Chances are that if they knew you would be home and be tired, they would have preferred to hang out somewhere else.

Once your roommate's guests are gone, talk to your roommate about how you feel. Set some ground rules on when guests are acceptable and not acceptable. Chances are your roommate will be happy, as he won't have to worry about you having someone over when he wants to rest or study.

There are many problems and stumbling blocks that college roommates come across. Open lines of communication and doing unto your roommate as you would like done unto you are the best ways to minimize potential problems.

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