Top 6 Most Common Roommate Problems

For those students who are use to having their own living space, moving on campus and living with a roommate will be a big adjustment. In this post, I’ll share the top 6 most common roommate problems.

After reading this post, you’ll be better equipped to be a good roommate and have a heads up on what you could potentially experience with your own roommate.

  • 1. Taking belonging without permission.

“I have a date tonight, but I don’t have anything to wear…hmmm…let me check my roommate’s closet and see what she has…I’ll just borrow this shirt, she won’t miss it.”

You return from your date and your roommate is starring you down and this is where the drama begins…

If you want to borrow something that belongs to your roommate, just ask.  I know it can be tempting, but don’t take things that don’t belong to you.  Having respect for your roommate and his or her belonging is essential to maintaining a good relationship.

  • 2. Eating your roommate’s food.

“I’m so hungry…I’ll just take one of my roommate’s granola bars…she won’t even notice it’s gone. After all, her mom brings her more groceries every couple weeks.”

Your roommate begins to notice that her food is disappearing and she confronts you about it…this is where the fighting begins…

Again, don’t take things without asking.  It’s not polite and it can lead to unnecessary roommate drama.

  • 3. Messy living habits.

So you like to live in filth, or maybe you just believe in organized chaos…whatever the case may be…you have a roommate now, so it’s not just your room anymore.  In fact, your filth or “organized chaos” may be driving your roommate crazy!

In order to avoid any problems with your roommate, try your best to keep your side of the room organized.

  • 4. Personal hygiene issues.

I’m sure you get the point here…make sure you stay on top of your own personal hygiene and wash your clothes on a regular basis.

If you happen to get a roommate who has cultural beliefs that may impact personal hygiene, your best bet might be to switch roommates.

  • 5. Not respecting personal space.

I get it, dorm rooms are small…so it can be hard to keep all of your belongings contained to one side of the room, but you have to.  Your roommate has the same amount of space as you do, so it’s important that you both respect each other’s personal space.

That’s also why it’s important not to over pack…there’s just simply not enough room for you to bring everything that you own with you.

  • 6. Unwillingness to compromise.

You like loud music; your roommate hates loud music.

You’re a night owl; your roommate has 8am classes.

You like organized chaos; your roommate is a neat freak.

You’re a party animal; your roommate rarely goes out.

And the list goes on and on and on…

Everyone is different, so you’ll have to learn to compromise and embrace your roommate’s differences.  Those who are willing to compromise can usually withstand all of these differences.

You must set boundaries early on…

If you notice that your roommate is showing signs of any of the above behaviors, you must address this with him or her immediately to avoid permanently damaging the relationship.

It’s important to set boundaries early on in the relationship, so that you are both clear on each other’s expectations.  Taking this approach will help you nip smaller issues in the bud before they become big problems.

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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