In-room conflict resolution

Attitude toward your roommate’s eratic behavior is important. (Chris Rightmire/Opinions Editor)

After the ungodly nocturnal noises my father makes forced me to endure several sleepless nights on a family vacation, the prospect of consistently being denied sleep when I had college classes and a varsity sport to worry about were petrifying.

Luckily, my freshman roommate’s sleeping patterns didn’t give life to my “snorephobia,” but we still had contradictory living patterns and habits.  To name a few things, I had to be up at 8 a.m. every morning while he was more of a night owl. I had long Skype sessions with my girlfriend and he had a tendency of bringing girls back to the room nights before my big tests and games when I needed sleep the most.

Type “Greatest Roomate Freakout” into Youtube, and it becomes evident that smaller differences have ignited epic battles for room control, but I was never embroiled in as much as an argument with a roommate.  The peace between my freshman roommate and I wasn’t because we had Fonz-like coolness, we each had our pet peeves.  Instead, the peace was a result of a mutual understanding that we’re both going to do obnoxious things.

Common advice given is to air out your dirty laundry with your roommate and let them know what bothers you before there is a blowup, but I think that is a crock. I know my laundry smells, but guess what, that two-week old half-eaten bowl of Easy Mac is pretty disgusting too.

Having a good roommate relationship is a game of give-and-take, and often times it is worth putting up with minor inconveniences to allow your roommate more autonomy and a greater sense of independence. If my roommate had been a snorer, I’d have to hold back the urge to wake them and instead slip in some ear plugs and let them sleep. Gestures of respect will in turn create a culture of mutual respect. So the next time you’re taking a mid-day nap, you won’t have to worry about being woken up to Soulja Boy — yeah, that happened.