Learning to Live with a Troublesome Roommate - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Campus Life Everyday Living
January 25, 2018

Learning to Live with a Troublesome Roommate

For most new resident students, living with another person, in many cases a complete stranger, can be worrisome. For some students, these worries are alleviated quickly as they love their new roomie or as they find ways to get along with them. On the other hand… some students experience quite the opposite.

There are many reasons why two roommates may not get along, and it is important to understand what these reasons may be and how to appropriately handle such reasons.

  1. Why Are There Problems?

Every problem has a cause, and in most cases every problem has a solution. If you find yourself feeling negatively towards your new roommate, ask yourself why this might be. Think about specific incidences in which you have struggled with your new roommate, it is good to find the root of your problems. Be open to the idea that you might be the problem; pray for clarity to see the truth.

  1. Assess The Problem(s)

If you have indicated to yourself that there is one or more issues with your roommate situation, now you should take a better look at these issues. Are the problems you are facing with your roommate large problems or maybe just simple misunderstandings? Figuring out the severity of the situation is the best way to know how to handle it. You need patience while you analyze the situation.

  1. Involve Your Roommate

After you have thought things over, it is a good idea to involve your roommate in the problem-solving equation. Allow your roommate to know if you have any concerns with their behavior, attitude or any other issues. You should do this in a calm and non-aggressive way so as not to magnify and increase any problems. You should also encourage your roommate to voice their opinion on the situation, as well. When you do this, heap on an extra dose of personal humility and speak the truth in love.

  1. Create a Roommate “Code of Conduct”

After having the chance to speak with your roommate about any issues, it would be a great idea to try to prevent future problems. Creating a roommate “code of conduct” is a good method. You and your roommate can create a list of acceptable and less acceptable conduct or behavior in your room so that you can get along much more smoothly. Here's where you need to muster up all the grace you can, remembering how much God has forgiven us for our many transgressions.

Handle your roommate from a Christian perspective. Be honest, direct, humble and graceful. Always seek reconciliation. And do all of this in love. Follow the four steps above and things should work out.

If for any reason you find your situation with your roommate to be very detrimental to you personally or unable to be fixed, it is advisable to speak to your resident advisor (RA) or resident director (RD). If neither is available, you can contact the Residence Life department on your campus. Here at Geneva College, you can find contact information here: https://www.geneva.edu/residence-life/

Residence life is an important aspect of the Geneva College mission; it helps build community and teaches relationship skills. Learn more about Geneva and what it’s like to live and study in a Christ-centered academic community by contacting Admissions at admissions@geneva.edu | 800.847.8255.

- Jacob Yarnell ‘19