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When living in a closed space, such as a dorm room, you can expect you and your roommate to get on one another's nerves every once and a while. It can be hard coming to college and being thrust into sharing a small space with a total stranger roommate who may or may not have a kid, and thus your personalities are more than likely going to clash, especially when the stress levels are up during mid terms, finals and other important times in college life. So how do you deal with the common roommate disputes without asking your resident advisor for a dorm transfer or taking to bunking in the common areas?

Sharing Space in Dorms

One of the most common things to fight about when you are living with a dorm mate is personal space and cleanliness. In general you and your roommate will both get one bed, one desk, one closet and perhaps one bedside table each. How you choose to keep your items organized and how to decorate your area is entirely up to you. If one roommate is tidier than the other, then this can cause a problem. After all, if you are a neat person there is nothing more annoying than coming into a room where there are books, clothes, beer cans and god only knows what else all over the floor.

Talk to your roommate about how you are feeling. You cannot expect them to suddenly become a neat freak because you are but you can ask them to keep their stuff on their own side of the area. Take a trip to a dollar store and purchase a few laundry baskets to help them keep their clothes and other items organized, even if it is all a mess. However, there is only so much you can do and some mess, like it or not, is going to remain. Just remember that you only have to live with them for a short period of time and then you are free to live how you would prefer.

Sleep Schedule Disputes

Another common roommate dispute when living in a dorm is noise. If you are lucky enough to find a roommate that shares your sleeping and social habits, then great! However, in most instances one roommate will go to bed at a much different time than the other. One roommate may prefer to party all night while the other may prefer to get up at the crack of dawn. This can be hard to deal with as things always seem much worse when you can't sleep because of your roommate.

Talk to your roommate about making sure they are as quiet as possible. Set up a time where it is quiet in the dorm, such as from 10:00pm to 8:00am. If one of you is awake during these hours, then use the common areas or the library to socialize and chat. Furthermore, investing in ear plugs and a sleep mask can also help you get a better night sleep when living in close quarters.

Handling dorm room roommate disputes comes down to two main things - communication and compromise. If you are upset about something then not talking about it or talking to someone else behind your roommates back is only going to worsen the situation. Furthermore, you have to be willing to live outside your comfort zone and accept a little less sleep and a little dirt every now and again. This is all part of the whole college experience and will teach you to see that sometimes life is not going to go to your exact plans all the time.

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