We all have at least one roommate we can’t stand. That’s my theory at least. College is an exciting experience in which many new people are introduced in your life. Many of us live with complete strangers for the first time in our lives. Some of them become our best friends. Some of them, we can’t wait to get away from.

So how do you handle it? There are many ways to do it and I’m no expert. In fact, I was horrible at handling it. Most of the time I would just ignore that one roommate I didn’t like. He never cleaned up after himself. He came out at 10 pm to tell us to be quiet and then keep me up until 1 am. His girlfriend practically lived at the place and made me feel like I was intruding all the time. He clogged the toilet and left in there to “dissolve” (his words exactly).

Everything bothered me about that roommate. His laugh even got under my skin. I was not happy living at my apartment even though I had other great roommates. One day, I learned a valuable lesson. I noticed he was going through a hard time. He had just gotten engaged and things were rough. His fiancee’s parents didn’t approve. Interestingly enough, I was going through a similar situation at the same time. We didn’t have a deep heart-to-heart, but I just told him I was there for him. I could tell he was really grateful for it.

It was at that time I realized that we all go through things people around us don’t realize. The people we dislike go through hardships and suffer from imperfections just like we do. The dynamic of our relationship didn’t change or anything, but I felt more understanding toward him after I just let him know I care about him despite how I acted.