Surviving a Communal Bathroom

The one thing I absolutely dreaded about going to college was the bathroom. My parents went to the same college I attend (UMass Amherst), so I constantly tried to pick their brain about different aspects of dorm life. And the bathroom was always a scary topic. My mom warned me about co-ed bathrooms and disgusting showers with freezing water.

It's safe to say I took a 40 minute long, piping hot shower the night before I left for college in preparation. But when I got there I was pleasantly surprised.

surviving a communal bathroom

*disclaimer: this may not be true for every college, I am speaking from my own experience!

When I walked in it looked so clean! It wasn't completely outdated, and it was pretty big! My bathroom has six shower stalls and six toilet stalls, and this is shared between about 15 girls. But despite having to share with more than 5 other people, I've never had to wait for a stall. And BONUS: I found out that my bathroom gets cleaned every single day! How crazy awesome is that?

But I want to make something very clear: my school is the exception. This is not normal for most colleges. So I've put together some tips for preparing for and surviving a communal bathroom.

|Prepare for the worst|

When I visit my boyfriend at his school (College of the Holy Cross, Worcetser), the bathrooms are gross. I mean really gross and they only get cleaned once a week. So prepare for the worst. Don't expect a piping hot shower the first time you go to take one, or that all of the sinks will work.

|Bring shower shoes!|

I can't emphasize the importance of this enough. If your bathroom is as clean as mine is when you first walk in you may be tempted to shower without your shoes on, but resist the urge! You have no idea what kind of bacteria could be on the floor or when the last time they cleaned it was. And try and bring two pairs of shower shoes , sometimes if I have a friend sleep over and they want to shower we don’t have to wait for the other to be finished.

|Get a Velcro towel or bathrobe|

I have both and they are some of my most valuable college possessions. I always wrap my hair in a towel after my shower but you can't walk back to your room naked, and I hate walking that far with soaking wet hair. So having something else to wear on the walk back is perfect. Plus if you have a Velcro towel or bathrobe you won't have to hold a towel up and your shower caddy.

|Take your jewelry off before you leave for the shower|

I can't tell you how many earring and necklaces I've found in the soap holder of the shower. Save yourself the money from having to replace lost rings by just taking them off first.

|Buy a plastic shower caddy|

Some people try and get the cloth ones that hang on the shower wall, but trust me that's a bad idea. Get a plastic caddy so that it can dry easily. That way it prevents mold from growing and you having to go out and buy another one. 

What are some of your tips for living with a communal bathroom?



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