The College Roommate from Hell: Skills and Strategies for Surviving College with a Problem Roommate


Every year, more than 500,000 new students join the ranks of American college students and a good percentage of them stay in student housing. For those who do not stay in student housing, it is almost guaranteed that you will have a roommate at some point in your college career it s a rite of passage. But, for someone who has lived with their parents, in their own room, for 18 years, having a college roommate can be an entirely new experience, especially if that roommate is the ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (5) from $6.98   
  • New (2) from $16.22   
  • Used (3) from $6.98   
The College Roommate from Hell: Skills and Strategies for Surviving College With a Problem Roommate

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.23 price


Every year, more than 500,000 new students join the ranks of American college students and a good percentage of them stay in student housing. For those who do not stay in student housing, it is almost guaranteed that you will have a roommate at some point in your college career it s a rite of passage. But, for someone who has lived with their parents, in their own room, for 18 years, having a college roommate can be an entirely new experience, especially if that roommate is the roommate from hell.

When living in a dorm, you have almost no choice as to who you live with. It could be the nicest person in the world or the your worst enemy. It is that horrible roommate who can ruin your college experience unless you know how to deal with them. This comprehensive guide to everything bad in a roommate is designed to show you how to do just that, providing you with a detailed plan to take on, confront, and handle your problem roommate.

You will learn what you should honestly expect from a roommate on the first day and how to tell if part of the problem might arise from you. Learn how to know if your personality types are too different and what you can do to alleviate the stress this might cause. Outlined in detail are common cultural and social differences and multi-step plans for handling each one of them. For those that have issues with confrontation, a special chapter designed to walk you through a calm conversation will help you bring up those concerns that have been nagging at you for weeks.

Information on the biggest problems you might encounter with your roommate have been gathered through hours of interviews with college students both new and graduated. Topics such as a roommate using your personal stuff, not cleaning their share, staying up too late, making too much noise, being rude or moody, neglecting to pay their share of the bills, bringing over too many house guests, and dozens more of the most common problems college students encounter with their roommates every year are discussed in this book.

Tips for each and every one of these issues and a special chapter on successful communication with a stubborn friend will help guide you through the harrowing maze of trying to fix your roommate from hell. You will learn when a problem roommate may actually have a real problem and how you can help them deal with it. Finally, if things just are not working out, you will learn how you can get help dealing with your roommate and even how you can move out if necessary. If you are pulling out your hair and agonizing over one too many late nights or moldy quarts of milk kicked under your bed, this book is exactly what you have been looking for.

Atlantic Publishing is a small, independent publishing company based in Ocala, Florida. Founded over twenty years ago in the company president’s garage, Atlantic Publishing has grown to become a renowned resource for non-fiction books. Today, over 450 titles are in print covering subjects such as small business, healthy living, management, finance, careers, and real estate. Atlantic Publishing prides itself on producing award winning, high-quality manuals that give readers up-to-date, pertinent information, real-world examples, and case studies with expert advice.  Every book has resources, contact information, and web sites of the products or companies discussed.

This Atlantic Publishing eBook was professionally written, edited, fact checked, proofed and designed. The print version of this book is 288 pages and you receive exactly the same content. Over the years our books have won dozens of book awards for content, cover design and interior design including the prestigious Benjamin Franklin award for excellence in publishing. We are proud of the high quality of our books and hope you will enjoy this eBook version.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601382764
  • Publisher: Atlantic Publishing Group Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/5/2009
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 3.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Dedication 5

Foreword 13

Introduction 19

Chapter 1 What To Expect 23

Before You Arrive 23

College Roommate, Meet College Roommate 25

Life as a College Roommate 27

Roommate Conflict: An Introduction 32

Your First Few Days 35

Before You Move-In: Getting to Know Your New Roommate 37

You May Be Best Friends Now 38

The First Conversation 42

Do You Need to Put It in Writing? 44

First Homework Assignment: Becoming Acclimated to Residential Living 47

To Bring or Not to Bring 52

The First of Many Forms 54

Living Learning Communities (LLC) 56

Students with Disabilities, Special and Medical Needs, and International Students 58

