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How To Deal With Noisy Neighbors?

I think there are two ways one can approach any situation - constructively or destructively. College life is filled with a variety of unique experiences. Dealing with noisy neighbors can be a pretty bad experience, especially when the situation is dealt with destructively.

I was pretty understanding when it came to dorm living. I knew the ups and downs of living with other people. I knew I would have to deal with difficult people and be tolerant and adjust when I have to. But, my roommate had a slightly different opinion. She is definitely a nice but a feisty girl who didn't like to shy away from a bad fight. Let’s just say that she was not that good at dealing with frustrations and difficult people.

In my sophomore year of college, my roommate and I had the privilege of living the ultimate dorm rooms' drama. Our noisy neighbors in our dorm liked to blast the music throughout the day. If it was not the music, then we had the privilege of listening to fights between scorned lovers in a long-distance romance. On weekends, there would be room full of people partying, laughing and fighting, etc. Needless to say, my roommate and I were very frustrated. I decided to let them know politely about the inconvenience that they are causing. The few times, I went and talked to them about the noise they are making. They seemed to have acted as if they understood the problem. They used to keep it down for a few hours, and it was the same story repeated again.

My roommate was a nice girl. But, after about a month of letting them know about the inconvenience that they are causing. She just lost it. She seemed to have thought the best way to deal with difficult people is by being equally inconsiderate as they are. She became competitive and worked hard on winning the imaginary noise challenge. When they blasted their music, she took that as a challenge and blasted her music, louder than theirs. Of course, I was just an innocent by stander watching and secretly enjoying the drama unfold (although when I look back now, I honestly think, I should have done everything I could to prevent the situation from escalating). After a few months, we moved on from the noise challenge to a deadly cold war. The tension between us and our neighbors when we came across them in the corridor or in the bathroom was almost unbearable. They had their supporters, and we had ours. It came to the point where for our neighbors started making noise not for their pleasure, but just to cause frustration for us. They would just bang on the walls, as if they were looking for unnecessary trouble. Anyway, if you haven’t guessed where this situation has led to, you should know it has led to a very unpleasant wordy cat fight. Then the RA was involved and reprimanded both sides and asked our neighbors to keep it down. But, it was already too late because it was the end of the semester, and it would not really matter it. They kept it quite the last one month. Okay, so we definitely didn't handle the situation constructively.

So, how do you deal with noisy neighbors constructively? Talk to them first and be clear about how their behavior is causing you inconvenience. If they still act inconsiderate like my neighbors, place a complaint with the RA. Residential Assistants are usually assigned for every floor, and they are in charge of dealing with residential problems. I know some people who think it is a sign of weakness to complain. But, I think there is nothing weak about being smart and not getting involved in unnecessary drama or silly fights and saving yourself a lot of time and energy. College life can be difficult as it is. A student has to deal with and balancing academics, extra-circulars and peer pressure, etc. It is better to avoid situations that cause unnecessary stress or act constructively when you do have to face sticky situations.


Ashlynn Hall's picture

Noisy Neighbors

While not in a college setting, I have had my fair share of noisy neighbors. I have put up with ridiculous drama, drunken fun, and blasting music. I never dealt with them personally to fix it. My dad always had a creative solution though. His method is to be louder than they are. They blast music, he blasts music. Not the best approach. I live in a quiet neighborhood now, but if it was my choice, I'd personally go talk to the neighbors in question and set some ground rules.

shelbymary's picture

Talk to your neighbors, and then your RA

I really enjoyed reading your story; it was really funny, interesting, and entertaining! I have to admit that I probably would have acted similarly to your roommate during that type of situation; I get competitive and am easily angered, so I probably would have tried to participate in a similar noise challenge. Although the noise "challenge" may have been wrong to partake in, I definitely think, you were very right in going to talk to them about it upfront. That's definitely the best thing to do in that type of a situation: talk to the person directly and let them know exactly how you feel. Unfortunately, when people continue to act in ways that disturb your personal living environment, that is when you probably need to get your RA involved. Unfortunately, for life after college, you won't have an RA to help you out in dealing with your noisy neighbors. So take advantage of the intermediary help now while you can get it!

Although it seems like your case was pretty extreme, I would advise everyone else to try to be understanding of their neighbors. It's one thing if they're constantly blaring their music, but if they're just enjoying some house guests every now and then and seem to get a little loud, don't be too harsh on them about it. You would want them to be courteous to you if you had people over, so remember that!