How to Deal With a Roommate You Don't Like In College

Your Options for Learning to Live Together or Leaving

College roommates
Unfortunately, there's no guarantee when you're paired with someone in college.

Even though the vast majority of college roommate matches end up working out just fine, there are always a few exceptions to every rule. So what happens if you end up not liking your college roommate? Rest assured that there will always be options for you if you and your roommate don't seem to make a good fit.

Addressing the Situation

First and foremost, the issue is going to have to be addressed. You can try to address it yourself by talking with your roommate, or you can go to someone on your hall staff (like your RA) for a little help. They'll listen to the problem and see if it's something that can be worked through and even help you figure out how to talk to your roommate about the issues, with or without a staff member present.

What is it that makes you dislike your roommate? This is an opportunity to learn to resolve conflicts with people who aren't members of your family. Write down a list of what is making it difficult for you to live together and ask your roommate to produce a similar list. You may want to select only the top one to three items to discuss either with each other or assisted by the RA or a mediator.

Often, the things that are irritating you may be ones your roommate can easily modify. You might even come up with proposed solutions and negotiate how to meet in the middle. Unless you will live to solo the rest of your life, it is a good time to develop these skills.

When Conflicts Can't Be Resolved

If your roommate conflict can't be resolved, you'll be able to change roommates. Keep in mind, however, that this can take a little while. A new space will have to be found for one of you. Additionally, it's highly unlikely at most schools that you'll just get to live by yourself if your original roommate situation doesn't work out, so you'll have to wait until another roommate pair wants to switch.

Some schools won't let roommates switch until a certain amount of time (usually a few weeks) has gone by after the semester begins, so there may be a delay if you decide you don't like your roommate early in the year. Just keep in mind that the hall staff wants everyone in the halls to be in the best situation possible, so they'll work with you, in whatever way seems best, to come to a resolution as soon as they can.

Find out the required timelines for switching roommates. While you may think you have irreconcilable differences, you may be able to come up with livable solutions until you are free to make the switch. Don't be surprised if you have worked it out before that day arrives. You will have built new life skills that will be valuable in the coming years.

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Your Citation
Lucier, Kelci Lynn. "How to Deal With a Roommate You Don't Like In College." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Lucier, Kelci Lynn. (2023, April 5). How to Deal With a Roommate You Don't Like In College. Retrieved from Lucier, Kelci Lynn. "How to Deal With a Roommate You Don't Like In College." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 6, 2023).