Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Roommate Horror Story

I came into Ohio Northern University only knowing one person from my high school, who is an upperclassman. I searched the new student Facebook page for someone that could be my potential roommate, only to find that most people already knew their roommate from high school or a sport. I accepted the fact that I would be randomly placed with someone. I told myself that this person could become my best friend or it could not go well, and I would seek other arrangements. I went into school with an open mind to whoever this person could be. Things went well for the first month. We got along, respected each others space, and talked occasionally about our days. That soon changed when my roommate fell very ill and my room became an uncomfortable and unsafe environment for me to live in. The process of moving into a different space was long and stressful, but there are a few things I took away from this experience. 

1. Don't be Afraid to Ask for a New Room

For me, I didn't want to cause any inconvenience to the residence life staff, so I kept quiet while I was miserable. If I had spoken up sooner, my freshman year could have been a better experience. It can be hard to admit that things didn't go how you had planned. I was so worried about hurting my roommate's feelings, that I didn't realize how much stress I was putting on myself. 

2. Stand up for Yourself

I had to email my resident assistant and my resident director multiple times, only to receive responses that there was "nothing they could do". I knew the physical and emotional toll that my living situation had on me and I went to the Residence Life president to let her know how difficult is has been. She was able to move me immediately. Residence assistants and directors are students too. Sometimes they aren't sure how to handle a situation, so they ignore you and hope you resolve it yourself. After so long, I knew that those responses were not acceptable for my situation and took it into my own hands. If something is affecting your education and well-being, it's okay to be a little selfish. 

3. Get an Outside Opinion

Some people like to live alone. I am a person that functions well when I have my own space to go to, away from everyone else. In order to make sure that I wasn't exaggerating the situation so that I could have my own space, I asked for others' opinions. I talked with my parents and kept them updated, being the least bias as I could. I brought my boyfriend over to see what was happening. The responses were unanimous; I needed to move out. 

Now that I am in a new, comfortable space, my mood has improved and I am not as stressed. I have learned so much about what I require to help me have a successful education. This experience has taught me how to get elders to respect your needs even though you are much younger. At the end of the day, nobody knows your needs better than yourself. Stick to that and don't settle for anything less. 

1 comment:

  1. Random roommates are hard and sometimes it is worse when you are friends with them because you do not want to upset them. I went random as well, but was given a pod which made living easier except my roommate never did laundry. Which is crazy since it is free on our campus. The first time she did laundry was spring break and she acted like she was so proud to have done it. I actually washed her bed sheets the only time because I accidentally spilled a drink on it. I never wanted to move because I liked having the larger room and I knew I would not get into another pod. Now as a senior I obviously picked my house mates but it is still hard. For example I went home this weekend just to get away from them. I understand moving when it effects your daily and academic life. I cannot blame you for doing so. You know what is best for yourself so still to it.