Dear Fannie

Question: I am an international student here at Grambling, and this is my first semester. So far, it has not been the best experience.This is so much different to my home in Trinidad. I am having roommate issues and don’t know what to do.

What should I do if my roommate uses my stuff, goes into my closet and “borrows” stuff without my permission, and doesn’t compromise in sharing the room?

She always wants things her way; she just comes in and takes the AC on and off as she pleases.

Response: First of all, last time I checked, both of the people who inhabit the room pay housing fees, so there should be no cry for compromise. Now don’t get me wrong on this; it is not my intention to come across rude, but this is the reality of the situation. You are not the first person I have heard complain about their “roommate situation.” It is apparently a major issue for many students.

Most of us leave our homes with the same expectations and assume we can carry our bad habits around with us, without the slightest concern as to how it may affect others.

University life is a big change, especially for those of us who are used to having our own space. But, it’s an adjustment we have to make.

Your roommate needs to understand that the room is not “hers.” It’s shared property, and she is not asked to but obligated to show some consideration towards your needs and comfort.

I personally think that it is quite rude or her to use the air conditioning unit at her will. And let’s not even talk about her going through your stuff and using things without your permission, this is utterly unacceptable.

Honestly there is no excuse for that and I would never stand for it.

You need to talk to your roommate, and let her know that you are not pleased with the present situation. Let her know that you will no longer stand for such.

Put her in check, and if she isn’t willing to compromise, then you should take it to the next level.

Go to your RA and request a room change or whatever you think will please you. At the end of it all, your comfort is just as important as hers.

Being from the West Indies myself, I fully understand how difficult it may be to adjust to such a big change and it’s that very reason you need to secure your comfort.

Yes, it may not be the luxuries you are used to at home but you need some level of comfort to make your time here as pleasing as possible otherwise you’d never be happy here.

I am sure that after you deal with the situation and your living conditions become more pleasing to you your experience here will be much better. Besides life is what you make it, so you should try to make your university experience the best. Don’t expect it to be good; make it good.

Look for next week’s column people and I look forward to your questions and comments.

To submit questions for advice, please e-mail the questions to gniteadvice@yahoo.com.