How I Survived the Campus Water Shutdown

Wednesday, April 26th was a dark day at American University. From 10 P.M. to 4 A.M. they were going to shut down the water throughout most of campus. Just for some context, it's almost finals week and many students were up late studying, which means many students were in the parts of campus with no water for the whole night. I was one of those students, and here's how I survived. 

9:00PM: As the impending doom loomed over my head that I wasn't going to have water soon, I chugged a bottle of water to make sure that I peed before the water turned off. 

9:30PM: I realized that I wanted a coffee to help me stay up and study, but alas the coffee shops were closed because of the impending water shutdown. 

9:45PM: I became worried because I hadn't peed yet, and I had a mere 15 mintues before doom set over the campus. A kind fellow student told me that the school put porta pottys outside the library, but in no way was I going to use those. 

10:00PM: They closed off the bathrooms in the basement of the library, I was angry.

10:05PM: I had to pee. I held it in thinking the feeling may go away. I knew this was probably not the case...since I chugged a bottle of water. 

10:30PM: I was proud of myself for holding in my pee so long but because UTI's aren't fun and I was pretty sure I was going to pee myself, I decided to try to find a bathroom. On the silent floor I whispered to my friend about finding said bathroom and complained about not wanting to use a porta potty. A girl at the cubicle next to us kept starting at me, and I thought it was because I was talking on the silent floor, but she actually relayed that the third floor bathrooms in the library were working and that if SIS was still open that they hadn't locked the bathroom. I ventured off. 

10:32PM: I figured that they had locked all bathrooms in the library, so I headed over to SIS to use that bathroom. I see the porta pottys on the side of the building. I look in disgust. The doors to the building were locked so I waited until someone exited to open the doors. I get into the building and the women's bathroom is unlocked! I use the bathroom and to my surprise, the sink was also working. 

10:36PM: I know I'm going to be up late, so I exit SIS through the side door and use a rock to keep the door open for future use. 

10:38PM: As I'm walking towards the library I overhear a conversation about where to pee on campus. I walk over to the strangers and discuss with them different places that they know where the water is working. We trade intel and I share how I've rigged the SIS side door with a rock. 

11:00PM: I'm thirsty and want to fill up my water bottle with my friend Joe. We go to the water fountain and place our bottles under the automatic fountain. Water comes out! I question how real the water shutdown is. I also question if that water is good to drink. 

11:30PM: I am being unproductive in the library so I decide to go home (to centennial). 

11:35PM: As I walk to my dorm I see people actively using the porta pottys that were placed outside of the LA Quad. One girl complains about how they have a hand washing station with paper towles but no trashcan. A boy comes out of one of the stalls and comments on how bad it smells in there. 

12:00AM: I finally am falling asleep, and I feel the urge to pee. I hold it in and go to sleep. 

2:00AM: I wake up with a strong urge to pee. I try to stay in bed and go back to sleep but I cannot. I get out of bed and try flushing the toilet to see if it's working before's not. I decide to use the communal bathroom in the hallway because honestly I figured that others had peed in it. I was right! 

2:10AM: I peacefully go back to sleep. 


Well there you have it. Although I made it through, I must say that it was a tough ride but thank you for coming with me on this journey. 

Photo Credits: Cover, 1, 2