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There are a lot of things that friends and family tell you about before starting college; for instance, that you’ll meet some of your best friends and will truly find yourself. But what they don’t tell you is all the very dirty (literally) details. One of the hardest things for students entering college to adjust to is living with other people, especially if they’ve never shared a room with anyone before. Freshmen and Seniors alike can agree on some of the most disgusting things they have encountered in their dorm-living experiences.


The bathrooms: One of the most heartbreaking things in life is realizing that not everyone was raised with the same standards as you. You might think I’m being dramatic, but I was raised to be a clean-freak, and was shocked to realize that not everyone else is as meticulous about it as me. If you live in a suite, or share a bathroom with a hall full of people, then you know how gross they can get.

  • Hair in shower stalls: Most girls have known the reality of hair clogging up the shower drain well before they move into their first dorm. If you thought your shower drain at home was bad, be prepared and enter your first showering experience with caution.
  • Strange puddles in bathroom: The boys’ bathrooms and co-ed bathrooms are often filled with puddles that you should not immediately assume are just puddles of water. As a rookie, you might not realize the necessity of shower shoes. If I have any advice for freshmen, it’s to buy shower shoes!! Not only will this make you feel less disgusting, you won’t come in contact with as much of the bacteria on the floor and will avoid nasty things like athlete’s foot.
  • Sanitary products where they shouldn’t be: Clark is known for not having receptacles for used sanity in the individual bathroom stalls. Instead, you’re meant to walk outside of your stall with the sanitary product in hand, and dispose of it in the communal bathroom trashcan where everyone can see it. The people with less of an inclination to keep their spaces clean will often just leave the used sanitary products on the floor of the bathroom stalls. It’s disgusting, but it’s a harsh reality of living with a bunch of girls.
  • Vomit where it shouldn’t be: The all-too-common unfortunate sight of slightly dried up vomit on the floor on a Saturday or Sunday morning can be pretty off putting. Even worse is when the bathrooms have been adulterated by someone (or several someones) who drank a little too much the night before.

Sometimes taking a shower and cleaning yourself will make you feel dirtier than you were when you walked in.

The laundry room:

  • Wet laundry everywhere: It might be hard to imagine, but there are terribly selfish people in the world who take other people’s laundry out of the dryer before the drying cycle is over. Don’t be surprised if you find your own laundry dripping wet sitting on top of the dryer that you just put it in.
  • Finding other people’s underwear in your laundry: If you fold your laundry, first of all props to you because there are a lot of college students who mindlessly throw wrinkled up clothing into their drawers. It’s not uncommon to find prizes in your laundry, for instance someone else’s socks, or worse, their underwear.

Dorm rooms:

  • Mice: College students on the East Coast know how common mice are in the winter. They’re not very clean animals especially if they’ve been running around outside, so a mouse sighting can not only be shocking, but also a little bit disconcerting.
  • Questionable water bottles: One thing to take note of when you’re in someone else’s dorm room is to never assume that there is water in that water bottle on their desk. Often times, that water bottle will actually be vodka, but this is a whole different story if said dorm room is a boy’s room. One of the most disgusting things that boys do that I will never, ever understand is that sometimes they use plastic water bottles to actually urinate in when they’re “too lazy” to walk 10 feet down the hall to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

The kitchen:

  • Smelly kitchens: Another good piece of advice I have is to either buy your own mini fridge, or rent one from the school to keep in your actual dorm room. Do not think it’s a good idea to use the shared fridge in the dorm kitchen, because those fridges are more soiled with rotting food than you could imagine.
  • Trash bins spilling over: Sometimes the common trash bins get filled much sooner than Physical Plant is scheduled to switch them out. More reasonable students will just look for another trash can if they see that the one they usually use is overflowing, but there are people in the world who will leave their trash next to the overflowing trash bin, or worse, the compost bin

Some of these things might seem pretty gruesome and you might be having a hard time accepting them as true, but they definitely are a reality. That’s not to say that living in a dorm isn’t fun. My most exciting living experiences have been in dorms; I mean, how could not have a good time with all your friends living in the same building as you?! However, these are some habits to try to kick and to call other people out for because not only does it decrease the quality of life in dorms, it’s also pretty disrespectful to Physical Plant who end up having to clean it all up.




Annabelle is a Senior at Clark University, finishing her undergraduate studies in Business Management, and starting her MBA studies in the 5th year accelerated degree program at Clark. She loves fashion, photography, and writing!
Monica Sager is a freelance writer from Clark University, where she is pursuing a double major in psychology and self-designed journalism with a minor in English. She wants to become an investigative journalist to combat and highlight humanitarian issues. Monica has previously been published in The Pottstown Mercury, The Week UK, Worcester Telegram and Gazette and even The Boston Globe. Read more of Monica’s previous work on her Twitter @MonicaSager3.
Alexis is a student at Clark University studying Spanish and Political Science. When she's not at the library you can find her watching Netflix (probably Bones or The Office), on the elliptical, on KJP's instagram, or reading the news. She's passionate about politics, travel, and fashion. Her goals for the future include getting a job after graduation and trying to live the ideal New England lifestyle. Alexis is very excited to be a new Campus Correspondent along with Annabelle Merlin. HCXO!
Julia is a recent graduate of Clark University who loves reading, writing, and entertainment in any form. You can usually find her obsessing over a new show or movie. She shamelessly loves pop music and pop culture in general and her dog Izzie.
Zoe is a student at Clark University who enjoys reading trashy teen fiction and singing loudly to her roommate. She is a southern transplant who is still getting used to life in New England. She loves political comedy (Samantha Bee) and listening to audiobooks.
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