Dear Miss Milly,
I was having trouble with my roommate all last semester, and now that it’s the beginning of a new semester I would like to set some boundaries before we get too far along into the semester. I am frequently put in awkward situations when the person they are dating spends the night and although this would be fine every now and then, I wish this wasn’t a daily occurrence. They are also a complete slob. Any advice?
Dear Troubled Roommate,
To overcome any uncomfortable roommate situation, you are going to have to do more than leave a sticky note on the mirror. Initiating conversations may be difficult, but that is the only way to have this problem fixed. Your roommate might not even know how bothersome it is to you. Make sure you clearly and politely address the issues you have.
Start the conversation by asking if there is anything you can do to make the semester easier. Maybe you could help take out the trash more, or clean the dirty dishes in the sink. When it’s your turn, be equipped to state the issue and have suggestions prepared beforehand.
Suggest that his or her significant other only make an appearance on weekends, so you can get sleep during the week. Or maybe they could alternate nights at each other’s place instead of becoming the awkward third roommate. Being flexible and having different options for your roommate and the recurrent nighttime visitor should make them more willing to adjust to your desires.
This works for other roommate quarrels as well. If your roommate is driving you bonkers, try to come up with peaceful ways that you can both improve the living situation, so neither of you are sacrificing too much, but still respect each other’s wishes. You can make an effort to alternate chores and help one another out.
If worst comes to worst and no attempt is made to adhere to your requests, you might have to tough it out for the remainder of the year. Remember, you don’t have to be in your room at all times. There are many study areas available in dorms and apartment complexes.
The first floor of the library is open 24/7, where you can study, relax or eat a snack if you need to escape the confines of your room. You can also spend some hangout time in the DEN, which is open until 10 p.m. with board games, pool, ping pong, massage chairs and multiple televisions.
Remember, pointing out his or her flaws and disrespectful moments won’t get you anywhere. Your roommate could very likely get defensive and lose all desires of being helpful. Instead, having a gracious attitude will make it easier for compromise. Hope this helps!