How To Deal With A Bad College Roommate

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Living with a bad roommate can really ruin your first year at college especially when you don’t have any experience on how to handle it. There are many cases where living habits may clash which results in both roommates not getting along.

Here are some advice for you if you’re stuck in a bad roommate situation.


Living with their bad habits

Sometimes your roommate may have habits that bother you such as not cleaning their side of the room, playing loud music while you’re trying to study or sleep, or a variety of other things.

The first step in solving a problem is to be straight forward with your roommate and tell them what is bothering you. It’s okay to say, “Hey I know you love that music, but would you mind using your headphones when I’m studying. I like listening to it too sometimes, but I have trouble reading when there’s noise in the background.”

If your roommate is reasonable, he or she should kindly respect your request. This goes for any disturbance they may be causing.

Ask your RA for help

If they do not follow up with their promise or don’t agree at all in the first place, it may be a good idea to get an outside person involved. Your dorm or floor’s RA is the best person to ask.

RAs are prepared for countless situations that occur in the dorm environment. Even if your problem is weird, don’t worry about it: they’ve seen it all.

If the RA is unavailable, the school will frequently have a fully staffed call center for students to call with any campus related emergencies or housing problems.


Dealing with drugs or alcohol

Things can get a bit sticky if the problem you’re having with your roommate involves drugs or alcohol. You can find yourself in a predicament because you don’t exactly want to get them in trouble (or be the one who told on them), but you simply can’t deal with it. Some drinking is expected in a college environment.

If you are against underage drinking, this may be a time to keep it to yourself. It’s definitely a good idea to express your feelings to your roommate so he or she is aware of this fact (and hopefully they will respect you by not teasing you or drinking right in front of you).

However, if your roommate is continually coming back wasted and throwing up on your dorm room floor, it may be time to get some help.

If you try confronting your roommate first, but it continues to happen, it’s a good idea to involve your RA. They may not be able to fix your problem, but they will have the best advice you can get.

If your roommate troubles involve drug use, don’t be afraid to step in. Drugs are illegal and you can get in trouble if they are found in your room, even if they are not yours. You should be aware of your school’s specific drug policy and confront your roommate.


Even though your confrontation may not result in his or her new-found sobriety, you may convince them to keep their drug and corresponding paraphernalia out of the room. If the conversation with your roommate does not go well, talk to your RA.

Don’t worry if you think you’re being a pain for coming to your RA with all these problems and questions; their job is to help you.

Living with a weird roommate

If your roommate is simply weird to you, there’s not much you can do. If you think they act weird, eat strange food, dress in bizarre attire, or promote peculiar events or causes, there’s not much you can do.

The only thing we could suggest is to make other friends and avoid hanging out in your room unless you’re sleeping or studying. Just because he or she is your roommate doesn’t make them your best friend.

If you struggle making friends, it might be a good idea to join a club or intramural sports team. Activities will be fun and keep you away from your crazy roommate.

About The Author

Stanley Tan

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Stanley Tan works at OwlGuru. His job is to help teenagers and adults find a career they love. In his spare time he likes to read entrepreneurial books and work on his marine aquarium.

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