Chapter 2 Once You Are There 61

Claiming Your Territory 61

In The Know 64

What About Me? 66

R-E-S-P-E-C-T 67

Most Common Complaints 70

Do Opposites Attract? 72

Your Parents 74

Dorm Staff and How They Can Help 79

Other Sources of Help 81

Chapter 3 Roommate Survival Skills 101 83

Early Riser Versus Late Sleeper 87

Noise Is Just That 89

When Guests Overstay Their Welcome 92

The Third Wheel 94

Sharing is Great, but Not in This Case 98

Locking Up 100

How to Get Involved 104

Chapter 4 The Personality Spectrum 107

Every Little Thing She Does Is Not Magic 109

The Neatnik Versus the Slob 111

The Gossip 115

The Kleptomaniac 118

The Whiner 121

The Aggressor 124

Adjusting Your Attitude 127

Chapter 5 Cultural and Social Differences 129

Overview: Not All Cultures Think, Look, and Sound Alike 130

Language Differences, Bigotry, and Racism 134

I Like Boys. You Do Not 136

Sexual Preference and Conflict 139

You Are a What? 142

Raising Awareness 144

Chapter 6 When There Is ASerious Problem 147

Substance Abuse 148

Substance Abuse and Your Roommate: What You Can Do 151

College Students and Mental-Health Issues 153

Recognizing the Symptoms 154

Depression 156

The Depressed Roommate: What You Can Do 157

Suicidal Thoughts or Actions 158

Eating Disorders 161

Eating Disorders and Your Roommate: What You Can Do 162

Self-Injury 167

Anxiety Disorder 170

How to Help A Roommate Who Cannot Help Herself 174

Counseling Services 176

Chapter 7 Conflict, Cooperation, and Compromise 179

Conflict or Friendly Disagreement? 180

Causes of Conflict 182

When Tension Builds 183

The Engaged Listener 185

Strategies for Listening and Responding 186

When You Are the One Who is Angry 190

When You Are the One at Fault 191

Conflict Resolution Primer 192

Communicating the Problem 196

The Dangers of E-mail and Telephone 197

Acting Responsibly Versus Reacting Irresponsibly 200

When to Call in a Third Party 202

Warning! Do Not Ignore 204

Chapter 8 When To Call It Quits 205

Can We Still be Friends? 206

Next Steps 208

Off-Campus Housing 210

Tips for Living Off-Campus 212

Conclusion 215

Appendix A Articles On Roommate Living 217

Appendix B Depression In College 245

Appendix C Q&A With Author and Residence Life Area Coordinator 249

Appendix D Case Studies 261

Appendix E Off-Campus Housing Rental Inspection Checklist 271

Appendix F Resources 273

Bibliography 277

About the Author 281

Index 283

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This mom liked it

    The pictures and humor sprinkled throughout this comprehensive book of sound, experienced advice make it an enjoyable read. As a mom, I wish my daughters had this book to read the summer before they entered college. One daughter fortunately had a great roommate but hellish apartment mates; the other daughter had a roommate from hell, and eventually went the off-campus housing route. This book would've helped them as well as me know how to counsel and coach my kids.

    The author speaks with qualifications and experience. Right from the beginning she demystifies notions such as "do not assume that if you are matched with an honors student, that person will help you study." And she reminds students that starting college is a "huge step to adulthood." I appreciate her saying, "Be prepared to accept conflict as a means to develop problem-solving skills." These are comments I'd make as a mom but, my kids would accept it more coming from a book.

    Every chapter from What to Expect to Survival skills 101 is full of practical advice and teaches readers what to do in problematic situations. I do not know of a similar read teaching basic interpersonal relationship skills for life and career to knowing when to call it quits on a roommate situation.

    The appendices round out this valuable resource, and The College Roommate from Hell
    should be sent from colleges and universities to all their incoming freshmen and available to parents as a resource on move-in day.

    Brenda Nixon, M.A.
    Author of the award-winning The Birth to Five Book: Confident Childrearing Right from the Start

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 29, 2009

    The Perfect College Companion

    College is full of new experiences and challenges that mold many adults into who they are today. For those heading off to college this fall-there may be a couple of things running through the eager minds of a freshman. The anxiety of being away from home is overshadowed by newfound independence, but for some wondering who exactly they will be bunking with in college can bring about great concern. In this book "The College Roommate from Hell" Linda Fiore covers everything from A to Z that could possibly arise with a new college roommate.
    Based on real accounts from college students around the world, this book not only offers advice on what to expect-but touches base on all of those awkward moments that college students face day to day while under the same roof. For the college student taking off on their own-this book is a must have! For parents-this is a great book to share one on one with their college student before their leaving.
    Linda Fiore also lends tips on getting settled in, what to bring, how to ask for special accommodations and how to deal with noise complaints gracefully and tactfully. For those already in a sticky situation with a troublesome roommate, this book may help with working out even the most difficult roommate issues. Some issues Linda Fiore discusses in this book are compromising with roommates, writing up roommate agreements, developing questionnaires and how to write up a roommate preference form. For those who are looking for other living arrangement options, Linda Fiore shows students how to locate alternative housing and how to negotiate for a private dorm room. For situations that cannot be resolved and the student feels they are in imminent danger-this book gives step by step details on how to safely seek disciplinary action, keep the dorm environment healthy and deal constructively with threats and verbal abuse.
    For those feeling like they are being thrown into the mix-this book is also filled with techniques and tips that also aid in resolving minor issues among other roommates. It also helps the reader understand the different ethnic backgrounds other students may be coming from and how to approach lifestyle issues with an open mind. This book serves as a great teaching manual that promotes open discussion among parents and young adults.
    I give this book four stars because it serves as a guide book for not only freshman but students who are well seasoned with college life. This book offers information and teaching qualities that are valuable to any student away at college.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Read for Anyone Living with a Roommate

