Whether you’re totally new to dorm life or transferring to another building, living in shared spaces is intimidating. Throw in a communal bathroom to the mix, and you may have some added fears and anxieties. No worries! This is normal because there are a lot of myths and legends about communal bathrooms. We’ve debunked the most common ones so you can learn the truth about sharing your bathroom.
Myth: You’ll Be Showering With the Opposite Gender
Truth: In most dorms, you’ll have a communal bathroom for ladies and another for men. However, it’s important to note that this isn’t a universal truth. Some dorms will have gender-neutral restrooms, but they likely will have separate showers. In others, you’ll share the entire bathroom, showers included, with the opposite sex. If this makes you uncomfortable and is a possibility, be sure to let Residence Life know ASAP.
Myth: Communal Bathrooms are Super Dirty
Truth: If you have an open bathroom (that is, if it isn’t shared among a small number of people in conjoined rooms), you may have a cleaning person who comes in daily to manage the mess. It’s almost as good as if mom is there cleaning up after you. Though, communal shower manners are that you clean up after yourself, including drains, stray hairs, and leftover soap.
Myth: You’ll Have to Walk Around Naked
Truth: Robes will become your best friend! This should be at the top of your list if you haven’t gotten one already. Pick one out that is a size larger than you normally wear so you can wrap it around for more modest coverage. You may also want to do a test run to see if it’s clingy when you’re wet or if it is shorter than you expected.
Myth: There Will Be Fights for the Bathroom
Truth: During the first few weeks of every semester, you’ll go through an adjustment period during which everyone will be off-schedule. But after that, you’ll start to notice that you like to shower at the same time every day or that your roommate goes to the bathroom before their bedtime. Everything will link up quickly and you won’t need to worry about it once the schedules are set!
Myth: You’ll Be Too Shy to Use It
Truth: Though you may feel odd at first, you will quickly learn that everyone needs to use the bathroom. Some like to spend all their time there doing their hair or makeup while others are in and out. You’ll find a comfort level that works for your needs. We promise! In fact, communal bathrooms are great places to make friends or to bond over a favorite lipstick or a great smelling shampoo.
Myth: There’s a Chance I’ll Get Sick or Catch Something
Truth: Germs spread everywhere, even when the cleaning crew goes through. All dorms are like this, with or without communal bathrooms. That’s why it is important to keep up your bathroom hygiene. Carry around some hand soap, wash and avoid touching anything after using the restroom, wear flip flops when showering, and don’t share anything that is on your face, hair, or body.
The ultimate truth is that communal bathrooms can be an important part of your college experience! Make friends while brushing teeth, get your clean routine down, and don’t be afraid of being uncomfortable at first.
Check out our selection of college bath supplies — from shower caddies to robes, we’ll have you ready for the communal bathrooms at your dorm.
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