Ask Gina: Deal with your roomie

Let’s face it, roommates can be annoying. When living in such close proximity to another person, every little thing they say or do, from the way they snore to the way they crack their knuckles,

Let’s face it, roommates can be annoying. When living in such close proximity to another person, every little thing they say or do, from the way they snore to the way they crack their knuckles, may eventually pinch your every last nerve. Anything and everything can be irritating.

Take it from me, sharing a room is not always smooth-sailing. Depending on the lifestyle of your roommate, it may seem you’re better off living in a dumpster. Other times, you may conclude that living in the same room as them is comparable to living in a brothel.

These are all things that come with the territory. Often you have no choice, especially if you’re a freshman and have been assigned a roommate.

Sometimes the person you get stuck with is the polar opposite of the kind of person you would have chosen. If you’re not patient, a turbulent seven months of eye-rolling and tension can ensue.

Instead of learning to accept their roommate’s differences, many people choose to be intolerant. This spells trouble.

When living with someone who’s different from yourself, you need to expect certain lifestyle differences to arise. Learn to accommodate them the best you can.

You might be a social-butterfly who enjoys going out and attending, let’s say, Enya concerts, while your roommate might prefer staying in and moshing with the wall. It’s OK. You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate, and you don’t have to share the same interests – just compromise.

Sometimes you just feel like locking yourself in the bedroom and enjoying hours of disruption-free aloneness. When sharing a bedroom with someone else, such alone time is hard to come by.

Unless you have a roommate who mysteriously disappears for days on end, don’t count on much time to meditate and don’t get aggravated when they’re always in the room. They have just as much right to be there as you.

In fact, when sharing a room, you have to understand that you’re doing just that – sharing it. Cooperation is essential. Have patience and be understanding of your roommate’s quirkiness – even if they do sleep with a leather blindfold.

This doesn’t mean, however, that you have to compromise your sanity. Confront your roommate when something is bothering you.

Sometimes doing so takes guts, especially if you’re generally not confrontational, but it will help keep you sane and you’ll feel much better afterwards. The last thing you want is for your roommate to think you’re a pushover and take advantage of your lenience. Don’t let them dominate the room. Stand up for yourself.

A common annoyance when sharing a bedroom is when the significant other of your roommate appears to have found a home there and refuses to leave. It seems they’re always there sleeping over or watching your TV.

While you should respect your roommate’s relationship and allow them their deserved privacy, you should never feel obligated to give them alone time in your room. After all, it’s your room too. You have needs. You have things to do, people to IM. It would be unfair for your roommate to expect you to evacuate the room whenever they’re “in the mood.” That’s not your problem.

Speak up if a significant other’s constant presence is bothering you or disrupting your privacy. You didn’t ask for a third roommate, and you shouldn’t be forced to have one.

The roommate experience can either make your life a living hell, or an around-the-clock slumber party.

It’s up to you to make the best out of it and decide whether you’re going to make peace or declare war.

Things might get pretty bad with you and your roommate, but never let it get to the point where you’re not speaking to each other. If it has, then I hate to break it to you, but eventually you have to make peace.

Otherwise, you’ll be miserable. When you’re that miserable, you’re basically letting the other person have control over you. Don’t let that happen. Take the high road and make amends. No matter what the situation, I’ve found it’s always better to have peace with someone.

On a different note, I frowned at the sight of my inbox this past week, which was devoid of any questions in need of advice. Come on, send them in!

I promise they will be completely anonymous. You don’t even have to tell me your name if you don’t want. All you need is a simple question.

Gina Sicilia can be reached at

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