General chatter - Roommate Issues - College (long read)

10-10-2008, 06:58 PM
Okay.. So this is my second year in college and upper-classmen get updated to a smaller suite. So I'm in a suite with 2 bedrooms, a living room, kitchen and bathroom. It's really nice, and there's 2 people to a room. Now.. one of the girls from the other room used to be suitemates with my roommate last year (they planned it like that).
She's never around, and she's super-nice and also very free with her food and things.. and her roommate is also rarely around but not as free with her food (we don't know her that well actually, she just got placed into the suite a few weeks ago).
My roommate though, at first she was cool, she went to bed early, would tell me before she had people over.. well maybe the first few days. Then.. she started having sleepovers, including her family! My boyfriend was over and we had gone out, only to come back to a note that said "my brothers are here, don't let them out, I'll be back at 11" - mind you, we were out til 3 am (ugh, visiting a friend at Columbia University, the travel time was awful), so that means she did not come back at 11 b/c the note was still posted for us. We came back to seeing her little brothers just sleeping on the couches while she was at someone else's suite watching movies!
That was one thing... I mean, don't bring your younger brothers along if you aren't going to watch them! We're not there to babysit. Then the next day, she took them to a parade and apparently lost the older one who was pissed at her, so she leaves a six year old in the suite without telling us for a few hours - My boyfriend and I really wanted to go out but we couldn't b/c how could we leave a kid alone and unsupervised?
Second - She's SO LOUD! She installed a phone in the suite which has a LOUD ringer, and it goes off constantly. It'll go off at 8 Am, wake the both of us up, and without any regard to her sleeping roommate, she'll start talking in the room LOUDLY... she could just go out into the living room! OMG, I remember waking up because she was calling my name and I ignored her, I asked her about it later and she said "Oh, I thought to see if you were awake so I could ask you to borrow lotion" - uhh.. HELLO.. you woke me up!
And another time, I was very sick and my boyfriend was taking care of me, and of course I ended up not getting enough s leep b/c she stays up whenever she has guests, and through my sleep I heard my boyfriend telling them (her exboyfriend and his best friend, don't ask me why they were BOTH sleeping over) that if anyone tries to wake me up he's going to throw em out a window b/c she's sick and needs to sleep.. So obviously it's not an issue for her to wake people up..
She had a guy over (not doing anything like that..) and I needed to sleep, so she went into the living room with him. She was on the phone the whole time that he was over, talking really loud! So I'm in my room and I still hear her very loudly and then the TV is on. I ask them to turn it down a little, but of course, her voice keeps me up. I end up putting in headphones as an alternative to earplugs (I really need to buy earplugs ASAP!). And then, if she's up earlier than me, she'll walk in and out of the room a LOT and close the door each time, enough to wake me up, and then I gotta hear the drawers opening and closing which is also loud, and sometimes I gotta wake up to her talking on her phone in the room!
It's so annoying!
Third - I understand that the other suitemate that is never around, is fine with her using her stuff and borrowing her food, and I'll admit my boy friend and borrowed a few items of food from her but we replaced them asap and let her know/asked as well.. but my roommate thinks she can just pull out my spoons and forks and bowl whenever she has guests over or something.
First, the other girl has many more spoons and forks and knives, plates and bowls than I do, I have enough for one person, second, you asked me once to use a fork and I said "ok" thinking that well its the beginning of the year, she'll buy herself forks and bowls.. we live around many cheap stores that you can buy them from and she knows this town well, yet she still sticks to using cheap plastic bowls (I'm talking reused chinese take-out bowls). She has enough money to get those things too, I know that for a fact.
It's annoying. It's also annoying to open your cabinets to pull out black pepper and see that it's fully open (I never do that, so it's gotta be her).
She also had her mom and boyfriend sleep over in the living room without even telling me.
And when my boyfriend and I were over we had the courtesy to pull the bed out into the living room and leave her her space but she would wake up and be SOO loud getting ready, slamming the doors, turning the light on, talking..
She's a nice girl, but she's SOO oblivious, it's annoying. And yes I would listen to her relationship problems for a while, but when you see that I'm doing something.. or better yet, watching a movie with my boyfriend, why would you interrupt and start talking to us about your relationship problems yet again?! And she knows I'm in a L-D relationship so the time I spend with him is one I really want to spend with him..
I don't know. I'm a very non-confrontational person, and the item-sharing didn't bother me at first b/c I didn't think she'd keep doing that, especially without telling me, it's really the sleep thing that irks me! I need my sleep to function! I can't study for midterms and not get enough sleep, I feel like a zombie.
I don't know what to say, she's soo oblivious too, it's not even that she does this knowingly.. I want to say something but I don't know what! She thinks I'm like the greatest roommate ever but her loudness is really getting in the way.
I'm not sure what to do.. I know I'm being too nice but at first, it wasn't an issue, boundaries seemed to be known, but now it's not!

