Dear Aunt Izzie,
My roommate is totally crazy, and living with her is driving me crazy! How do I deal with someone so messy and irritating?
Living With Crazy
Dear Living with Crazy,
The most obvious piece of advice (which means it probably won’t be helpful) is that you could try moving out. If you have already considered and subsequently rejected this idea because you either don’t have anywhere else to go or are legitimately concerned that your roommate will hunt you down and kill you, there are other options.
Talk to your roommate directly, especially about the mess. Don’t feel bad about wanting to live in a clean space. Tell her that having a clean room means you have a clean mind (that may or may not actually be true; I know some super messy people who are brilliant) and living in a mess is negatively impacting your schoolwork. Mostly because you can’t find your homework under the pile of laundry she scattered across the floor. Warn her that a mess is more likely to attract mice and bugs. I don’t care who you are; nobody wants ants in their bed.
Irritating is less easy to fix than messy. Part of the problem could be spending too much time together. Even the best of friends can get annoying after you’ve spent four months sharing a closet with them. Join a club, get a job or temporarily move into the library. Invest in noise-canceling headphones or earplugs so you can remain blissfully unaware when she’s talking to her mom on the phone for the fifth time that day or snoring the night away.
Whatever you do, make sure your irritation with her doesn’t translate into hostility or anger. Two people living in an unhappy situation is worse than one person. I know they say misery loves company, but that doesn’t mean you want to move in with it. Be calm and patient and make weekly visits to the housing office just in case another girl dropped out because she’s engaged.
Aunt IzzieIzzie Gibson Penrose, class of 2016, has 19 years of advice to give. She loves telling people what to do (but doesn’t take offense if they don’t listen) and lives as strange a life as possible so she has plenty of anecdotes to share. Izzie also enjoys making jokes and baking cupcakes. Email her with questions, concerns, or anything LITERALLY ANYTHING that’s on your mind at firstname.lastname@example.org. She promises to read every email she receives at least once, probably six times.