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The Struggle of Doing Laundry in College

Did you know there are more than 900 combinations of variables in a single load of laundry, including water temperature, water hardness or mineral composition, and washing-machine setting?  When you left for college, you took on a world of new responsibilities.  Simple errands like making your bed, cleaning your room, buying food at the C-store, and doing laundry can seem like a huge hassle, especially when you also have to go to class, do homework, go to clubs, play sports, take on leadership roles, do community service, and leave a little time to just relax and have fun with friends.  But you’re not alone; laundry is hard for everyone.  So sit back and enjoy my little rant. Your laundry can wait till next week.  

Putting clothing in your laundry bag and not just on the floor is such a struggle, especially when your roommate is sleeping, the lights are off, and you trip over the bag.  

You have to sort clothes by hand wash; machine wash; machine wash, but line dry, and dry clean (which you can’t even afford).  In order to figure out how it should be washed, you have to strain to read the tiny label with the mysterious meaningless symbols.  You also have to divide your clothes into lights and darks.  But do bright colors fit into lights or darks?  Maybe you’ll just have to do a third load for colors.   

Then once you finally have found a chunk of time long enough to do your laundry, you have to lug that big bag of three weeks worth of clothes to a completely different building because your dorm doesn’t have washing machines.  

Once you get to the laundry room, you realize your card is out of Who Cash so you either have to reload it or go back to your room to get change.  After you’ve finally figured out the payment problem, you realize you paid for the wrong machine, so you have to redo it.  


After that, you realize you have loaded all your clothes into the washing machine before putting the detergent pods in that were supposed to go below all your clothes.  So you unload the machine, debate whether to put in one detergent pod or three, and then put your clothes back in again.  

Then its finally time to just sit back and wait . . . that is until its time to dry your clothes.  You don’t know whether to go back to your room or not because its not quite enough time for it to be worth it, so you sit in the gross basement laundry room for an hour and attempt to do homework, but cant concentrate with the swish swash noise of the washing machines.  

When its time to dry your clothes, you are expected to move your clothes from the washing machine to the dryer, but of course you drop half your now clean clothes on the dirty floor in the process.  

You realize the clothes will be in the dryer even longer than they were in the washing machine, so you decide to do your hand wash while you wait. You feel awkward washing your bras in the sink and the greasy laundry detergent refuses to come off your hands.   

You then go back downstairs to take out the clothes from the dryer and realize an impatient classmate already did that for you.  

Some of your clothes are still wet, but all the dryers are taken and you don’t want to wait another whole hour, so you lug everything back to your dorm and realize you do not have enough hangers or hanging space in your tiny dorm room to hang all of your wet clothes.  You know that your clothes will never dry in your stuffy dorm room and that they are going to mildew and smell up the place.  

You sit down to fold everything and put it back in your drawers, when you realize half the clothes need ironing, but you are way too lazy for that (and you’d probably just burn yourself anyway), so you decide you’ll just have to put the wrinkly stuff aside and not wear it until you feel like ironing (which will be never).  

Now that you finally finished your laundry, and its Sunday, and you’ve done no work all weekend, you can now start the hours of homework you have.  But at least you finished your laundry!  You’re super! 

But that really was a struggle, so why not, as this shirt tag says, just give it to mom.  

I am a first-year at Brandeis University. I'm from New York City and am experiencing city withdrawal. In my free time I enjoy hanging out with friends, sewing, watching netflix, doing musical theater, and eating lots and lots of mac and cheese.
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