Finding roommates for the DCP (AKA how to successfully speed date)

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So, you've gotten accepted into the College Program.  You know your role, you've chosen your arrival date and you're starting to get a feel for the different housing complexes and know where you might want to live.  There's just one problem - you need roommates but don't know where to start.  Of course, you could just show up on move-in day and have housing assign you random roommates... but if you wanted to go that route you wouldn't be reading this advice over choosing roommates, right?

Random roommates have their advantages.  You don't have to join the crush of new CPs all over social media essentially pimping themselves out to prospective roommates and snatching others up like hawks.  With the new DORMS system, you can even state your preferences ahead of time and be matched up to those you may not have met otherwise.  However, for some (like me), being able to plan housing-related stuff and get to somewhat know your roommates before heading down to Orlando is too important to be left up to chance.

Let me just give any CP, regardless of how they get their roommates, a piece of advice before I start talking more on this post's topic - you never know what someone will be like until you move in with them.  I've seen both horror and success stories from people who chose their roommates, and similar results for those who let housing assign them randomly.  Never let anyone tell you that one method is better than the other - it's totally and completely up to whatever is most comfortable for you.

Anyway, since you're reading this post because you're looking to find roommates let's talk more about that.  First of all, where do you find these other CPs looking for roommates?  Well, the top three places I have seen people look is:
  1. Facebook (as in, the Facebook groups for the DCP program you're participating in)
  2. Tumblr
  3. The DCP board on many Disney forum sites, including DISBoards
In addition, a guy named Matt has started a whole site dedicated to finding roommates through whatever search criteria you want to use.  I have a link on the right-hand side of this blog under "Helpful DCP Links".

Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages, and since you are most likely familiar with how at least one of them works I won't go into too much detail there.  You'll usually find a good template for a roommate survey, including stuff like your name, favorites, sleep schedule and personality, on whatever site you choose to use.  It's up to you how thoroughly you want to fill these out - remember, you're publishing them in a very public fashion so be careful about what personal information you include.

Once you've published one, or if you decide to avoid doing one and just want to search for roommates, you can look around whatever site you use and find others' surveys.  If they sound like a good fit, you can reach out to them and discuss potentially living together.  However, keep in mind that roommate-hunting can sometimes be very competitive (yes, really!) so it's possible they'll tell you they've found some roommates already.  Also keep in mind that people are also constantly looking at your own survey if you published one.  You'll likely feel like a horse at an auction if a lot of people contact you.

Questions to Ask Potential Roommates


Though the surveys the various roommate-hunting grounds provide do a good job of laying down the foundation for what life with a potential roommate might be like, there are still some I feel are important to ask or keep in mind when deciding if someone will get along with you:
  1. Have you ever lived away from your family before?
  2. Have you ever shared a room with someone you weren't related to?
  3. Are you open-minded and willing to potentially live with roommates from various backgrounds with various beliefs? (especially important if you worry that someone might discriminate against you for whatever reason)
  4. Are you willing to contribute to chores around the apartment? (sounds silly, but you want to make sure that you'll have roommates that do their fair share when it comes to cleaning for inspections)
  5. Do you get sick easily, or have problems being around those who are sick?
  6. (for Wellness CPs) Do you feel you have any problems maintaining an alcohol-free apartment?  Can you promise to respect housing's ban on alcoholic drinks and paraphernalia?
  7. (for Non-Wellness CPs) Would you be comfortable living in an apartment where everyone drinks on a regular basis, or would you rather live with those who drink more rarely?
  8. How important is it that you live with roommates who have a roughly similar work schedule to yours?  Can you handle living in an apartment with roommates coming from and going to work at any and all areas of the day and night?
  9. Are you good at sharing space and resources?  Can you promise to respect the personal property of your roommates even if the property has been made available for the entire apartment to use? (especially important when it comes to things like cookware and any electronics placed in living areas)
  10. Can you provide yourself with necessities like food and toiletries, and do you promise to never consume another roommate's without permission? (trust me, this issue is common in CP housing)

Tips for Finding and Evaluating Potential Roommates

  1. Don't assume that just because you know someone personally or are close friends with them they will make good roommates.  Well, unless you've lived with them before.  You never know what living with someone is like until you move in together.
  2. Finding like-minded roommates is always nice, especially when it comes to things like religion, partying, drinking and cleanliness/messiness.  However, you will meet many people from many different backgrounds on your program and it can't ever hurt to branch out a little and find interesting people with a different outlook on life than you!
  3. Be honest and upfront about what is important to you - don't hide facts or distort them out of fear of being rejected.  If you're LGBT and it is important to you to find roommates who support and respect you, make it known.  If you're a devout Christian and need roommates who are willing to attend church or religious group meetings with you, make it known.  If you're deathly allergic to something that you feel might inconvenience those you live with, make it known.
  4. Be courteous to those who have made contact with you, even if you have no interest in living with them.  Thank them for considering you and be kind if you must turn their offer down.
  5. If you're making contact with a potential roommate, respect them if they don't want to live with you.  It's nothing personal, and if the other person is making it so they weren't worth living with anyway.
  6. If you have multiple offers from potential roommates and choose which one(s) you want to live with, don't leave those you didn't choose hanging.  Tell them that you've made a decision right away so they can continue with their search.
  7. Don't stress out too much if you can't find roommates that fit what you need for your program.  Not choosing roommates doesn't put you at a disadvantage when you arrive in Florida - most us are moving in with people we don't know well at all.
  8. Avoid choosing roommates simply because you share similar interests in things like TV, food or anything of that nature.  Those make good friends, but not necessarily roommates.  It's far more important to find roommates who are responsible, will pull their weight in maintaining a clean apartment for inspections and understand how important the program is to you.
  9. Once you've chosen roommates, COMMUNICATE!  Figure out house rules, work out a list of who needs to bring what and make sure you know what everyone's travel plans for the days leading up to move-in day will be.
  10. Don't be afraid to say "no" to rooming with someone.  If you don't feel you'll be a good fit with them it's not worth it to force it.

Important Items to Ask About

Depending on how many roommates you want to live with, there may be many people all trying to bring the same thing.  This can get both expensive and inconvenient as you don't have unlimited space to store items that aren't needed.  This is especially important if a majority of you are arriving alone and can't send extra things back home with your travel  companions that easily.  In my opinion, roommates should always coordinate over who will bring what for these items:
  1. TV for the living room (since these are usually larger than TVs in bedrooms) - and don't forget the cable to hook into the cable outlet on the wall!
  2. DVD/Blu-Ray player
  3. Kitchen appliances
  4. Router
  5. Video game consoles (if most of you want to game)
  6. Large furniture pieces not intended for the bedroom or bathroom


  1. Always, always, always be careful about what you post online.  Only give contact information to someone once you've established they're a real person and honest about their identity.  If someone is being too pushy to get private info out of you stop responding immediately and block them if necessary.  You might think I'm being paranoid but I'm not - I've actually seen things like this happen before.
  2. Avoid harassing a potential roommate - if you've contacted them and they haven't responded give them time to read your message.  It's fine to remind them to let you know when they have reached a decision, but don't force them to decide more quickly than is comfortable for them.
  3. While on your program, if at any time a roommate becomes aggressive or dangerous in any sense of the word report them to housing immediately.  Don't wait until something happens to make your concerns known.
That about wraps it up for this post!  If you're still looking for roommates or are just about to begin your search I hope it helps you in some way.  If you have any questions or want to suggest a topic for me tackle next I'm always listening on this blog and on Twitter.  Have a great evening!

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