I recently moved into an apartment where the listing specified, “Looking for women with LDS standards.” I met the girls and moved in believing the other roommates in the apartment would be adhering to the Law of Chastity and Word of Wisdom. But it’s been nothing but booze and boys since day one.
All of the other girls have lived here for at least a year and as the new girl in the house, I don’t feel like it’s my place to change how they live. But I feel very uncomfortable and I’d like to live in a place that is and feels peaceful and clean. I’ve signed the lease, I’m obligated to live here for at least a year, but I’m feeling like I can’t make it another minute. Help?
Dear New Roommate,
I don’t blame you, and while you’re right — you can’t change how they live — you still have options in this situation.
Option No. 1
Talk to your roommates. It may be uncomfortable to talk to all of them at once so I’d speak with whoever was your main contact during your initial move-in. Tell her in an honest (not condemning) way that the living conditions aren’t working for you so you’re looking to move someplace else.
Offer to sell your contract on your own (you can use KSL.com or Craigslist or even Facebook to do this) but give her the option of choosing your replacement. Since you’ve signed a lease, I would also talk to your landlord to make sure you're aware of all of your legal and financial obligations.
Option No. 2
Have a roommate “family home evening” to discuss house expectations and etiquette. Use some of the time to talk about what’s not working for you and collaboratively come up with ways to improve. There’s a chance that other roommates are feeling similar discomfort but aren’t sure how to bring it up. This meeting could be really positive and could be the catalyst in creating that clean and peaceful environment that you’re looking for.
If option No. 2 doesn’t work, you can always go back to Option No. 1.
Remember that these things happen, it may feel really stressful and dramatic but it doesn’t have to be. Be kind, calm and honest and whatever you choose, the Spirit will help out.
Angela Trusty is a millennial writer who lives and writes about the young single adult Mormon experience. Twitter: askange_column