Here’s some free wisdom: You don’t have to be best friends with your college roommate. You don’t have to go to the dining hall together, or go to parties together every Friday night, or even send each other memes. Sure, if you and your roommate become buddies, that’s great–assuming everything stays solid between you two–but there’s something more important than finding friendship in a roomie. Civility is what’s really important, because when you and your roommate are civil with each other–relatively friendly, open to chatting, able to have conversations about tidying up, generally respectful–you’re golden.
But whether you and your roommate get off on the right foot or just don’t jive with each other at all, there’s a phenomenon that can be really hard to avoid: Roommate drama. Of course, if you and your roomie aren’t cool with each other, the drama can get really bad really quickly; but even roommates who start off strong can watch their burgeoning friendship fizzle away when conflict isn’t handled properly. If you and your roommate are going through some tense times–they never do their dishes, they’re having hookups without letting you know, they leave food all over the place–then you need some advice on what NOT to do. So, before you decide to cut your roomie’s hair off when she’s sleeping, here are eight things you should never do when there’s drama between you and your roommate. Fighting with roommates is hard, but doing these things will just make everything a lot worse, trust me.
Assuming They're Doing All Of These Annoying Things Because They Don't CareYou might think that your roommate isn’t cleaning up after herself because she’s an inconsiderate slob. Maybe she’s just neglecting to do those things because she’s going through some serious depression right now. Maybe your roomie has friends over constantly because she’s incredibly homesick. Maybe they’re going through a bad break up? Maybe your roommate grew up just leaving dishes in the sink and doesn’t really know any better. Maybe your roommate just doesn’t realize that having her clothes on the floor drives you crazy. Honestly, don’t immediately assume the worst. Take the time to gauge your roomie’s behavior and what it might stem from. If you think something is off, ask her what’s up. If she’s actually just a little aloof, be a little firm without getting too heated. Legally Blonde
Leaving Irritated Notes For Your RoommateYou might think that this is a good way to get your message across without having to be confrontational. I get it, the prospect of giving your roommate a lecture is really awkward, but this only works in theory. In practice? It comes across as passive aggressive and cowardly. Yes, even the funniest notes that end up in viral roundups are annoying to actually deal with IRL. Grow up and say, “Hey, can we talk for a second?” Use your vocal chords to do the talking, not a sticky note on the fridge. Pleated Jeans
Copying All The Annoying Things Your Roomie Does To Make A PointDon’t try any of this “an eye for an eye” nonsense. Okay, so stealing your roommate’s snacks after they stole yours might get your point across, but it can also just escalate the tension between the two of you. Inviting someone over for a hook up without asking your roommate first after they did the same thing to you a couple of weeks ago just looks petty. And deciding not to do your dishes in protest just because your roommate neglected to do theirs makes you look like a jerk who stooped to your roomie’s level. Again, your roommate might catch on to the fact that you’re making a point, but this isn’t going to result in any long term fixes; it’ll just build resentment. Clueless
RevengeI know, you've had it up to HERE with your roomie's BS. But don’t let the drama get to a point where you’re meticulously plotting your revenge against your roommate. Like, don’t try to get you roommate expelled over a bottle of her vodka that you know she keeps under her bed just because she’s really bad at cleaning up behind herself. It might drive you crazy, but being a rat isn’t the smart way to go about things, especially if you haven’t even taken the time to have a serious one on one conversation about her bad habits Daria
Giving Them The Silent TreatmentThis might have worked on your parents when you were five, or maybe on bae when you had a fight. But with a roommate? It comes across as immature and confusing. Your roommate might be driving you crazy with their sloppy ways, but maybe they don’t realize it. Maybe the only way they can change is if you, you know, open your damn mouth. Otherwise, the drama is just going to mount. My Mad Fat Diary
Assume That Everything Will Sort Itself OutThere’s being passive aggressive, there’s being straight up aggressive, and there’s being a doormat. You can’t just figure that your roommate will magically stop throwing her clothes all over the room, or that your roommate will stop leaving opened food out for pests to find. Sometimes, they need some tough love and a serious reality check, not the benefit of the doubt. Some Girls
Complaining To An RA Or Your College's Housing Director Before Talking To Your RoommateI assure you that this will be a waste of your time. The first thing your RA is going to do is ask if you’ve talked to your roommate about your gripes. If you say you haven’t, they’re going to implore that you do so before moving forward with any disciplinary actions or assigning a room change. Have a roommate meeting and air your grievances. I’m talking an actual conversation, not a, “Oh, um, can you toss your empty bag of cookies?” in passing on your way to biology class. Freaks And Geeks
Thinking That You're The Perfect RoommateSo, while you’re whining to everyone with ears about how much of a nightmare your roommate is, have you taken the time to wonder if you might be exhibiting some problematic behavior of your own? Okay, so she leaves her dishes in the sink, but are you guilty of stealing some of your roommie’s snacks, or leaving the room looking like a tornado hit it? Maybe your roommate has some gripes of her own about you but hasn't said anything yet. A little self-examination doesn’t hurt. It took me a while to realize that as much as one of my roommates once upon a time drove me up the wall, I pulled some questionable stunts myself. Being able to critique ourselves is a sign of maturity, so take a minute to see if you have what it takes to chip away at your own ego. Fresh Meat
Have you ever dealt with roommate drama? How did you respond to it. Were YOU the roommate that was causing trouble? Tell us in the comments!