Your roommate survival guide

Trust me, we love each other.  No really.

So you've never lived with other people besides your family in your life.  Not only that, but you also don't have to share your room with your siblings (assuming you have them).  The College Program will be the first time you live with other people your own age (relatively) and you're probably freaking out.  That's cool, everyone does it to some extent.  Personally, I've shared a room at home all my life and have been living in a dorm at school for the past three years... and I've learned that there are certain guidelines one must abide by in order to survive.  Are you ready?  Here they are:

  1. Post-Its are never a good idea.  Unless they're the inspiring kind.  Or the stupid kind.  Or the funny kind.  Or the inspiring stupidly funny kind.  Just no angry ones, please.
  2. Do your chores.  If you make a mess, clean it up.  Much as you like when your roommate cooks for you he/she's not your mama.  And don't think you can sneak a mess in there - they'll know.
  3. Sometimes it's best to let your roommate drag you away on an adventure even if you don't wanna go.
  4. Quoting Honey Boo Boo can resolve conflicts automatically.  Unless not all of your roommates are in on the whole thing and wonder why you keep talking in a weird Southern drawl.
  5. Sneaking through your room like a ninja at night (mostly in the dark) is essential if you want to get changed and into bed without your roommate(s) waking like the great evil dragon of lore.
  6. Never turn down a ride from one of your car-wielding roommates.  Especially if it's to Target and you are too sophisticated for Walmart.
  7. Roommates will only do laundry for each other once in a blue moon.  Be that person - offer to wash everyone's towels because we all know that it takes one person ages to make it through a load's worth of towels.
  8. Eat only food that you've bought.  Sneaking your roommates' other stuff might work sometimes, but young people pay more attention to their pantry than anything else in life.
  9. If you walk in on your roommate changing, the worst thing you can do is stand there apologizing and stammering while averting your eyes as if you've just witnessed the most shocking thing in the world.  Seriously.  It makes it
  10. Share the couch.  If you choose to nap on it, prepare to wake up when four people try to sit on you at once.
  11. Attempt to drag a roommate on a ride they don't like and prepare to suffer a horrific fate as they desperately attempt to fight back against you with all of the power of a championship boxer.
  12. Friends don't let friends eat instant ramen for more than a day.
  13. Bringing family into the apartment always makes things awkward because it is your and your roommates' super secret man/lady cave and you should've known that already.
  14. What happens in the apartment stays in the apartment.  Unless it's hilarious and embarrassing, in which case you should record the whole thing and promptly post it online for all the world to see.  Don't worry, your roommate is sure to forgive you someday.
  15. Don't sweat the small stuff.  In the end it doesn't really matter if your roommate forgot to replace the toilet paper in the bathroom or left her large collection of blankets and stuffed animals strewn all over the living room.
  16. If you bring a fellow CP to the apartment and they instantly make a joke along the lines of "did a bomb just go off in here or what?", congratulations.  You have a mess so large that even another messy, absentminded college student has taken notice.  Continue with the mess making until next inspection.
  17. Never sleep in on a day when you've got an adventure with your roommates planned.  Just... don't.
  18. Walking into the apartment after work and calling out "honey, I'm home!" is tacky and weird.  Unless one of your roommates just so happens to be called Honey.  (Wait...)
  19. If you or at least one of your roommates is a gamer, prepare for nights of endless entertainment and/or heartbreak and stress.
  20. Mail runs will become the bane of your existence if you live far away from the mailbox.  Always drag at least one roommate along to suffer with you.
  21. Never enter another roommate's room without their permission, because they probably don't want you to see the half-eaten plates of food they've been accumulating for the past three days.
  22. Beach trips are a must in summer.  Not getting work off for these wonderful, wonderful days is simply unacceptable.
  23. Skyping with your pets is a valid way to spend your free time and don't you ever let anyone tell you otherwise.
  24. If it's the night before inspections and you're sleeping rather than helping to clean, prepare to not be sleeping very soon.  Because you will be awoken very, very abruptly.
  25. Housing meetings are uncomfortable and unhelpful - only do them as a last resort because you will feel very strongly like you are in marriage counseling.
  26. Snuggling with your roommates is perfectly acceptable and not weird at all.  Unless one of you makes it weird.
  27. Prepare to have a book's worth of inside jokes by the end of the program.
  28. You will probably have that roommate who constantly forgets things like their keys or their housing ID.  If they do and get stuck trying to verify their identity at the security gate, it's okay to point and laugh at least once.  Just make sure that they don't forget it next time.
  29. Not spoiling your roommates on their birthday is unacceptable.  After all, they're probably hundreds of miles away from their family and this is your opportunity to load them up with junk they don't need ;)
  30. Your roommates will become like family if you play your cards right, and you will be very upset when you get scattered to the four corners of the country if not farther.  Constant contact and Facebook spam is a must.
Sad this list wasn't as serious as you thought it would be?  Well, that's my point!  Living with strangers may seem daunting at first but if you have ever made a friend in your life (and I'm assuming you have) you already have most of the skills needed to handle a roommate.  Be patient.  Be understanding.  Be honest and forthright about your feelings when something upsets you.  Don't take things too seriously if they're not major problems.  And always be willing to compromise in order to make sure you and the people you live with both get treated fairly while in your home away from home.


  1. 8. YES
    15. Warning: if you leave your collection of blankets and stuffed animals in the living room I will cuddle up with them and go to sleep.
    18. Marathon?
    29. There will be a ton of spoiling going on in September. I think we have like 4 birthdays then haah

    I might be a bit rusty at having a roommate (it's been a year haha) but I'll try to do my best to make our room super epically awesome <3

  2. Hi !
    I really enjoyed reading your article, i'm arriving in march from France, and I look forward to it !

    I have a concern though... I'm a gay guy and never have lived with any roommates.
    Are people there tolerant, or do you think it can lead to issues with my roommates?
    Did you meet someone who was gay when you were there, and how did they lived the experience ?

    Thank you for your answer!


    1. Hi Louis! Most Disney guests and cast members are very open-minded and I did not personally experience any anti-gay harassment in either of my programs. I did work with a couple of cast members that were a little homophobic in their way of thinking but I couldn't see them making an issue with a gay roommate if they had one.

      Personally, I have had at least one gay roommate (and I identify as bisexual myself) and I knew at least several gay men on the CP. They all had relatively pleasant experiences and they took advantage of the unofficial gay pride stuff that groups organize both in and out of Disney.