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Communal Bathroom Woes

Perhaps the most dreaded risk of building assignments for living on campus is the risk of communal bathrooms. Wearing flip-flops every time you shower, struggling to find an easy way to shave your legs and hair murals on the shower stall walls can make any girl long to remember the comforts of her home bathroom. Even though a communal bathroom is more of a necessary evil, some people will still attempt to boast its benefits (these generally are not the people who have used one recently, if ever).

“Well, at least you don’t have to clean a bathroom!”

While it is great to have a reprieve from scrubbing toilets, this also means that bathrooms are cleaned on the schedule of someone who doesn’t have to regularly use these facilities. It also means that necessities like soap and toilet paper are not always refilled in a timely manner, leaving unsuspecting bathroom goers stranded. Additionally, because we are privy to this cleaning, no one really keeps cleaning supplies around for when things get extra gross. Speaking of gross…

“Oh, but you are lucky because you’re a girl and girls are clean!”

Anyone bold enough to make this statement has clearly never shared a bathroom with 50 girls and friends. As delicate as girls may seem, it appears many forget their manners when they use the restroom. I’ve seen more girls than I care to walk out of the bathroom without washing their hands. I’ve also flushed several toilets before ever sitting down. I thought these basic bathroom protocols were established early on. Finally girls, no one wants to see or touch your blood. It’s gross to look at and not really safe for others to handle. Pads, tampons and bandages belong in trashcans, not shower stalls. I can almost guarantee if you are caught making one of these faux pas you are going to make your peers cringe. It’s best for your rep and the health and safety of your peers if you take a few extra seconds to use basic hygiene practices.

“Well, it’s a chance to get to know people!”

I don’t know about you, but when getting to know people these personal matters aren’t the kinds of things anyone looks to discover in a game of 20 questions. Just like they talk about keeping mysteries alive in romantic relationships, friendships can benefit from leaving a few moments personal. I’m sure my foaming at the mouth look while brushing my teeth has scared away a person or two. The truth is, most of the time bathroom encounters are awkward. Someone says “hi,” while someone wildly nods in acknowledgement with a mouthful of toothpaste. A neighbor strikes up small talk while a breeze makes your towel dress seem less than adequate. Occasionally, someone attempting to slink out of a bathroom stall unnoticed, runs smack dab into a familiar face.

Ultimately, though not an ideal situation, a communal bathroom is survivable, but those Sunny Sallys attempting to make it sound like a good experience will almost always elicit an eye roll. Girls, please be considerate and remember your bathroom manners! If you don’t want to see/touch/smell it I can promise your floor mates don’t either! 

Jessica is a Campus Correspondent for Her Campus at VCU, a Chapter Advisor and a retired Campus Expansion Assistant. She will graduate in May 2017, earning Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies. Her core areas of study include photography, journalism and media studies. In addition to school and her work with Her Campus, Jessica works at her university library as an information associate.
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