Thursday, January 27, 2011

How to Survive Dorm Bathrooms

When you first move into a college dorm, the biggest adjustment you might have to make is to using the dorm bathroom. Only the luckiest of dorm dwellers, at very few colleges, have private or semi-private bathrooms. Most people living in a dorm have to share a bathroom with dozens of other students.

1. Find out right away if the bathroom is coed if you live in a coed dormitory. Many coed dorms separate guys and girls by floor or wing and keep bathrooms separate. But some coed dorms have guys and girls living next door to each other. In these dorms, the bathrooms could be single sex or coed.

2. Get over the shock if you find out your bathroom is coed. At first it feels very uncomfortable, shortly it starts to feel normal. Coed bathrooms do not usually have urinals and if they do they are inside the stalls. In time you get to know all of the other people who share the bathroom and see the opposite sex like sometimes annoying siblings.

3. Learn the cleaning schedule. Dorm bathrooms sometimes get cleaned during the week, but not on the weekend. Find out what the cleaning schedule is for your bathroom and try to coordinate your bathroom use to right after a cleaning. Of course you have to use the toilets in between, but time showers and other extended bathroom use to follow a visit from the cleaning person.

4. Wear shower shoes, flip flops or sandals when going into the bathroom if you are barefoot. Keep your flip flops on when taking a shower to avoid getting athletes foot, staph and other infections that can be transmitted from shower floors.

5. Use common sense. Assess the cleanliness of the bathroom before using it. If someone throws up in a bathroom stall on a Friday night, and the cleaning person isn't coming until Monday, consider putting on rubber gloves and cleaning it yourself. If you don't want to clean it, notify the Resident Director or whoever is in charge of the building to see if they can call in a cleaning person.

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