Tips with Trish

Dear Trish,

Call me idealistic, but I thought coming to college and getting my first roommate was going to mean fun room decorating, late night Netflix, and commiserating about homework and relationships. So far, it has been the complete opposite of this. My roommate and I met at orientation and seemed to hit it off. We talked before school started and we were excited about the venture ahead.

Since getting here though, she has found some other new friends on the floor, which is fine, but now she is rarely around. I tried to talk with her about it early on, but she dismissed me saying that there was no problem and that she was just busy. Now we hardly even talk in the room. She comes in later in the  evening for bed and sometimes doesn’t even sleep there. I don’t really want to get my RA involved because it’s not like she is stealing my stuff or anything. It is, however, not the situation I thought I was going to have during my first year of college.

Signed,

Not My BFF

Trish says,

It is normal to romanticize the whole college experience. We have seen enough movies about it, for goodness sake. Unfortunately, reality sets in at some point during the first few months when we realize that some part of the college experience is not ideal … in your case, roommates.

First of all, you are not the only one who has come into my office stressed that the match with your roommate doesn’t seem to fit.  People are different.  Just because you answered some questions the same, or felt connected during a 20 minute conversation, does not necessarily mean that you are best friend bound,  and that’s okay. My first question for you though is, are you getting out and meeting other people? Getting out and participating in things on campus, or leaving your door open and inviting people in to watch that Netflix movie, is a must. Your roommate situation may not be ideal, but it probably won’t bother you as much if you have some friends to hang out with yourself. It’s hard to branch out, but most new students feel like you, believe it or not.

I cannot tell you how many students tell me that they won’t go to an event if they don’t have someone to go with, or even to the café if someone is not already going. I get it and all, I really do, but you just need to force yourself. People are not always going to give you a personal invitation, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want you to go or won’t enjoy you being there.

My other thought on your roommate situation is to try talking with her again. If you don’t say something, she may not even know that you are bothered. She may not like conflict and be avoiding the awkward conversation. It only gets more awkward the more you try to pretend the problem doesn’t exist. Try inviting her to watch that Netflix show, or text her about going to dinner. If she continues to avoid you or worse, ends up being rude and doesn’t even want to try, talk to your RA. They are trained in helping with these kinds of situations and may be able to assist. If this doesn’t work, consider switching rooms at semester. You deserve to be happy and the right roommate is out there.

Signed,

Trish

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