You’ve moved into your new college dorm, and you really hit it off with your roommate. Everything’s going fantastic, until your roommate’s new significant other is spending a wee bit too much time in your 10×12 dorm room. Or your roomie’s late night study habits are conflicting with your sleeping habits.
When you’re living in close quarters, conflicts are bound to arise. Sooner or later, you’ll need to talk about it with your roommate, but it might be harder than you think. Here are 7 things to keep in mind about having that awkward (but necessary) chat.
Speak now or forever hold your peace
Speak up, because the longer you wait, the more frustrated you will be and the more surprised your roommate will be. It’s going be a shock to the system if for the last three months you were a-ok with keeping the TV on all night, but all of a sudden you’re unhappy about it and your roommate doesn’t understand why.
Maybe you’ve been upset about it since day one, but haven’t expressed it until now, so sooner you speak up, the better everyone will be.
Pick your battles
Sometimes little things turn into big things — or add up to big things. As a general rule, let the little stuff, like an over active alarm clock, go. Big things, like excessive noise keeping you up all night, you should bring up.
Timing is everything
If you (or your roommate) are tired, frustrated or otherwise stressed out, it’s not the time to have that talk. The heat of the moment isn’t the time for negotiation either. Wait until you both calm down and are thinking clearly. It might help to ask to sit down with your roommate in advance, instead of springing it on them at the end of a long day.
Do it privately
Don’t do it in front of a friend or significant other, this is between you and your roommate. Don’t let someone else get in the middle, tempting one of you to force your roommate to take sides. But, if you do need an objective third party to mediate, reach out to your RA, not a friend or a significant other.