How to Get Along with Your Roommates

How to get along with roommates

All people are built differently. And everyone likes their own thing. For example, some students like living in a dormitory, others don’t. I belong to the latter. In one of my articles, I shared my experience of dorm life. In general, I didn’t like it there, for a number of reasons, which I described in detail. However, if you are all about to “enjoy college to the fullest” and, in particular, living together with other students, I want to share with you what exactly went wrong in my case and how I think everything should have been organized to make the result positive. So, how to get along with your roommates? Read on to find out.

How to Have a Good Roommate Relationship: Beginning

So, the big question is, “How to get along with roommates.” Well, in my opinion, the main thing in this matter is to approach it with all the delicacy you are capable of. You need to understand that absolutely all dorm residents grew up in different families and homes unless they are siblings. They had their own home-living rules. What seems quite natural to you may be completely new or even strange to your roomie.

At the first meeting, I advise you to try to find out more about your new friend, but don’t be too pushy. If the person doesn’t want to answer some question, don’t start an interrogation; keep your cool. As an option for bonding, I would recommend going somewhere nice and having coffee together. The concept of a “nice place” is also different for everyone, so discuss with the lady where she thinks you should go and find something in between what you and she like.

roommate relationship

Source – Giphy

How to Get Along with Your Roommates: What Went Wrong In My Case

In Japan, it is unacceptable to show disrespect and cross the personal boundaries of another person. One of my first impressions of living in a dorm was the realization that things are different here in America. My roomie was a rather eccentric person. I guess you could call her that. She definitely didn’t ask herself a question: “How to get along with your roommates?”

Let’s just say that when I started to set up our room, she wasn’t around yet. Since I was the first to arrive, I chose my half of the room and began to arrange it. I got hungry in the process and went out to eat, when I came back, I was unpleasantly surprised, to put it mildly. Sarah (fake name) was lying with her shoes on my already made-up bed and going through my Dragon Ball collection. My frustration knew no bounds, for me, this behavior was unacceptable. When I made a point of telling her off, she just burst in laughing at my collection and called it a freak activity.

How to Be a Better Roommate: What I Tried to Become One

Friends with your roommate? That was not my case. Things didn’t go well with Sarah right away. Although I was outraged by her behavior and her mockery of my hobby, I tried to build a relationship with her. I did what I described above and invited her for coffee, but it didn’t work out. All the way to the coffee shop, she made some offensive jokes and generally behaved not very decently, in my opinion. When we had coffee, she said that I had to pay for both of us as a sign of the beginning of our roommate relationship. That was the moment I realized that a conversation with the Residence Hall Director about my relocation was not far off. The mission “how to get along with your roommates” failed.

There’s a saying in Japanese, “ichariba chode.” This can be translated to something like “even though we met only once, we are friends forever.” Unfortunately, in Sarah’s case, this was far from the truth.

How to deal with roommates: Learn from my mistakes

So, what did I do wrong? My new “friend” made it clear right away that she had no plans to build a respectful relationship with me. Sarah could clearly see that I had already started to take over my half of the room, but she decided to climb on my bed with her shoes on. It’s my thing, you know, I can’t stand this. I do not allow myself to do this. Then she took my things without my permission and mocked them. I didn’t make a scene but invited her for coffee instead and spoke to her nicely. People like Sarah take being treated well as a sign that they can do whatever they want, and others will meekly bear their attacks.

So, here are three golden rules on how to deal with inconsiderate roommates (or honestly rude):

  • Don’t try to build a relationship with roommate who is rude, it won’t work.
  • “A tooth for a tooth.” Return politeness with politeness, and put the bullies in their place if they cross your boundaries. Help them understand you’re not the one to mess around.
  • If you can’t handle the situation on your own, ask your dormitory supervisor for help or contact the Dean’s Office.

Setting Boundaries with Roommates: Let Them Know Your Worth

From all of the above, I hope it has become clear to you that setting boundaries when you live with other people is one of the first things you should do. It will save you a lot of nerves, reduce stress, and is generally good for your mental health and mood. Ultimately, this is one of the answers to the question of “How to get along with your roommates?”

How to get along with roommate and how to set roommate boundaries with them:

  • Define personal space and belongings. Plainly define personal boundaries in your shared living area. Make it clear to your roomie that this is your part of the territory and your stuff is only yours. If words don’t work, you can prank them to teach a lesson. For example, if your “friend” doesn’t understand that your cosmetics is yours alone, sacrifice your makeup bag and cover it with something transparent and unpleasant. Believe me, buying a new cosmetic bag is worth the result. Proven by experience.
  • Set silence hours. Agree on quiet hours with a roommate that respect the study and sleep schedules of each of you. This will help maintain a peaceful atmosphere in your living space. If the agreement is broken, you know what to do. An inconsiderate roommate must pay for their time crimes.
how to get along with your roommates

Source – Giphy

  • Assign cleaning duties. Develop a system for dividing up cleaning and housekeeping responsibilities. Establishing clear requirements for cleanliness might be a simple key to a peaceful existence, believe me.
  • How to get along with your roommates: Discuss guests and privacy. Discuss frankly when, who, and how many times a week each of you can invite someone to come over. This is vital to survive in the dorm.
  • Respect individual needs. Be sensitive to the individual needs and habits of your neighbors, except for those that conflict with your own standards of decency and common sense. Sharing the room should be comfortable for both sides.

How to live with a roommate you don’t like: My story

Living with Sarah was not easy at all. We had fights almost every day, either because she ignored the cleaning or because of unexpected guests when I had an exam coming up. What annoyed me the most was that she took my things without asking. My complaints didn’t work, and when I got really tired of it, I pulled a little prank, after which she stopped to use my makeup bag, to my greatest satisfaction.

The trouble “I don’t like my roommate” did not end even after my request for relocation was approved. My new roommate loved to party. And it was even worse because I started falling asleep during lectures. This was the last straw. That’s when I decided to move to a rented apartment and stopped caring about how to get along with your roommates.

How to Deal with a Toxic Roommate

In general, I have fully experienced what it is like to live with a toxic neighbor. I can’t tell that I behaved correctly in every conflict situation. However, I can share with certainty that I was extremely happy to find myself living in an apartment where there was only me afterward.
What can I say about how to deal with toxic roommate? The following rules helped me:

  • Set clear boundaries. As I mentioned earlier, setting boundaries is crucial. Clearly define personal space, belongings, and responsibilities in your shared living area. Be clear about what is acceptable and what is not. Especially clingy roommate must know this.
  • Document incidents in your roommate relationships. Write down any problematic incidents or actions. This can help you get justice if you need to involve the dorm or campus administration.
  • Look for alternative accommodation. If the situation becomes unbearable and negatively impacts your well-being and academic performance, consider looking for another accommodation. Sometimes, only moving to a different location or living off campus can provide peace of mind for you.

How to get along with your roommates? First off, be honest with yourself. If you see that a person is open and respectful, great, start building a relationship. If the situation is the opposite, don’t waste your energy.

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Akari Saito
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Akari is an undergraduate Marketing student in New York. Though born in Tokyo, Akari’s heart belongs to the Big Apple. In her free time, she enjoys drawing anime and cartoons, reading, and learning as much as she can about whatever niche topic she’s interested in at the moment. She never gets tired of enjoying her collection of Dragon Ball characters.
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