Although some college students are provided luxury dorm apartments with private bathrooms where they can lounge in the bathtub or use the toilet in peace and privacy, others are not so lucky.
One unfortunate soul who must share a bathroom with an entire floor's worth of co-eds is Jackie Hendry of the University of South Dakota. In the Volante, the student-run newspaper, she recounted some of her ghastly experiences in the facilities.
"Imagine stepping into the only shower stall with enough water pressure to actually rinse the shampoo off your scalp, only to discover that you are surrounded by horrors on all sides," she wrote in her op-ed. "You look down in dread, and see what at first glance looks like a dead mouse. It is, in fact, much worse: a hideously large clump of scum and wet hair from an untold number of the stall’s previous victims."
However, having grown up as an only child, Hendry admits that some of her revulsion relates to not being used to sharing a bathroom with anyone at all, much less more than a dozen other college students. That doesn't mean her disgust isn't justified or hasn't been expressed by others, though.
Tips to survive communal dorm bathrooms
Hendy is by no means the first college student to be horrified by the conditions of her dorm bathroom. Other current and former college students have taken to the internet to provide guidance, to help navigate the sometimes disgusting terrain.
Although floors in dorm bathrooms are typically cleaned daily, the humor site Campus Basement implores those who shower in a dorm bathroom to wear flip flops or another type of waterproof footwear to protect against bacteria. It is also noted that the cleaning staff will almost always be at work when a shower is needed, so it's best to count on bathing either very early in the morning, very late at night or immediately after the bathroom cleaning has been completed if your timing is good enough.
Although, for many situations where access to a bathroom is necessary, students might be better off finding a different location.
"It’s best to just learn to love living in your own filth, and use the bathroom as infrequently as possible.You’ll be much happier that way," wrote the College Basement guide's author, named Kevin Slack.