Type: Research
Pages: 5 | Words: 1481
Reading Time: 7 Minutes

Roommate conflict is a trait or an event that is unavoidable. This is because when two or more people live together in one environment, conflict will become inevitable. However, this does not mean that conflict has to be a terrible thing. Conflict can be used positively to help the students to gain essential skills in relation to handle many issues that arise among roommates. This means that conflicts can have beneficial effects on students. In this case, the students will get the knowledge and the skill of how to deal with and minimize the conflicts. Overlooking and minimizing conflicts can enhance a student’s experience in college and help the student to learn how to handle such issues when they come up. On the other hand, roommate conflicts can cause considerable distress to students if they do not handle it correctly.

Roommate Conflict in College

Living with a roommate is an adventure that every college student must experience in their college lifetime. In this case, a compromising attitude, excellent communication skills and working ahead of time will only enhance an outstanding college experience. The subject of this research paper is to study and discuss the hints and tips that are extremely useful in handling roommate conflicts. Different situations may present different challenges. This research paper aims to analyze the main keys and aspects that can be used in resolving roommate conflicts in college.

Thesis Statement

Cohabitation can look terribly attractive and perfect, but where there is cohabitation there is a conflict. In this case, in order to form students into leading professionals in the communities and world at large, the key players must face challenges in the least expected places. This can be the most challenging time and the most gratifying time in a student’s college career.

How to Handle Roommate Conflicts

Research shows that the best way to handle roommate conflicts in college is to think ahead of time by:

Adjusting Expectations

When new students start sharing room, problems are bound to come up. In this case, all the new students should be prepared in advance for what would happen in case there is a conflict with their roommates. They should also be prepared to handle and deal with such issues. Many of the students who suffer distress from roommate conflict are students who are not prepared mentally and emotionally. Some of these students expect an ideal and perfect arrangement in college and with their roommates. In this case, the students are devastated and taken by surprise when the relationships turn out sour and not as expected (Fiore 2009).

Students should not Ignore Problems

The new students should not put off and ignore problems that arise from the roommate conflicts. This is because ignoring these problems will not help to solve the problems but to magnify the situation. In other words, the trouble will not go away if the students pretend that the problems do not exist. In this view, the students should face the problems and try to resolves the roommate conflicts in college (Fee 2005). This will not only prevent problems from growing but will also prevent resentment from arising between the college mates or roommates.

Realistic Expectations

The students should, therefore, have realistic expectations. This is because they are human and their roommates are humans. It is obvious that being human will attract many differences and conflicts. This simply means that, as roommates, each person has different traits and behavior that may upset their roommates. In this case, each student must accept their roommates as they are and learn how to handle the differences and conflicts that arise between them.


During a roommate conflict in college, the students involved must always prioritize what is necessary and matters to them. The key issues must be given the first priority when handling or trying to solve roommate conflicts. However, students must be ready to compromise at some instant in order to solve the roommate conflicts (Beinstein 2010).


Communication is an extremely fundamental aspect in prevention of roommate conflicts. This is because reputable communication between roommates can prevent roommate conflicts from escalating into a fight or disagreement. Thus, the communication lines should be kept open and set up by the roommates in order to prevent escalation of conflicts and disagreements.

Roommate Contract

A roommate contract is extremely significant agreement document that can be used to settle disputes and roommate conflicts. This document must spell out and include all the agreement points that the roommates may use in a cast of a roommate conflict. However, these points must be non negotiable and reflect the individual values of the roommates.

How Students should React when Roommate Conflicts Occur

According to the research carried out, the findings shoe that when conflict arises, the students should be prepared to negotiate. This is because in order to find solutions to the conflicts or problems, the students must be ready and willing to work together with a common goal. This simply means that students should avoid setting up of defense lines but initiate a problem solving process that will benefit all the students. The students should also try to define the problems (Susan 2005). This will make it simpler for students to find a solution to the problems before it escalates into a conflict. They must also keep an open mind. This will help the students to deal with their defensive side and learn to live peacefully as roommates. However, it is necessary for students to pull off first before engaging in any discussion. This is because discussions, while they are still angry, will only bring up more problems. In this case, the conversation should not be held at the heat of the moment but after when temperatures have cooled. The students must also know when to give up and call it quits. In this case, one of the students can move to another room.

Parents, College, and Personal Responsibility on Handling College Conflict

The crucial question is “should parents and the college faculty share the responsibility of handling roommates conflict in college?” Well, this question has attracted many different suggestions and proposals from different quarters of the world. The research suggests that they could work hard and try to make perfect roommate matches for the students. However, is such a thing a perfect match? If two different people who are perfectly matched cohabit together, will minimize roommate conflicts? Research has shown that there is no such thing as a perfect matching system. However, critics believe that by asking students specific questions about themselves, assigning them matching roommates based on interests, and lifestyle may help to reduce or minimize roommate conflicts. This, however, still raises many questions and ideas on the same (Tyler 1995).

This simply means that conflicts in college are inevitable. In this case, the research showed that the best way to minimize overwhelming roommate conflict is by handling, resolving and avoiding such conflicts. The only way to achieve this is by dealing with conflicts. From this point of view, it is necessary to understand that in order to make campus or college life a rewarding and exciting experience, the students should learn how to live with other students. In this way, they will not ply learn about their roommates but will also reflect and learn about their behavior. This will help the students to impact positively other students and the college community, as well. In some cases, the student may use strategic resolutions to resolve the problems or the conflict. The research findings also showed that it is easier and better to avoid these conflicts before they happen. Early communication through contracts and etiquette helps the efficiently and effectively minimize the level of conflicts (Naomi 2007).

The research finding also shows that the problems escalate into bigger conflicts if one roommate attacks the other instead of attacking the conflict. Therefore, in order to diffuse or minimize a conflict positive feedback on the same is extremely beneficial. College environment is known as a gossip zone. This simply means that sharing information with a friend may eventually get back to a student’s roommate and thus escalate into more conflicts. In this case, students should avoid sharing roommate problems with their friends in order to minimize problems and conflicts. It is an extremely significant lesson to learn how to deal with and cope with conflicts. This is because; the students are shaped into influential people and professionals who can handle bigger conflicts in the future. This does not mean that students must suffer in unpleasant situations. If there are no solutions to the conflicts, the student should consider finding another roommate (Lou 2001).


Roommate conflicts can be extremely distressing and stressful without having to deal with other pressures of life in college or campus. However, the trick lies in minimizing the level of the conflicts. Many strategies can be drawn up by the students to avoid these conflicts. Roommate conflicts may be extremely stressful but also have positive effects on the student’s future life, values, communication skills, and life lessons.

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