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Jocelyn Hsu / Spoon

How to Survive Dorm Bathrooms

The application season for UVIC residences is upon us once again. Single or double room? Dorms or cluster housing? Regular or light meal plan? Many questions are on the minds of incoming students, but there is one thing that students don’t tend to expect: community bathrooms. They show up in nearly every university-themed movie, but you have no reason to fear! I’ve got lots of tips and tricks* to make your residence bathroom experience as smooth as possible.

*This is based on my experience in a community bathroom. Advice for residents living in private, semi-private, and single user bathrooms may vary.*

Bring flip-flops!

A must-have for any dormitory setting is the need for foot protection. Flip-flops can be bought at the pharmacy on campus if you’re in a pinch.

If you can, bring your own toilet paper.

You know that near-transparent toilet paper that public washrooms commonly use? Try using that for 8 months. It’s doable, but overall a rough time. If I could go back in time, I would buy a bulk-sized set of toilet paper to use throughout my time here. 

Adjust to not having access to a tub (farewell, bath bombs!).

As an avid bath lover, this was one of the hardest things to give up. Most tubs in community bathroom residences don’t have plugs in them, and proper disinfectant is recommended for shared tubs. When I’m home for reading breaks, I try to take as many baths as possible to make up for it.

Be aware of guests on weekends.

It is the strangest thing to be showering on a weekend and hear a hoard of boys come in, when the bathroom on my floor is female-oriented. Then they start throwing water everywhere. And punch a few holes in the wall. When having guests over, it is your responsibility to make sure that they are courteous of the environment. When these guests are intoxicated, they can cause havoc in the bathroom. While university can get pretty crazy at times, it’s not fun to be repairing that hole in the wall with your damage deposit. 

Don’t use the garbage stalls for personal garbage!

It has been a year-long issue in my residence that people throw oversized garbage items (Pizza boxes, etc.) into the community garbage. This, in turn, makes the custodian’s jobs harder, having to deal with overflowing garbage. The custodians are so nice here at UVIC, please treat them with kindness! 


I hope these tips will help with the transition into post-secondary. Do you have any advice for incoming residence students? Let us know in the comments!

Savannah is currently in her third year at Uvic, majoring in English and Business. When not swamped with studying, she can be found exploring downtown, drinking way too much coffee, reading, and enjoying the experiences UVic has to offer.
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