Pause for thought: Roommate Woes

By Joshua Thiering

The door opens, and in walks old bad news herself. It’s that roommate who always gets on your nerves. She plops down on the sofa, groaning, making a point to let everyone know how miserable her life is.

Soon the groans will be drowned out by Lauryn Hill, whining over her laptop speakers.

“Killing me softly, with his song, killing me softly,” she sings along with the chorus.

Ironically, however, it’s really you she is killing softly.

Perhaps you have a roommate like this one. Like a badger, their tracks can be spotted a couple of ways. They usually live in your living room and never leave.

They only speak to you negatively, and ask you a lot of questions when you’re walking out the door like: “Where you are going? And why do you never make time for me?”

With the housing process quickly approaching, switching roommates can be as difficult and terrifying as undertaking surgery. For those thinking about cutting ties, here are a few quick tips to numb the long-term pain of your roommate woes.


“The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it,” said best-selling author Dale Carnegie. The best way to avoid conflicts at your apartment is not to be there.

Make a schedule of when your roommate is home. Now take a permanent marker, and black out those blocks, and write over them with red ink: study in library, dinner with friends, long walk around campus or dig a hole to China.

Be dirty

The dirtier you are, the less likely they will want to live with you. Try eating meals in their bed. Leave your dirty dishes on their night stand. If you ever do have to wash any dishes, do it in the toilet bowl. Once the mess piles up, blame them.

Take your friends on guided tours through their messy rooms. Be sure to use metaphorical language comparing the room to a pigsty or a tsunami refugee camp.

Redecorate the living room

Print up bad photos of your roommate and hang them all over your living room walls.

You know the one, with the double chin, and the one black and white photo where they tried to be artsy, but just ended up looking like a whitewashed bloated Jabba The Hut with heartburn. Tack it up.

These tactics may make matters worse temporarily, but in the long run, they will not put up a fight to move out.

Author: The Bells Staff

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