Going to the Bathroom is a Breeze: Tips for Communal College Bathrooms

Everyone goes to the bathroom. It’s a fact of life. Residence hall communal bathrooms throw the whole it’s-natural-to-go-to-the-bathroom thing for a loop. Now there are multiple people in the bathroom when you get ready for bed, or better yet, when you have major bedhead in the morning. Just as there’s etiquette in most public places, the same goes for communal bathrooms. So here we go:

It’s alive!

In magazines and celebrity award shows, hair is celebrated. In shower drains, hair is disgusting. If not cleaned regularly, hair left in communal showers can accumulate to the size of Cousin Itt from The Addams Family. Eerie monsters aren’t exactly what you want to see when taking a shower. Clean out any hair that accumulated in the shower drain after you’re done showering. This can be done with a wad of toilet paper taken from one of the stalls. Cleaning out your own hair is way less gross than cleaning someone else’s hair out of the shower drain. Don’t forget about the hair that somehow manages to stick on the walls or ceiling of the shower. It’s a marvel of physics, but it does happen. Be courteous and clean up after yourself in the shower. This suggestion especially applies to women.

Caddies aren’t just for the golf course

Shower caddies are the bomb. That’s not an advertising ploy; it’s the truth. Even the University of Illinois expresses the wonder of the shower caddy in their campus tour video. A shower caddy makes the “commute” from your dorm room to the bathroom struggle free. Shampoo bottles don’t spill out of your arms as you drag your towel along the floor. Everything is much more convenient in a shower caddy. Not only that, but shower caddies prevent you from leaving any of your belongings behind in the bathroom. This saves them from being thrown out accidentally or being stolen. Shower caddies are easy to find in stores, ranging from Wal-Mart to Bed Bath & Beyond. It’s one of those lesser known college tricks to make your daily life easier.

Don’t cry over spilled milk

Or spilled water or toothpaste. Basically, if you make a mess in the bathroom, clean it up. This includes toothpaste left around the rim of the sink, water splashed on the counter as you make your way to the paper towels, and hair that makes its way from your head to the sink basin. Wiping up after yourself is simple courtesy that makes the bathroom a more enjoyable place for others using it. These tips are especially important if you have a semi-private bathroom, such as in a suite. There’s no blame game there. Your roommate(s) will know it was you. You can’t sing “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy. This goes the same for shampoo bottles or nail clippers left behind. These objects could be mistakenly thrown away or taken by other students. After all, it’s finders keepers.

What did you just eat?

Cleaning up after yourself goes to a whole new level when food is involved. Those Ramen noodles, pizza rolls, or coffee grounds from your morning brew need to be cleaned up at some point. The microwave may cook the food, but it sure doesn’t clean up the mess. To the bathroom sinks you go! As you wipe away the delectable goo, some of that food gets caught in the drain, waiting to be discovered by anyone else who uses that sink. That’s not exactly the sight a person wants to see when washing their hands. Be kind and wipe out the food after you wash your dishes. It’s much less disgusting to see food scraps in the waste basket instead of the sink.

You’re going to be in the bathroom every day. It’s inevitable. Follow these simple tips, and your communal bathroom experience won’t be as traumatizing as you may have been expecting.

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Rebecca Jacobs

Rebecca Jacobs

Rebecca Jacobs is a sophomore at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, pursuing a News-Editorial Journalism degree. An avid bookworm, Rebecca reads all texts Ray Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut when she’s not busy writing for The Black Sheep on campus. Back home, she spends a vast amount of time enjoying nature with loved ones.