    Linda Fiore offers a book suitable for not only college roommates, but anyone having to live with a roommate. While the focus is on college students, her advice would work for anyone having roommate issues. She opens the book by explaining the importance of truth on the housing questionnaire put out by universities. She shows how this is one of the most important steps to getting a roommate you'll mesh with. The rest of the book uses real world examples and personalized situations to discuss and explain how to deal with conflicts.

    Fiore shines at brining up situations many college freshmen may not even think about when dealing with a roommate. From warning against bunking with a close friend to discussing how to deal with roommates with eating disorders or emotional problems, Fiore opens up a Pandora 's Box of roommate situations. The advice on how best to use the words "I" and "you" when discussing a problem will benefit college students immensely. The portrayal of a college roommate situation as an interpersonal relationship teaches students how to avoid throwing blame and how to accept blame.

    The book also steps away from the roommate situations on occasion to discuss how to deal with lonely, worried parents, what to pack, how to navigate college websites, and how to get involved in the residence hall. This book arms college students with useful information and advice about roommates and college life. Any new college students should consider adding this book to their collection for future reference.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 11, 2009

    The College Roommate from Hell

    The College Roommate from Hell by Linda Fiore is a humorous guide on how to get along with a dorm room roommate. Fiore's writing style is light and friendly, making this informative book a breeze to read.
    The book covers just about any situation a college student may run into when living with others, like how to claim your space, how to solve arguments and how to move out if your roommate is too much. The book even deals with what to do if your roommate has serious problems such as what to do if your roommate is a thief, drug abuser or has a food disorder,
    A portion of the profits from the book goes to the Humane Society of the United States, so the book not only helps students in need, but animals in need as well.
    Overall, this is a definite must read for any freshman heading off to college.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Informative and fun read!

    If you are planning on going away to college and staying in a dorm, I highly recommend reading this book. From beginning to end it is filled with great advice for not only dealing with a roommate from Hell, but also words of wisdom on how not to become one yourself.

    The book covers everything from filling out your dorm room questionnaire as honestly as possible to dealing with severe conflict with your roommate. Some of the material is covered in more than one chapter, but instead of being repetitive, it only serves to clarify that living with a difficult roommate isn't something that you need to put up with.

    The book also covers things that you can do to make sure that your dorm experience is as pleasant as possible, from laying down guidelines with your roommate on such things as sharing and over night guest to participating in dorm activities. The book also address who in the college setting is equipped to help you out if the situation with your dorm mate gets out of hand.

    The book is full of real life examples of people who have had issues with their roommate and how the situation was solved. There are also humorous parts to the book, such as Chapter 2's personality spectrum.

    Even if you are not planning on staying in a dorm, but rather will be rooming off campus with someone, this book will still prove to be an invaluable resource for helping you not only get along with housemates, but also in adjusting to college life in general.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 8, 2009

    Essential College Handbook!

    Isn't it nice to have answers to problems even before you have issues to deal with? This book takes away a lot of the uncertainty involved in choosing and living with a college roommate. These real life and relevant insights and tips can make life in a dorm room a lot more manageable. The author's friendly style makes reading this book seem more like a conversation from an alumni from your college, gently giving you advice and preparing you for the next four years.

    Although there is a lot to learn in these pages, there is a logical progression. From filling out the roommate preferences questionnaire to unpacking your bags, every step of the way is explained and evaluated. The author is a keen observer of personalities and understands ways of avoiding or resolving conflicts. She presents realistic scenarios and walks through the situations to viable solutions. Readers will clearly see that the baggage a person brings with them to college is also the emotional kind, and may create clashes and power struggles. Being ready to diffuse these circumstances will go a long way in establishing peace and developing better communication skills.

    This book will benefit any student entering dorm life for the first time, and even some upperclassmen who may be having roommate difficulties. These pages highlight both the good and the not-so-good realities about sharing a room with a person you hardly know. Quotes from students are scattered throughout the book, giving both advice and encouragement. The appendices are a wealth of valuable information and feature a roommate agreement, additional tips and case studies. Actual stories are included and their resolutions are eye-opening, revealing diplomatic and effective strategies.

    This comprehensive book should be part of every college student's curriculum. When students have peace in their dorm rooms, they will be better prepared to study and succeed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)