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STELLA SAYS: What have been your roommate and suitemate conflicts this year so far?

This week Stella asked the students of UAlbany what roommate and suitemate conflicts they’ve been experiencing this semester via Instagram. Here’s a look at what some of the students have been struggling with.

My suitemates can’t seem to use the bathroom for anything without leaving it completely trashed when they’re done. How do I go about telling them to keep it clean without calling them dirty?

Asking someone to keep a space tidy does not necessarily mean you are calling them dirty. Everyone has preferences on how they like things to be in their own space, and that is why so many of us college students often butt heads with roommates and suitemates.

I know sharing a suite bathroom can be tough, especially if you’re living with three to five other people, but it is only temporary. If they leave their stuff everywhere in the bathroom, you should ask if everyone can find a place for their belongings in their own rooms for the stuff they leave in the bathroom. Tell them what you do and don’t mind being left out; where you can all agree to put makeup, hair products, toothbrushes/toothpaste, ect.

If you are asking them politely if they can put their stuff away when they’re done using it in the bathroom, there should be no issues. If you’re saying your suitemates don’t flush the toilet, maybe it is time to potty train some college students and hang up a sign that says “Please Flush Toilet When Done.”

Sincerely, Stella

How to ask them to take out the trash? Four weeks in and they have two weeks of trash piled up. I dispose of my own stuff.

Many people sent in saying they have the same suite trash problem. The best advice I can give is to tell them to take it out. You cannot have garbage piling up for that long, because that is a health hazard and can attract all kinds of Albany creatures to your room.

You could approach them by asking if they need help bringing their trash down to the dumpster, and hopefully the trash hoarders will get the hint. I know it may seem annoying for you to help them, but getting the trash out of the room is the most important thing.

Hopefully, your suite takes out the trash before critters move in and tell them to move trash before the Department of Health comes knocking.

Sincerely, Stella

I am always okay with sharing, as long as it’s under valid reasoning. But some of my roommates just get too comfortable with asking to use things, I sometimes feel more like a store than a friend.

This can be a tough conversation to have, but it will definitely be worth it. Set some boundaries, and express to your roommates what you feel comfortable sharing and what you wouldn’t necessarily want them using.

You can approach them by saying it is not personal but you do not want them using certain items you have. Follow up by telling them the things you don't mind sharing with them. Tell the suite they can borrow stuff if they ask and you already approved those items. If nothing else works, just hide your things and pretend you ran out.

If the situation persists, start charging them like a store would and I bet they’ll get the hint.

Sincerely, Stella

Privacy! I definitely am someone that needs their alone time to recharge, and it has been impossible. This week alone I’ve been walked in on twice while in the bathroom with the door closed because my suitemate doesn’t knock before entering. Additionally, although I am good friends with my roommate, when I’ve asked for privacy she doesn’t grant it to me.

I would say first off, start locking the door when using the bathroom. Unless you’re in a communal bathroom, I would lock the door to ensure no one is walking into the bathroom while you are using it.

If you live in a community bathroom everyone has the right to enter unless you are in a stall. Afterall, it is a community bathroom, just not a community toilet.

Have a talk about privacy with your roommate and tell her how important it is to you. Maybe start off by saying that although you love spending time with your roommate, you would appreciate some time apart. You also have to keep in mind that you do share a room, so it may be difficult for your roommate to leave whenever you need alone time. If you explain how you need to have some private time to recharge, I would hope she would be more understanding after your explanation.

Sincerely, Stella

My roommate always has her man over and all they do is fight and she never wants to do anything fun with me anymore. How do I get her to be fun like she used to before she was with this guy?

This is a tricky topic, especially since your friend likes being around her boyfriend. The only advice I think would be fitting is to ask your friend to hangout because you miss her, and do something you guys used to do when you thought she was more fun.

I also think you can approach her and ask if everything is okay with her and her boyfriend. You can’t really do anything about their relationship, especially if she says her and her boyfriend are fine, but you definitely can encourage her to do things she likes to do.

Sincerely, Stella


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