Sharing a room is hard, especially if you were one of those lucky kids who was never forced to co-habitate with a sibling. If you get to college and discover that your roomie is the exact opposite of the cool, welcoming, friendly human you were expecting to be your best friend and soul mate, remember that this feeling is all too normal. Since dormitories were first invented, mismatched pairs have been living together and hating each other.
But what do you do if you find yourself living with the human incarnation of the devil? Instead of jumping right into exorcism, try some of our less extreme ideas.
Compromise. There has to be a fair balance of give and take, so that no roommate is the “I-get-it-all-my-way” dictator. Compromising prevents the other roommate from feeling belittled and taken advantage of. Related: pick your battles. If getting the bottom bunk is a must because of your all-too real killer Barbie doll nightmares, put up a convincing argument. If you’d prefer not have your roommate coming in late and loud from “studying,” but think you can live with it as long you listen to your iPod, save your words for the next war.
Be yourself. If you are not a party animal and you're living with Ms. Wannabe-Socialite, don’t pretend you’re the next Paris Hilton in an attempt to please her. Be honest about the fact that you're a homebody bookworm whose friends write for the college newspaper. If you give your roommate the wrong impression and aren’t upfront about the kind of person you are, she may assume you enjoy the same things she does—like weird guys passing out on your beanbag, study sessions that involve Four Loko, and ambivalence to proper grammar and punctuation. Right off the bat, let your roomie know in casual conversation that you enjoy reading and get excited about current events. She will come to realize you are a lovable nerd and will likely try not to bug you with her party rocking shenanigans, at least during the school week.
Be nice. Even if your roommate can be irritating, find a way to be sweet. People like nice people, they find them endearing, and they are less likely to do crappy stuff to them them—like leaving pizza in the middle of the floor, or peeing on dishes that have been left in the sink all week. If you know your roommate loves chocolate and you happen to be at Walgreens, pick up your girl a bag of 59-cent M&MS. Little gestures leave lasting impressions, and these good deeds will help your roomie see you in a positive light. Remember, you're not a perfect person either (you never do the dishes!), and living with you probably really sucks at times. So it doesn't hurt to be nice once in a while. However, don't get too sweet and risk your roomate thinking you have a strange crush on her. This may cause awkwardness on the bunk beds front.
How have you been adjusting to living with someone new? Do you really like or hate your roommate? Share below!