The scenario everyone fears when moving into a double dorm room: walking in on your roommate having sex. It’s something you never want to imagine, let alone experience. So for the newbies — or the veterans — of double dorm room life, here are some dos and don’ts for minimizing the psychological damage that this situation can incur.
DO NOT: Scream or yell. It won’t solve the issue at hand. The best way to deal with it is to be as quiet as possible so as not to disturb neighbors. Keep the volume down.
DO: Apologize — even if it’s not your fault. This accomplishes two important things: one, it ensures that you’ve gotten the couple’s attention, and two, will decrease the chances of starting a fight with your roommate.
DO NOT: Start a fight on the spot. Take the high road.
DO: Get out as quickly as possible. If you were just grabbing something you needed, then take it and go. But do not feel like you aren’t allowed in your own room because you do pay the same amount as your roommate to live there. Because of their state of dress (or, more likely, undress), they are stuck where they are. Be as expeditious and efficient as possible.
DO NOT: Stand still and stare in shock. They’re naked and afraid. Point your head to your side of the room. You can even hide them from view with your hand. It is key to remember that this is embarrassing for every party involved.
DO: Say sorry again right before you ditch the room. “Sorry!” in this context becomes a word that has many meanings. It can be used as a shocked greeting, a way of expressing your discomfort and a farewell.
DO NOT: Let this affect your day. It is unfortunate that this happened, but everything can be fixed.
DO: Communicate your discomfort to your roommate afterwards. Give yourself enough time to gather your thoughts without being emotionally irrational. If this is a recurring problem and your roommate’s sex life is directly affecting your ability to go to your room freely, speak with your resident assistant.
DO NOT: Stay silent and not talk it out. If your roommate becomes a repeat offender of never letting you know when they need privacy, then it will never get fixed.
DO: Make sure you and your roommate find a way to solve this issue. If it was a mere miscommunication, you both need to discuss how things can be made more clear. In the case of a lack of communication altogether, ensure that each roommate is dedicated to changing this.
And, last but not least, the final DO: Laugh about it, because it’s college — this happens to everyone.