10-10-2008, 07:19 PM
Time to get your RA involved. Leaving a six year old unattended is not good for anyone involved.

As for the other things, I'd suggest that all four of you get together and discuss what is bother you as you are probably not alone. Don't make it a total b**ch session--be sure to add compliments here and there!

10-10-2008, 07:21 PM
rooming with people you don't know can be tough....really tough....

Definitely bring it up now or it's just going to swell into something worse.

Just casually mention things like "hey, I know your friends like to call early in the morning, which is fine...but it usually wakes me up. If you could just put the ringer on a lower tone and go into the living room to talk, it would be much appreciated"

Or "Hey, I noticed you were using my plates/bowls/forks/etc. It isn't really a big deal, but I only have enough for one person and there are times that I want to use them and I cannot because they are dirty. Would it be possible for you to buy some paper plates or cheapy plates at Target (it would be awesome if you could mention something like "Hey, I just saw the cutest set of melamine plates at Target for 50% off...we could go look at them if you wanted")

If she truly is oblivious, she'll probably feel bad about not getting the picture sooner. Just remember to be nice and non-confrontational and everything will be fine.

Of course, if she isn't receptive...there is always spring semester and requests for room changes ;)

10-10-2008, 07:36 PM
Yeah you guys are both right. The six year old thing happened about a month ago so idk if I should mention anything yet, but if she brings them over again I will mention it to her.
I just talked to another suitemate, not about the all of that, but about dirt and specks on the floor that needs mopping. It's been there since her mother and boyfriend was over, and then there's syrup on the floor from her. I was debating whether or not to clean it b/c when I had my boyfriend over, we made sure to clean up after ourselves (actually I still do) and that includes wiping down the countertop and sweeping.. But this is gross. I mean, honestly speaking, we are all aware of the mess we make, including spots on the ground from food or whatnot. My suitemate told me to just leave it and tell her, and if I wasn't feeling comfortable about it that she would for me.
So I've decided to tell her, problem is I'm going home and she's staying at her friend's all day.. so I won't get a chance to speak to her about everything.
For now I'm sending her an e-mail about the syrup and stuff..

Yeah, I need to talk to her about everything before it gets worse and worse, the sooner the better...
We do need to sit down for a cleaning schedule, so I guess we should get all that out in the open. . I am going to talk to her asap though, before it gets worse and worse.. and more of the norm.

Thanks for the advice~!

10-10-2008, 07:41 PM
Oh... my God.

I think I just re-lived my first semester of college :(

Your roommate sounds a lot like my old suitemate, except my suitemate was a total mental case. She had psychotic episodes and did things I won't even get into detail here... She had been ok'd to live in the dorms only because it was assumed she would take her meds. Well, she never took her meds. It was completely traumatic. She too was loud- slamming doors, talked at a loud volume all the time and had no concept of personal space or property. It SUCKED.

Let me tell you something about RA's. They really are limited as to the clout they have over these situations. They can't simply tell someone that they are the problem so the "group discussion" only does so much good. I know with my psycho roommate, all of us had to leave. That's simply how it worked. By the end of the semester she had a whole suite all to herself.

