When you first envision moving into your digz and savouring every moment of your new-found freedom, you possibly picture doing so with a super cool roommate by your side. You see the two of you munching on popcorn and watching Netflix together, experimenting with different recipes in the kitchen, sharing assignment and study stress and generally becoming close, supportive friends for the duration of your varsity experience.
Unfortunately though, for many students, this happy vision ends up being less than accurate if they are unlucky enough to find themselves sharing a place with someone with whom they don’t really get on. Here’s how to deal with it if this happens to you.
Adjust your expectations
It isn’t a requirement for you and your digsmate to be best friends. If it comes to light that the two of you have little in common or have contrasting ideas about the world, that’s ok. You don’t have to enjoy movie nights or cook together – all that you really have to do is be civil, respectful, and share equally in the household duties.
Get to know other students
If you cannot connect with your roommate, make more of an effort to connect with other, more like-minded students. Join a few clubs, get involved in some extra-mural activities, and don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with a stranger.
It is very easy to take on a passive-aggressive approach when you are living with someone who is constantly getting on your nerves. Unfortunately, this way of handling the situation rarely delivers positive results. If something is bothering you, be sure to broach the subject face-to-face in a respectful manner, being cautious not to make accusations or assign blame. If he or she gets nasty about something, do your best to keep your cool and to be the bigger person. A full-on screaming match or a fistfight is only going to make your living situation that much worse.
Remind yourself that it’s temporary
Take comfort in the fact that you won’t be living with this person for the rest of your life. If it becomes too much, take action to find a new digz so that you can move out promptly when your lease comes to an end, or consider negotiating with the landlord to see if you can come to an agreement that works for everyone involved.
Living with a digsmate you don’t like
Hang in there! While it might seem unbearable now, living with someone who you don’t really like can prove to be an important learning experience that could come in handy later in life – such as when you have to put up with a co-worker or a superior with whom you don’t get on. Good luck!