Student in a room

How to live with a roommate you don’t like.

How to live with a roommate you don’t like was not among the thing I thought about on that warm summer morning when I finally got a letter of acceptance to my college of choice. Excited and happy barely describes how I felt as I prepared to join the college. Part of the excitement was contributed by the fact that I had desired to be away from my strict parents, and going to a college in a remote town seemed like the only solution.

Upon arrival in college, among other things, a room was assigned to me. To my horror, we were to share with some other first-year students. Well, you see to others that wouldn’t be a problem, but to me, it was the worst thing that could happen. I was a self-proclaimed introvert who loved their own space, and as if that wasn’t enough, I was a perfectionist.  My roommate was the worst choice of a roommate, as I would get to learn a couple of days later.

He was talkative, charismatic, irresponsible, and there was nothing I liked about him. On several occasions, we had arguments over the many friends he brought over or over the clothes he left everywhere or over the loud music he often played, and it was exhausting. I would have witched roommates if I could, but it was against dorm policy, so I decided to make lemonade from the lemon handed to me in the form of a roommate. What did I do? I came up with a checklist, and I gave it the title “How to live with a roommate you don’t like,” the list contained the following.

1.Open Communication.

People underestimate the power of clearly stating what you like and what you cannot stand. One evening I sat my roommate down. For an introvert, it took a lot of guts and told him several things that didn’t settle well with me. He got to open up too, and I realized there were several things I also did that he also didn’t like. Instead of picking an argument, it is essential to have conversations like sober adults, something that makes a lot of difference. Give your feelings of disappointment words. It’s the only way your roommate can understand.


Compromise is an undeniable part of life simply because you never really get what you want in life, at least not in the exact way you want it. I came to realize that my perfectionist nature made it hard for me to see and appreciate what my roommate was doing simply because he wasn’t doing it in the way I wanted. Compromise is an important aspect when it comes to living with a roommate, especially the one you don’t like. Try and seething from their perspective and understand that you have been brought up differently; therefore, their way of doing things will most definitely be different. Lack of compromise translates to a lack of amicable coexistence. You should learn to operate within each other’s comfort.

3. Setting Boundaries.

Boundaries are a way of clearly stating thresholds beyond which we will be at the cross with each other. We cannot underestimate the importance of setting boundaries not only in this context but in every relationship we are in. I remember asking my roommate to play loud music over the weekend and during the week to use earphones or headphones because loud music affected my concentration. I also asked him to limit his visitors to three in a week. He also got to communicate his thresholds, and we both tried the purest of intentions only for his actions to be damaging. That is why clearly stating just what you cannot take is essential to living peacefully.

4.Roommate Agreement.

I borrowed this idea from my favourite series, “Big Bang Theory.” One of the actors Sheldon, comes up with a roommate agreement that his roommate has to sign before they start living together. I realized that coming up with a compromise is necessary because it will contain rules that have been agreed upon by the roommates and consequences when violated. The roommate agreement not only upholds but also cements respect between the roommates. Where people connection exists, its easier to live with each other even though you don’t like each other.

In retrospect, the above self-created checklist helped me live with a roommate I didn’t like. I took the initiative to find a solution to a problem that was not going anywhere by merely wishing it away. The above few pointers have helped me live with people that I would have otherwise shunned. This is a must-have checklist for someone who is having a hard time living with anyone you don’t like, especially a roommate. Feel free to use it and add some more causes of action.