Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Ask Alyssa: Roommate troubles?

Feb. 25, 2015

By Alyssa Kirchen

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”25″ size_format=”px”] What to do if my roommates are not respectful of my space? I don’t want to lose my friends, but I’m going insane. [/typography]


A: Everyone deserves their own space in order to feel comfortable, so if your roommates are taking over it’s only a matter of time before you go insane.

When you’re living with your friends, it seems that it’s perfectly fine to share everything. The mentality of the living situation turns into “what’s yours is mine,” so it becomes very challenging. Sometimes roommates are so close within the relationship and space in the living arrangement, that the lines are blurred of individual needs.

I lived with one of my best friends and a random roommate my freshman year of college, and we thought everything would work perfectly. We lived in a Residence Hall that comfortably fit all three of us, but the problem was all our things were blended together. Our clothes were all in the same place, two of us had to share a desk and it was impossible to figure out whose chargers were whose.

Being a person who likes a little separation between my things and my roommates, I started to go insane. Certain things would be missing when I needed them most. I would run out of laundry detergent faster and it felt like I was the only one cleaning up. I was starting to see myself getting annoyed, and I knew things needed to change. I just didn’t know how to do it.

It was hard in the beginning to say something to my roommates because I didn’t want to hurt their feelings or get into a big argument. I stayed quiet all year long, and that did not help. The space issue came up in other arguments, which made things worse. By the end of the year I was very ready to move out and never live with those girls again.

This situation should never happen between friends. You should be able to talk to them and tell them how you feel. Not everything you say has to be a fight. If you approach it the right way, it will turn out in your favor.

If something is really bothering you, tell your roommates right away. Sit them down in your apartment or Residence Hall together and say exactly what’s on your mind. It’s OK to be blunt and tell them you need your space. They might feel the exact same way you do but were too afraid to bring it up. The main trick is to remember that conversation is not attacking your roommates.

When you talk about how to make things better, don’t focus on all the negative things your roommates do. If you start by saying “well she’s always using all the ink in my printer,” or “he leaves his things everywhere all the time,” the conversation will turn into fighting about who does the worst things.

If you tell them something you appreciate about them first, it will give the conversation a better vibe. Try saying “I am really grateful you helped me do the dishes last week, but I wish you would help do them a little more often.” This way, you are more likely to receive a positive reaction that will cause change.

It’s all about how you say things when you have to have a serious talk with your friends. Your roommates have needs just as much as you do, so when you approach an issue in the correct way, it will make everyone happy.

Not all issues need to be a fight, so remind yourself to stay relaxed and be positive when talking about how to make things better.


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