Capetown Student Accomodation

How Should I Handle a Terrible Roommate at Varsity?

When you shared a room with your siblings as you were growing up, there were bound to be issues. One of you was messy, maybe they took your stuff without asking, or perhaps they were noisy and inconsiderate. Whatever the issue was, you could always turn to your parents to mediate.

Now that you’re in another city in your awesome student accommodation and you’re faced with a terrible roommate, what do you do?

Tips to Dealing with a Terrible Roommate

While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to an awful roomie, there are some smart steps that you can take to make it less, well, awful.

Here are a few suggestions.


When emotions are running high and people are offended, a mediator is a good idea. Someone who is not involved in the situation will see things differently and can offer a different perspective. Also, you’re more likely to listen to their input rather than the revolting human being in front of you who stole your last piece of pizza.

Take some time

If you guys generally get along but your roommate has really made you mad, perhaps take a time out. Go for a walk, cool down, get some perspective. You may both be able to deal with the situation a lot better when you’re not so het up.

Eliminate the problem

Sometimes, it’s the smallest things that get on your nerves. Do they borrow your stuff without asking? Are they always on the take? Do they finish the toilet roll without replacing it? Often a frank conversation with someone who has been brought up differently from you will highlight the issues that you have.

If this doesn’t work, then set up systems that remove the problem. For instance, lock the things away that you don’t want them to take. Put all the toilet rolls in the bathroom so you never face an empty holder.

Be reasonable

Being kind and reasonable, even when you really don’t want to, may just be the solution. It’s hard to be otherwise to someone that is kind and considerate, and if they are, then they’re a special kind of awful. A tolerant and rational approach to your roomie may soften them and allow for a better relationship.

Remember though, that very few people are intentionally going to be a terrible roommate. Most people want to get along and make friends. So be that guy that makes someone else a better person. And if all else fails, find another room.