This is the fourth installment of Kristin Roberts’ “The Light at the End of the Tunnel” series

As a freshman in college, one of the best things about leaving home is the idea of no longer having to live with your parents and deal with the “my house, “my rules” dynamic that was ever present throughout high school. But what you’re often not prepared for is the fact that you now have to live with someone who is not genetically programmed to love you no matter what. That means that throughout your messes, your late nights that no one can get onto you for, your extremely loud music, and that group of friends that always seems to be over at your place, there is someone else who has to deal with it in addition to you who is not going to put up with it without getting mad.

Now, most of the time, people can have a really good time with their roommates and have really good luck with picking their roommates throughout their college experience. I, on the other hand, was one of those very few who have had more crappy roommates than good roommates. My first two year I had the divine pleasure of living with my older sister. Now, there is some sibling love there, of course. But let’s face it, not a single person actually wants to live with their sibling while at college, or in any instance outside of their parents house. It’s just asking for drama and some knock down drag out fights… and that is exactly what we delivered. (Apologies to our neighbors, even though they’re a few years late.)

Since living with my sister, I ended up with four separate roommates after her. Two were pretty dang good. The other two? It was simply by the grace of God that we ended with the house still standing. Both started out pretty good, but it went downhill pretty quickly.

So if you are one of those people who, like me, have had really bad luck with roommates, let’s see what we can do to help. For me, I had to realize that I cannot control anyone other than myself. Start with that, and then realize that the only thing that you can control is your reaction to their actions. If you react negatively, then it’s going to continue to start an uproar. If you stop giving them the power of your negative reactions and change the way you react, then you become the controller of the situation, not them and their actions. Lastly, have a place that you can go to escape. Whether its you room, a friends house, or the top of the mountain, have a place where you can go to relax and to get your mind away from everything and to calm down and everything will be okay. Having an escape place is crucial so that you can get away when necessary. Do these things and I promise, you will get through that roommate drama!

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