Matt Crowley/The AS Review
As much of a rush it is to go to college and begin life as an independent, there are still a lot of things that are out of your control. Whether it’s a class you’re required to take or the food you have to eat in the dining halls, college throws plenty of curveballs that you can’t avoid. For many, one of the first obstacles can be the hardest to overcome: roommates. Whether you decided to bunk with a friend or get randomly assigned, it’s never a guarantee that you will click with your roomie.
If you find yourself in such a situation, there are options. The school expects that not every match will be made in heaven, and provides plenty of solutions for students looking for a way out.
The first step you should take is also the easiest: talk to your resident adviser. After all this is what they are there for: to resolve problems and create the best living situation possible for each student.
“I think the first thing they should do is talk to their RA,” said Tom McNeil, a fifth-year senior who was an RA on north campus for two years. “And it should be done as soon as possible. Sometimes students wouldn’t come to me until the problem had already festered, and by that time it was a lot harder for me to help the situation.”
By talking to a resident adviser, students can use them as a mediator to provide a non-biased opinion on the issues at hand.
“A lot of the time the issue isn’t even that big of an issue,” said McNeil. “If it’s something minor, we could do our best to resolve it right then and there.”
If the problem persists or cannot be fixed, more extreme measures might have to be taken. If you decide to move, talk to your RA to find out what your options are. According to ResLife, more rooms usually become available as the year goes on, but it can be hard to make a switch one or two weeks into the school year.
For a few students, the idea of having a roommate in the first place is enough to have them running up the walls. Thankfully, Western offers plenty of single room setups for those who prefer having their own space. Most of these rooms can be found scattered across the residence halls, including more spacious accommodations in Buchanan Towers and the New York Apartments. The drawback of the latter two halls, however, is proximity: the long treks to and from campus every day could be a bit tiresome with six months of rain ahead.
Ultimately, however, the best way to solve your quarrels is communication. Even if roommates don’t get along 100 percent of the time, by communicating, all parties will be able to come to some sort of middle ground.
“I think as an RA the most important thing we’re taught is to communicate to the best of our ability, and to make sure the students we oversee are able to as well,” said Mika Sanders, a former RA from Mathes Hall and Ridgeway’s Omega. “It’s really hard to overstate its importance.”
Communicating doesn’t just mean talking with your roommate and RA. Talk with students around you, whether they are living in the dorms or have in the past. You can learn a lot from the experiences of others, and it might help you put your own problems in perspective.