It’s no secret that many students have been the victims of less-than-stellar roommates. Type “awful roommate stories” into any search engine, and you’ll get gems like “stole my underwear,” “had a parrot, didn’t clean his cage or anything else. Resulted in mass roach infestation,” “got a rabbit, but no cage,” “left pizza to rot in the oven” and perhaps most concerning, “tried to kill me with a syringe of morphine.”
While the last scenario is unlikely to happen to your average K-State student, terrible roommates or awkward situations may leave many unsure of how to proceed. Do I avoid him or her? Do I confront directly? Do I continue watching “House of Cards” and pretend like nothing is wrong?
While some roommates may choose the latter, there are some who prefer a confrontational method a la “Game of Thrones.” Instead, other K-Staters have recounted their truly horrifying (and sometimes hilarious) stories and how they solved the issue in a non-violent manner.
Let’s start with the scenarios that are just downright uncomfortable. Darrah Tinkler, senior in psychology, tells this traumatizing tale:
“My roommate … came in late, drunk with a guy and decided to try and get some action, but kept telling her partner to be quiet because she didn’t want to wake me up,” Tinkler said. “I immediately jumped out of bed and left. Soon after, the guy came walking through the lobby where I was sitting, so I went back and told her not to do that again in the morning when she sobered up.”
Tinkler stresses that it’s important to wait until both parties are calm enough to have a conversation.
“It’s a good way to handle that situation,” Tinkler said. “You can’t get all pissed off and react. Just take yourself away from the situation and talk to the person in a neutral conversation.”
Sarah Fudin reinforces Tinkler’s advice in her 2012 Huffington Post article, “How to Deal with Roommate Conflict.”
“Open communication is one of the keys to a successful roommate relationship,” Fundin said. “Let your roommate know your likes and dislikes up front, and be open to hearing theirs. If your roommate does something that bothers you, don’t let things simmer. Small problems can snowball if they aren’t addressed. Friendly communication will keep your roommate relationship on an even keel.”
However, it’s also important to know when a situation isn’t working. Courtney Cox, junior in mass communications, said she knows this all too well. Cox was living with two guys at the time and ended up moving out.
“Being a girl who lives with guys, I thought it would be ‘simpler than living with girls,’” Cox said. “I was wrong.”
According to Cox, this solution is nothing people should feel guilty about.
“I think people should definitely know that moving out is a completely reasonable solution if you’re in a place you don’t want to be in,” she said. “No need to stay because you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or something.”
There is, of course, the chance that the odds are in your favor. You may just luck out after all and have wonderful roommates who are open to communication. Madison Moore, junior in music, said her experience living with others has been very positive.
“I can’t actually think of any conflicts I had,” Moore said. “If we ever had an issue, we all got together to discuss them and resolved them together.”
Whether you’re new to sharing a space or returning to a roommate, fret not. Just keep the lines of communication open, don’t bring Chad from Tinder back with you and avoid the morphine. Few criminal charges are more unexplainable than attempted murder with a loaded syringe.