Living in the residence halls isn’t so bad. You get the meal swipes, the dining dollars, the social atmosphere, and all necessary utilities. But the one thing about the dorms that can drive a girl off the deep end is the community bathroom. Privacy has suddenly become a thing of the past. However, don’t fret, there are ways to maintain your dignity (and sanity) while sharing your floor’s bathroom.
1. Bring a Robe
It may be uncomfortable to walk down co-ed halls in nothing but a towel. But then again, it’s also difficult to change into your pajamas while girls walk in and out of the shower area at random. It becomes a race to get that tank top on before you end up accidentally flashing the shy girl in your hall. The solution to this seemingly lose-lose situation is a robe! It’s the perfect article of clothing: it offers the softness and absorbency of a towel, keeps you covered, and can be worn confidently in the halls. You can buy robes online, at the mall, or ask a relative to send you one. There are several different colors, patterns, and textures you could find, so have fun personalizing your after-shower apparel.
2. Have a Shower Schedule
The resident hall showers are notorious for fluctuating between searing hot and unsatisfyingly lukewarm. For those students who choose to take showers late at night, there is a very good chance that there will be no warm water at all. To avoid jumping into jet streams of ice, take a shower around the same time every day. This way you’ll know when the hot water is working and make sure to take advantage. Keep in mind that each quarter, you may have to readjust your schedule. On those days when the hot water has inexplicably disappeared, just take a shower in a different hall or disguise your dirty hair by putting it in a bun the next day.
3. Be a Lady!
It’s the students’ job to keep the bathrooms maintained, since they are only cleaned once a week. Do your part by cleaning up after yourself in showers, at sinks, and in the stalls. The community bathroom doesn’t have to be a place that is entered wearily. It can be a clean and relaxed environment if everyone just takes a few extra seconds to make sure they aren’t leaving behind clumps of hair or toothpaste remnants. Take a moment to make sure you don’t forget anything before leaving the restroom. Wash any substances you may leave in the sink or shower down the drain. And don’t leave trash littered on the floor.
For those who are worried about sanitary conditions, there are several hygienic benefits in the bathroom, like toilet seat covers and soap, so make use of them and keep clean!
4. Keep it all in Perspective
Waking up in the middle of the night with the need to go to the bathroom has suddenly become a dilemma. Here you are in your pajamas, braless, with acne medication smeared on your face and you know you have to walk down a hallway lined with potentially awake peers. Your morning routine has also become uncomfortable, due to the fact that it is now public. Classmates witness the variety of unattractive faces you make while you brush your teeth, the natural state of your skin before cleansing and makeup, and exactly what your hair looks like when you roll out of bed.
Unfortunately all of this must lead to the eventual acceptance that every girl in your hall knows what you really look like, without your morning prep. But then again, you know what they look like too! If anything, it should be comforting to know that the other girls in your hall aren’t pictures of perfection each morning either. Though it may take some time to get comfortable being less-than-flawless around people you know, it’s healthy to keep in mind that no one in your hall is perfect and they aren’t expecting you to be either.