The best way to Assist Your Teen Survive a Dangerous Faculty Roommate Scenario

After the emotional blur of freshman 12 months, we felt assured as we ready for my daughter Emily’s sophomore 12 months drop-off. We by no means anticipated that she would expertise roommate points as a seasoned sophomore. That drama was for freshmen, proper? And, provided that my daughter (an solely youngster) had survived freshman 12 months in a pressured triple, the place they barely had room for 3 beds, how may the residing state of affairs NOT get higher?

On the floor, the residing state of affairs appeared supreme. Emily’s new roommate was one among her closest buddies from freshman 12 months, Sarah. The 2 would stay in a double room that was a digital palace in comparison with the microscopic, charmless cell Emily inhabited freshman 12 months. Emily was additionally in a more recent dorm throughout the road from most of her lessons — one other bonus.

Over the summer season, Emily and Sarah fortunately collaborated on adorning the room and who was bringing what snacks. Throughout move-in, the 2 ladies had been uber-productive of their first few hours, instantly altering the room format to maximise storage. We snapped pictures, congratulating the women on their creativity.

My daughter’s room was subsequent to the RA’s room on the ground (we thought this was nice; my daughter was not so happy). As we drove house after dropping Emily off, we had been relieved that at the very least all was nicely on the dorm entrance.

What may presumably go mistaken with such a set-up?

Think about my shock when my daughter texted me just a few months later to say she “hated Sarah” and wanted to vary roommates ASAP. I by no means did study precisely what occurred and why issues deteriorated so shortly from what had appeared to be the mannequin roommate state of affairs.

It may be a mistake to imagine {that a} good buddy could make an excellent roommate. (Twenty20 @criene)


Definitely, one among school college students’ greatest errors is anticipating their finest buddy to be an excellent school roommate. Simply because somebody makes an excellent buddy doesn’t imply they may make an excellent roommate. As a result of Emily and Sarah had been already buddies, that they had excessive expectations, which can have set them up for failure. No matter what led to the connection’s disintegration, altering roommates was not an choice, so the 2 needed to grit it out for the remainder of the 12 months.

Surviving a nasty school roommate state of affairs

1. Don’t be passive-aggressive

In different phrases, if there’s a battle, handle it, don’t simply make snarky aspect feedback. Based on my daughter, each roommates had been responsible of this sin. As a substitute of articulating what was bothering them, reminiscent of open Tupperware containers or moist towels on the ground, they resorted to snippy notes and texts.

As a result of teenagers grew up with digital communications, it’s particularly arduous for them to handle confrontation face-to-face. And, it may be scary in such shut quarters. In the end, whereas my daughter dreaded these in-person conversations, she discovered they successfully cleared the air. It was simpler to be well mannered, wanting Sarah within the eye, somewhat than firing off an emotional textual content with out pondering via the ramifications. Living with a roommate by definition, means it’s not inconvenient to take a seat down and have face-to-face conversations.

2. Get some house

Whereas this appears apparent, discovering a “secure house” to go versus always hanging out within the room collectively is one other choice to lower pressure. In some circumstances, it was the library (in accordance with my daughter — ha) — definitely, in different circumstances, it was the room of a trusted buddy on one other flooring.

As a result of Emily and Sarah shared among the similar buddies, they discovered it awkward to have them within the room as tensions escalated. If Sarah walked in to search out Emily and Sophia collectively, she felt that Sophia was taking Emily’s aspect. Sadly, a few the “shared buddies” inevitably took sides or ended up melting away. In the end Emily and Sarah defaulted to assembly “shared buddies” outdoors the room to reduce harm emotions.

3. Respect

All of us have heard tales concerning the psycho roommate from hell who moved her boyfriend within the first week and primarily turned the room right into a love palace. Or the roommate who was soiled and missing in hygiene. Neither Emily nor Sarah dedicated such egregious crimes. Fairly the behaviors they complained about had been “being loud within the morning,” “crunching chips after I was attempting to sleep,” or “ignoring my hi there after I got here via the door.”

The 2 lastly needed to conform to respect one another’s routines even when they didn’t mesh. And Emily and Sarah additionally agreed that if both was having a nasty day or didn’t wish to discuss, as an alternative of ignoring a greeting, they needed to say, “I’m not in a temper to speak proper now, thanks.” And, they deemed a civil “hi there” or “bye” necessary.

4. Clear-up

My daughter, Emily, was the responsible celebration right here. Emily didn’t see garments on the ground or what she characterised as random gadgets misplaced, as a problem. However Sarah did — my daughter’s litter and messiness ratcheted up her nervousness, prompting her to wish to throw something and every little thing on my daughter’s mattress as a message.

My daughter didn’t reply nicely to what she characterised as Sarah’s nagging, and Sarah didn’t wish to be the maid. Sarah by no means felt comfy with Emily’s piles, however they at the very least agreed that Emily would preserve her piles on her aspect of the room.

And, only a notice on the RA who lived subsequent door. When Emily first reported experiencing issues, I urged her to ask the RA for steerage. Whereas Emily initially resisted what she noticed as “tattling,” the RA approached them after being tipped off the women weren’t getting alongside. The RA recommended they make a “roommate contract,” which even the most effective of roommates typically do to preclude conflicts sooner or later. Emily and Sarah by no means really wrote down their new “guidelines of engagement” however at the very least had been capable of agree verbally on some primary tenets, which included compromises on either side.

I’d prefer to say that the 2 patched up their friendship by the top of the 12 months and realized they may nonetheless be buddies, though not roommates. Sadly, that was not the case. Their move-out interactions had been civil, if barely strained. I’m grateful the women had been at the very least mature sufficient to outlive the 12 months, figuring out that they had to determine a approach to coexist with their dignity and sanity intact peacefully.

Reflecting on the 12 months, my daughter realized that the hard-earned classes she realized concerning the worth of communication, mutual respect, and addressing battle in particular person would serve her nicely sooner or later.

The writer of this submit needs to stay nameless.

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Our names are Fareedah and Kamilah Amoo. We are seven and five year’s old sisters and live in Ontario, Canada, with our parents and little brother, Awad. We love writing stories, painting on canva, coding, reading books, and enjoying arts and crafts. Our goal is to motivate every child worldwide to read more books.

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