College is seriously one of the best times of your life. You probably hear people say that all the time, but it couldn’t be more true. To be honest, I miss it all the time. The classes, the people, all the amazing opportunities and experiences…enjoy it while you can!
Freshman year is an extremely transitional period of any young person’s life. Not only are you thrown into this entirely new world, but you’re finally living away from home. Yes, it’s awesome, but it’s also an adjustment especially if you choose the dorm life (which you should, imho).
There are all sorts of things to be aware of when you move into a community-style dorm, particularly when it comes to sharing a bathroom.
1. Buy a caddy.
I cannot stress this enough, you will NEED a shower caddy. When you live at home, you don’t realize how many products you actually use in your morning routine…shower soaps along with your toothbrush, face wash, deodorant, etc. It adds up and there’s no way you can carry all that shit in your arms. Make your life easier and buy a caddy like this one with pockets. It keeps you organized and you won’t forget anything when you wander half asleep to the bathroom in the morning.
2. Shower shoes are a must.
It sounds weird, but you will absolutely need shower shoes to survive. Think about it, you’re sharing a shower with several other people. It’s essentially a gym locker room. Not to mention, those showers probably aren’t new they’ve been washing college students for years and years. Unless you feel like athlete’s foot is something you really want to try out, get some damn shoes. Cheap flip flops are the easiest way to go and you can throw them out after freshman year.
3. Bring your own towel.
Don’t ever forget your towel. Tuck it in to your caddy along with your shower shoes because there’s nothing worse than realizing you’re without a towel. Take it from someone who didn’t figure this out until halfway through shampooing her hair. Luckily, I’d brought my phone with me and my roommate was able to sneak in a towel. Trust me, you don’t make that mistake twice.
4. Figure out the schedule.
There’s nothing more annoying than having to wait in line forever at a dorm bathroom, especially if you’re already running late for class. Be strategic about your morning ritual and shower times. If you notice 9am is a peak hour for the facilities, get up earlier and go when it’s empty or take your showers at night. That way you can take your time and not be bumping elbows with a bunch of other cranky girls waiting to get cleaned up.
5. Don’t use the bath tub.
If there happens to be one actual bath tub in the community bathrooms next to the showers, avoid using it at all costs. If you’re really in need of a bubble bath, wait until your next home visit or call up a friend with an apartment. Yes, not all dorm baths are the same, but a bath tub is much more likely to harvest bacteria especially when not cleaned properly. Better safe than sorry in my opinion.
6. Be conscious of other people.
Unless you decide to save your shower routine for the wee hours of the morning when no one else is waiting, be conscious of how long you take. Unfortunately, community bathrooms were not built for luxury. Get clean and get out. Other people have been waiting their turn and honestly, why would you want to spend all day in those showers?
7. Don’t be afraid to socialize.
While you’ll want to avoid the big crowds at shower time, it’s okay to socialize with other students dealing with the same community bath situation as you. A girl in my dorm met her best friend while they were waiting in line at the dorm bathrooms. After all, college is the time to meet people, so don’t be shy! Try starting a conversation with someone new in your dorm.