Disclaimer: Anything written in this blog represents the opinions of the author, and no one else. Each blog is written lightly, and is not intended to offend any of the mentioned businesses, locations, students, or staff.
There is no more judgmental situation than that in which you are forced to go to the bathroom next to someone you know, but don’t really know. Actually, it is never comfortable going to the bathroom next to someone. If it is, you either came out of the same womb or that person is someone incredibly unique and you’d best plan to marry that bathroom soul mate. It isn’t comfortable sharing a bathroom with someone you don’t know for any reason, in the first place. The relationship we have with the bathroom is a bittersweet one to begin with. It involves a release of unnecessary junk that we have consumed over the past couple of days, which is both rewarding and sometimes uncomfortable. It also involves the intimate activity of showering, which is both rewarding and a nuisance. Although no one likes to talk about it, the bathroom is a trip that we need, either to wash or to use the toilet, and is a guilty pleasure.
As a girl, I love going to the bathroom. Not for the messy toilet part, but to shower because after showering I know I will have at least an hour to take the time to get ready and get “pretty”. I love my pretty time. The time in the morning when I can sing to my favorite song (which sets my mood for the rest of the day, of course) and when I can take an excessive amount of time choosing out an outfit that I will only be wearing for 5 hours tops before I change for either work or to go to the gym.
Unfortunately, a girl’s joy for the bathroom only minimizes upon arriving to college. I am not kidding when I say that a few whimpers did slip out of me while I experienced my first shower in Fox Hall. I come from a household where the shower will not be touched by any member of the house unless the bathroom has been cleaned within the last five days. Given, I come from a family of five kids, and a grandma on the side, so the shower is the most frequently accessed utility in the house next to the fridge, which means an obsessive amount of bleach and Windex every week is seriously needed. That being said, after my first shower in Fox Hall, I seriously considered dropping out of college. Not only for the sake of my current lifestyle and health, but also for the sake of my future family/children (that I may never have due to the lack of hygiene in my near future as a new college student – and other college problems #freshman15 #toomuchhomework #whatiscalculus #failing #alcoholism #collegeprobz).
It isn’t only the vulnerable feeling of showering next to two other people in a bathroom where three other people may be using the toilets and 4 more the sinks that makes the bathroom trips at college so horrible. There are other extremities that come with the semi-public bathroom experience when dorming at college. While in the shower, your feet are greeted by the soap and dirt from your showering neighbors (about 6 inches away separated by one inch thick, easily-disturbed wall) that spews into your shower through the foot high lack of wall up to your mid-calf. There are the hairs that are definitely not yours that not only follow you around during your bathroom adventures, but have a tendency to join you back to your room. Also, when brushing your teeth, you are forced to smell whatever is leaving (or already left) the body of your peers (aka their lunch from a few hours before) as well as the variety of perfumes and gels that they use to try to cover their natural stench. I will mention, too, that brushing teeth (at least well) commonly triggers gag reflexes and with the added forces of the bathroom in a girl’s dorm, it is only a natural reaction to puke when brushing your teeth.
My personal hygiene may or may not now be, unwillingly, worse than it was when I arrived here at UMass Lowell and I may never recover from the traumatizing nights when I was too afraid of the bathroom so I held my pee for over 4 hours. I will send all of my future therapy bills and divorce fees to 100 Pawtucket Street Lowell, MA 01854. Thank you, Fox Hall.