The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

A Pro Who Knows-Garrison Henderson

Garrison Henderson, assistant professor of sociology and department chair of behavioral sciences on SE Campus, suggests ways to deal with a difficult roommate.

Q. What should students look for in a roommate?

I think there are seven things to consider in the search of a roommate. I will refer to these items as the Serious

Seven Tips:
1. Honesty with oneself: You should be honest with yourself in terms of what is best for you before deciding on a particular person as a roommate.
2. Background of the person (criminal, emotional, psychological and behavioral)
3. Lifestyle of the person: drinking or smoking patterns, risky behavior, conservative, work ethic, party type, square, studious type, etc.
4. Are your goals consistent with your roommate’s goals? How long will you room with this person? What is the agreement?
5. How dependable is the roommate? Can you rely on this person for important information? Will this person look out for you regarding vital information? Would you feel comfortable with this person in the event of an emergency?
6. Personality of the roommate: Can you tolerate and/or manage with the potential roommate’s consistent pattern of thinking, feeling and behavior expression?
7. Gender: You may want to consider gender differences in choosing a roommate. Is the opposite sex too distracting or do you get along better with same sex persons?

Q. Is it advisable to room with friends versus strangers?

In our complex society, it is strongly recommended that you know the roommate or, at least, know something about the character of the person.

Q. Sometimes, the ideal situation isn’t always what it seems with a roommate. What are the warning signs of a potentially problematic rooming situation?

This situation can be very difficult because often times there are no apparent warning signs of a problematic roommate situation. Nonetheless, some warning signs do exist:
1. Personal property disappearing
2. Noticeable lack of personal hygiene or personal appearance
3. Drug paraphernalia found around the room
4. Social isolation
5. Strange odors beyond the ordinary
6. Activity taking place at very odd hours
7. Frequent flows of traffic (people) entering and leaving the house or apartment at all different times
8. Anger outbursts for no apparent reasons

Q. If there have been multiple incidents, what are the best ways to confront your roommate?

There could be several ways to address this issue:
1. Leave a note for the roommate explaining that you would like to meet very briefly at a designated time. When you do meet the roommate, stick to the facts, issue, and possible answers. In other words, you might want to use the what, when, how, where. It is not recommended to finger point because this method could be very counterproductive.
2. One of my favorite methods is preventive measures. For example, make a list of likes, dislikes, dos, don’ts, rules and policies in order to establish an understanding of expectations beforehand.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian