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What Laundry Taught Me in College

You learn an overwhelming amount of life lessons in going to college. Lessons on how to behave, how to live independently, and how to balance work with play. While folding my clothes I had just washed in the comforting silence of the laundry room, I had an epiphany that a lot of what I learned about doing my laundry also pertained to important life lessons in college. Suddenly, I realized that learning how to do laundry can teach you a lot more about life than I ever could have imagined.

First off, I learned that you can mix different types of clothes in the same washer or dryer. I recognized that you do not have to find friends who have the same interests as you, and that people who are different can offer you lot of new worldly knowledge and ideas of what to do for fun. Keeping this in mind, people can learn to not only search for friends who are in the same major or on the same sports teams or clubs, but to also look for people who can offer them new experiences to make them a more well-rounded person; you can mix your jeans and cottons- it won’t ruin them.

Next, I learned that stains are not the end of the world, seeing as a tide stain remover stick and a little hardwork can make it better. Whether you received a bad grade or messed up a relationship with a friend or significant other, if you address it head on and fix it at the source, the problem usually fades away. However, the longer you leave your dirt covered jeans in the hamper, the harder the stain will be to remove and they may never return to their original state.

I realized that procrastination will only leave you with five loads of laundry to do and no clean clothes. If you leave all of your work to the end of a due date, you will be left burnt out with no motivation, being lulled to sleep by the quiet hum of the drier waiting for your clothes to finish. You can learn that making a schedule and sticking to it is beneficial as routines can help your daily circadian rhythms. If you are proactive and stay on top of your work, you will not be left without a machine on Sunday night to wash your clothes, but you will be left more chipper, with more sleep, and a lot more options for outfits to wear.

A big one to take away is if it does not need to be washed, do not wash it. You learn a lot about saving and rationing in college. Whether in reference to spending money or learning the difference between want and need, there are many learning experiences in college that teach you to beat desire with logic which I think makes for a more independent and mature individual. You  learn to be smart and not spend all of your money at once or your bank account will shrink as much as your jeans if you wash them too often.

What I quickly found out was that doing your laundry didn’t have to be a mundane task if you were not doing it alone. Most college students are in the same situation as you are, and have assignments to complete and exams to study for as well. Suffering together is not nearly as bad as suffering alone, so go with a friend to study to keep each other motivated, or take your laundry down together and chat and socialize as you fold your clothes. Doing laundry for most people is a boring universal task to bond over, so you might just make a new friend in your building next time you are in your laundry room.

Learning to do laundry in college is more than just a practical skill for you to check off your list of things you needs to know in order to live on your own. Laundry has taught me that just a few wrinkles in life never hurt anybody and if you stay on top of your work you will not be left to burn the candle at both ends just so you have a clean pair of pants the next day. It taught me not just how to get by but how to thrive and keep my life neatly folded in drawers and not haphazardly spread about my floor. Most importantly, I learned that I need to thank my washer and dryer for more than just keeping my clothes clean.


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