Freshman Ask: Dealing with roommates

Freshman Ask is a section dedicated to answering the questions that run through every freshman’s head. The questions are answered by Schae Maynard, junior environmental science major. Maynard is from Trinidad and Tobago and this is her second year as an Orientation Coordinator at NSU. Stay tuned to see what questions your fellow freshman are asking and how you can make the most of your time during your undergraduate years. If you have any questions or want more information, stop by the Office of Orientation on the first floor of the Student Affairs Building, room 106.


Q: “I’ve been here for almost two months and I have a roommate. He’s great, like a really nice guy but he’s a horrible roommate. He’s overly messy and likes to bring his friends over to the room late at night and likes to party a lot. I love studying in my room and being in a clean environment but he doesn’t. Plus we never talk about the issues. What can I do?”

— Jake, Missouri


A: Sharing your personal space with someone you have just met can be a bit of a challenge. You begin to get to know each other on a different level, since you live with them. You will notice their everyday habits, whether it is singing in the shower or snoring in their sleep, and there may be certain habits that annoy you. Don’t worry, you don’t have to ignore the issues anymore.


1/ Communicate:
The first and most important thing to do is communicate. Your roommate might not even be aware that his messiness bothers you. Just remember to approach your roommate in the nicest way possible. You do not want to seem like you are attacking him. You could even start off the conversation the way you described him to us. Start with something along the lines of “Can I talk to you?” or “There are some things I want to talk to you about. Is this a good time?”

When it’s time to talk, you could start the conversation by saying something like “You’re a great guy, you’re nice, we’ve been getting along really well, and there are just some things about living together that we may need to change or work at”.  Another approach can be, “One thing bothering me is….” But whatever you do, try to avoid saying something “Can you stop being noisy/ messy?” Saying something in an accusatory manner like this might offend your roommate and create even more problems.

2/ Have a plan:
The next step is to create a plan. If the cleanliness of the room is a problem, then set a schedule where you and your roommate both take turns cleaning each week. You should be very specific when you are creating the plan. Don’t just say “I don’t like the room being messy,” tell him what is messy for you. You should also talk about the times that work for you to have his friends over. Remember to keep an open mind. You should explore other places to study if you ever just need time to yourself. The library or the study rooms in the residence halls are places with a quiet and clean environment. Remember that although it is your room, it is his room as well, so compromise is key.

3/ Talk to someone:
If the issues continue with no change, you could talk to your RA or Tyra Brown. She helps students work through their roommate issues and provides student mediation services to the student body. Tyra can be reached at or at (954) 262-7196. Both Tyra and your floor RA are there to listen and help you through anything.

Roommates are a huge part of the college experience and your life. Make the best of it!

That’s all I have for you Jake! Please be sure to write back to us and let us know how things worked out. For the rest of you guys out there, if you have a burning question that you would like to be answered, be sure to send us your questions at

“Three things can’t be long hidden, the sun, the moon and the truth”- Buddha

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