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Allison Mueller

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Elizabeth Pulanco/ Winonan


Dear Elizabeth,

I am in need of some roommate advice. The roommate never helps clean or take the garbage out, and they Skype loudly until the wee hours of the morning. I don’t want to start World War III, but I’ve had enough. What should I do?

Sincerely, Roomie Blues


Dear Roomie Blues,

Sorry to hear about your troubles. Roommates are a huge part of the college experience, and it’s always tough when you have to lay down the law. If you have truly had enough, then it is time to have a roommate meeting and talk things out.

Explain your side of the story and ask your roommate to pitch in. You’re not their maid or mom, so let them know how you feel. Once you have explained your concerns, let your roommate tell their side of the story. Maybe they have a reason for not helping out. As for the Skype dilemma, just ask them to go somewhere else.

It seems to me you have been stuck with a lazy roommate, and you have to let them know how you feel. Let them know you should not be the only one who cleans the room or takes out the garbage. Hopefully they get the picture and will start pulling their weight.

It may be hard to confront your roommate at first, but if it has truly started to bother you, then you will find the courage to let them know how you feel.

It may be helpful to come up with a decent plan by creating a system where you two take turns taking out the garbage or designate certain tasks. For example, you could be the one who vacuums while your roommate takes out the garbage.

This could work better for you because the planning of the chores may cushion the blow of having to confront you roommate.

The thing you should not do is wait around for your roommate’s habits to suddenly change. It is already second semester, so if you want things to change then it has to be you who takes the first step.

Hopefully, you do not have too much anger built up over this because if it comes out in the discussion it may produce an unpredictable reaction from your roommate. So just remember to be friendly when discussing your issues and be willing to listen.

If your roommate ends up not helping out right away, then it is okay to be persistent in asking them to help out. If that doesn’t work and other issues break out, then it may be okay to get an RA involved if needed.

The above is only necessary for a worst-case scenario, since it just seems like your roommate may need a little bit of reminding. Just remember to be open and pleasant when discussing the situation with your roommate.