As the end of the year roles around, most students are in the process of confirming their housing for the next year. Whether living on or off campus, most students share a residence with another, and while sometimes roommate situations are great, other times, the end of the year can’t come soon enough.
However, sometimes there are the people who are in between: their living situation wasn’t awful, but they definitely would prefer to live with someone else the following year. This is where things can get tricky, because if your roommate isn’t your arch nemesis, it can be difficult to figure out how to talk to them about wanting to live with other people. This is particularly an issue for many freshmen, as they often go into college with the mindset that they are definitely going to live with their first roommate all four years. While this ends up happening for some people, it is more common to end up making different arrangements, even if you have a good relationship with your current roommate. Hopefully, some of these tips will help ease the awkwardness and minimize hurt feelings.
1. Talk about it.
This seems like the most obvious tip I could possibly give, but you would be shocked by how many fellow students I have talked to who decide that the best approach to breaking the news about living with other people is not breaking the news. This complicates things for a few reasons. First, if you do not give your current roommate the courtesy of telling them in advance that you plan to live with other people, they aren’t going to have the opportunity to figure out their own housing situation and find roommates of their own. Second, depending on your school, you may have the option of keeping your housing from year to year, so if your roommate is planning to stay in the same room, not knowing that you won’t be coming back might set them up to a totally random person being placed with them. Put it this way: if you would not want it done to you, absolutely do not do it to them. It gives you bad roommate karma, and nobody needs that.
2. Do not place blame.
There are plenty of reasons why roommate pairings might not work out: different levels of tidiness, sleep
habits, just plain conflicting personalities, and more. Whatever the reason that you are not compatible, there is no reason to throw that in the other persons place. At this point, you have survived almost an entire school year living in the same room, there is absolutely no reason why you cannot maintain a good attitude for the remainder of your time together. Plus, telling them that you do not want to live together because you hate seeing their dirty laundry all the time, really is not going to change their habits at all.
3. Don’t boast about new living arrangements.
It is absolutely fine to be excited about the new living arrangements that you might have scored for the following year, but throwing that in your current roommate’s face is just going to cause more tension. You might be super excited for your new living arrangements, but keep in mind that you still have probably a few more weeks left in your current room. There is no reason to cause issues.
Housing is stressful, and finding the right roommates is both stressful and a delicate balance. However, just because a particular roommate pairing does not go quite as well as you would have hoped, does not mean you cannot maintain a healthy relationship with the person. Honestly, you are living in the same room as the person, and they are probably experiencing the same issues that you are. If you have decided that you would rather live with other people during the following year, they are probably on the same page as you. In the end, even if the discussion about future living arrangements ends up being stressful, it will ultimately be worth it in the end.