Unruly Neighbors: How to Handle Their Obnoxious Ways

In college, we inevitably have obnoxious neighbors that drive us off the wall. Whether you’re a freshman in the dorms or a junior living in the prime party complex at your college, these pests will always surface. So, what do you do when you are at the end of your rope and can’t handle anymore? Well, let me tell you from my own experiences as a Colorado-Boulder student.

First, one of the most annoying problems that can arise is when you’re studying for that big midterm and all you can hear is the “thud thud thud” of your neighbor’s bass blasting that techno you can’t stand. Sometimes it’s even music that doesn’t even sound like music. My first approach is always bang on the walls or stomp around wildly on the floor until they stop. But what if that doesn’t do the trick? You can always go ask them nicely at their door to turn it down, which surprisingly works 90% of the time. Consequently, your neighbor will be more conscious of the noise in the future.

So what about if your neighbors have an obnoxious smell coming from their room or apartment and you think your mice problem stems from them? Well, calling your landlord or RA is a simple yet direct approach, but not everyone will always act upon your call. I always prefer a more direct form of intervention. You could buy them some cleaning supplies and Febreeze, and tell them you can smell their apartment from inside yours, or even more direct, clean it yourself. I highly doubt anyone would ever do that, but lending them some cleaning supplies or informing your landlord should do the trick.

Another obnoxious neighbor problem I have run into is having that neighbor who always wants to hang out and come over. Yes, you want to be nice, but sometimes everyone just likes to chill and be completely unbothered. So next time they ask to hang out, you can tell them nicely, “I have some homework to do, but maybe another time.” If they insist they do homework with you, then you tell them, “I have difficulty focusing when others are around.” They should get the hint in that case.

Alternatively, say your neighbor invites himself or herself over to your girl/guys’ night. What then? You hate to be the person that doesn’t include someone, but you really want times with your pals. My best advice here is to say, “I’ve really been looking forward to seeing my close friends and catching up, but maybe we hang out soon.” Don’t feel guilty, however, when they look disappointed; it’s hard to say no to that sad puppy face they get. When this happens though say, “maybe next time” and give your buddies a heads-up so they can include your neighbor in the interaction.

So at one point in college our neighbors will inevitably cause us some discomfort. The best advice I can give is to be honest and up front with them when they do something obnoxious, unruly or somewhat bothersome. In the end, it’s important to maintain a comfortable relationship with them throughout the time you live near one another.

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