Advice for Freshmen: How to Survive Co-Ed Bathrooms

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Communal bathroom

The newest trend in dorm life is to make living spaces more friendly to those who wish to live and work with the opposite sex. While it’s awesome in getting you used to real adulthood, it can be really intimidating for most freshmen to share a bathroom with someone of the other gender. But have no fear, incoming freshmen. You can prepare for a co-ed bathroom by following these simple tips.

Come Prepared

When shopping for dorm supplies, you’ll probably focus on decor and bedding. We don’t blame you. But if you’re not too excited about the initial awkwardness of a co-ed bathroom, we suggest taking some time to really think through your college shopping list.

One thing we highly recommend is to invest in an awesome robe or two. You’ll want one you’re perfectly comfortable walking around in and being seen in frequently. Think not too revealing, not too short, and one with sturdy ties. Try them on, get the right size, and make sure you feel comfortable.

Secondly is the towel situation. Bath towels may be too small to circle all the way around your torso, so we suggest purchasing long towels known as “bath sheets,” which are made like sturdy beach towels. You can always use them in a pinch to get from the shower to your dorm room if your robe gets wet or you forget your change of clothes.

Finally, think about where you’ll be doing the majority of your bathroom routine. Some girls and guys prefer to wash their face, prim, and prepare in the comfort of the bathroom. Others want to keep that part of their beauty secret, well, a secret!  If you are okay with doing it out in the open, make sure you have a waterproof bathroom caddy. If you are the opposite, plan out some creative, compact storage options for your dorm room.

Get Situated

There’s no denying that the first few days or even weeks are going to be a bit weird. You may be afraid of what worst case scenario may happen. But the best thing you can do is not chicken out. From day one, go in with confidence. Act like you’re okay with the new living situation, and eventually, it will feel natural.

The other case for getting your feet wet right away is that you can quickly make a bathroom schedule that makes you feel comfortable. With dorm room bathrooms, you start to notice that you’ll run into the same people showering at a particular time or the same people brushing their teeth with you. Whether it’s because of your class schedule, sports, or just a normal routine, you’ll become more at ease when you develop your bathroom “tribe.”

And in the end, if you’re still not feeling the whole co-ed thing, you can always recruit a buddy to go in with you. Get ready for the day with your best friend or roommate, or make friends with the RA. Eventually you won’t need that crutch to get you through.

There is a catch for all of this though: if co-ed dorms are not for you, that’s okay too! We’re all different and that’s why most colleges have ample options for a variety of lifestyle choices. Don’t be afraid to ask for a change if you’re set against it. You’ll appreciate living with like-minded individuals and your dorm leaders will love that you let them know what you’re not okay with. After all, that openness is the best part of college!

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Katherine Carpenter

Katherine Carpenter

Hi I'm Katherine! I love DIY projects, especially ones that I can use to make my dorm room pop! My favorite flavor of ice cream is mint chocolate chip, especially when it's on a cone. I love hanging out with my sorority sisters and giving back to the community. Always remember to live, laugh and love!