We’re halfway through the semester and closer to final exams, which means your tolerance for your roommates is only going to get smaller and smaller from here on out.

The Real College Guide, Stressed Roommate

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Things that you may have been putting up with all year could really start to irritate you now, and your apartment could essentially become a ticking time bomb, waiting for the right passive-aggressive moment to send you over the edge.

Once tempers have flared, it can be hard to reel them in, but you’ve got a few more weeks left in the semester, and you’re going to have to make it work.

From someone who has lived in more than one drama-filled apartment, here’s my advice to help keep the drama to a low simmer for the rest of the semester.

Be direct with one another

Everyone has their quirks that make them a little difficult from time to time. At one point or another, your roommate will do something annoying like leave dishes in the sink for days or turn up the TV way too loud when you’re sleeping. The best way to deal, especially when there’s already some tension, is to be direct and courteous about what you need. Instead of leaving a passive-aggressive note saying “CLEAN UP YOUR MESS,” talk to the person face to face.

Schedule a roommate meeting

Whether it’s two of you or five of you, everyone needs to get together and get everything out into the open. Discuss the points of conflict. Is someone ticked about the AC bill? Is someone pissed about always having to take out the trash? Every apartment has its own hot beds of contention. What matters here is for everyone to get their concerns out in the open and to find solutions so that the drama does not escalate. It may help to have a mutual friend involved who can see all sides of the situation. Don’t forget to use those “I statements!”

Don’t tweet about each other

As easy as it seems to send out that 140-character message or other social media post about what a slob your roommate is, don’t do it. It’s passive-aggressive, cowardly and just plain rude. As someone who has been on the other end of a roommate’s social media attack, I can tell you that it sucks to read things that were written about you for the world to see. It’s pretty hurtful, and it only makes the situation worse. As mad as you may be in that moment, put your phone down and walk away from that tweet. Don’t let your anger lead you astray.

Remember that the end is in sight

If you and your roommate(s) are seriously not clicking, remember that you only have a few weeks left to get along … then, you’re free for the summer! Before you let your blood start boiling, wait for a minute and think about what you’re angry about. Will you care about this in a month? If not, let it slide and just move on. Keep reminding yourself that summer break is almost here, and you won’t have to put up with it for much longer!

Remember that while there is probably always going to be drama between roommates, there are some things you should not have to deal with. If you feel physically threatened by a roommate or a roommate has messed with your personal belongings, you may be able to seek a move from your apartment to another one in the complex. Check with your leasing office to learn about the options that are available.

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