I've noticed with people like that, they are truly oblivious to the fact that they are loud and wouldn't believe it if you told them (not to mention the fact that she sounds totally self-absorbed). To her, she's simply opening her drawers, trying to get dressed for the day. You can't expect her to walk on eggshells, right? (i'm only saying this because this is what she may say).

However, it may be worth it to talk to your RA to have a house meeting to discuss boundaries and general rules. They have been schooled to mediate these things so that no one feels blamed. I personally don't think you will get anywhere regarding her noise, but you need to put some rules into place regarding visitors and overnight guests and personal property that everyone obeys. It is simply not fair for you to have to share your living space with random people who aren't your roommate.

Hopefully, once the rules are implemented she'll realize that she isn't the only one in the suite.

I know how tough it is in that situation and it can make your life so stressful when you don't have peace where you live. You NEED to feel like your home is your safe place and if it's not, you need to see if there are any other rooms open. I switched rooms towards the end of the semester and it made all the difference in the world!

10-11-2008, 11:53 AM
My daughter who is in her first semester is in a similar situation. Three suite mates with her and it is apartment style (although they each have their own rooms). My DD brought cooking implements and dishes--another brought baking implements. They all share (due to limited space). My DD was upset that she was the one who was always cleaning up. She'd come home to a sink full of dirty dishes and a dishwasher that needed to be run. She'd have to do all this before she could cook for herself.

She also had one suite mate who refused to talk to anyone for weeks at a time and then would barge in barking orders.

She had one suite mate who would begin a project, get upset that it wasn't working correctly, and run home (seriously--HOME) leaving the mess in the living room. One time it was a bookshelf--she left all the screws and things all over the floor. She didn't come back for two days. The other girls picked it all up and stacked it at her door so she'd have to clean it up before she could get in her room.

I'm sure there was more but these were the biggest problem.

My DD did go to the RA to talk it over with her. I understand they are limited in what they can do, BUT they can hold a mediation. If just the suite mates got together, they might fight and feelings would be hurt. The RA could act as a mediator to get them all to understand what the problems were and help them work out a solution. It did work for them.

10-13-2008, 06:49 PM
Ohhhhhhh.... Roommate issues! I'm SO right there with you!!!

The other night, my FABULOUS suitemate came home at three am with these HUGE friends of hers - completely sh*tfaced slamming stuff all around our livingroom. Bare in mind that all of the furniture in our livingroom is mine and my boyfriends (we're living together in my itty bitty room. He has a dorm room too but it's in a different building so none of his stuff is over there). Our tv, fridge, couches, were all being attacked by these huge DRUNK JERKS! They were yelling and fighting and every other word was the "n" word. They kept yelling/joking about smoking pot and fighting over it outside, while punching walls. THREE AM!!

My boyfriend is a Judo brown belt so he was ready to go take them all down, but I talked him out of it. I was so about to call UPD though. It was just so disrespectful! and my suitemates were laughing about it and having a great time.

I remembered that my suitemate on my side (and good friend) left her door open when she went out that night so I got up in my pjs and went to close her door and accidentally (I swear!!!) slammed it REALLY loud (I was angrier than I realized) then told them to shut up and take it outside and went back to bed. Probably not the best way to handle it but ugh!

They're freshmen and they keep putting alcohol in my boyfriend's fridge in the livingroom - which would be fine except our school does random searches all the time - and everyone here is underage - plus a very very strict zero tolerance alcohol rule. If they want it - they need to stash it in their OWN room with their OWN property!

Sorry to steal your thread. It feels good to complain about it though! Good luck to you and yours!

10-13-2008, 07:42 PM
Roommate issues can be so trying. I'd suggest you create a list of topics: guests, cleaning, food, sharing, etc., and then schedule a time when the house can sit down and talk openly about the issues. Put out exactly where your limits are and allow others to do the same. In essence, you want to create a list of house rules that everyone can live with, which means compromising on issues.

As helpful as venting is, unless the topics are addressed as a house, you will have the same stresses all year long. Creating house rules, of course, may not solve all the problems, but at least you know you tried to fix them. Good luck!