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How to Survive Communal Bathrooms When Living in the Dorms

Posted on September 12th, 2016 by Bryanna Davis

Unless you’re going to live on your own during your time in the US, you will have to share a bathroom with one, two (or more!) roommates. Although it might sound awkward, here are a few things to keep in mind on how to survive communal bathrooms when living in the dorms as an international student. With a little preparation, and a lot of patience it doesn’t have to be as bad as it seems.

Tips for Survival

  • Spot clean after using it. This means don’t leave hair in the drain, trash on the floor or toothpaste stains in the sink. Even if there’s a cleaning crew that cleans your community bathroom there will more than likely be someone that has to use the bathroom after you- before the crew can get there. Keep it clean for those after you. If you share a bathroom with just one or two people then make sure you come up with a cleaning schedule so you can all share the burden of keeping your shower spic and span.
  • Wear shower shoes. If you live in a dorm that has a community bathroom you will want to buy a pair of flip flops that you reserve for the shower. Not only is everyone else walking around barefoot but with all of the bacteria, water and humidity it’s a breeding ground for fungus and other communal diseases.
  • Use a shower caddy. You might think you can simply carry everything to the shower each day, but after a while you will see just how useful a caddy can be! The communal shower might not have a shelf where you can place your items that aren’t in a caddy and you more than likely won’t want to put your toiletries on the floor (refer to the item above). Spend the $5 and invest in a shower caddy!
  • It’s all about timing. The first couple of days at school take notice of when people use the bathrooms (more specifically, the showers) the most. Knowing when “high traffic” times are can help you avoid waiting in lines or having to share a sink. More than likely it will be between 8am and 9am, right before the first classes of the day are about to begin. Get there early or take your showers in the evening. If you only share a shower with a roommate and/or a suite-mate then simply create a shower plan so everyone can fit one in each day- without any conflicts.

Do you have any tips for making the not-so-fun bathroom sharing situation a little bit easier to handle?

Written by Bryanna Davis

Bryanna joined EIC in 2011 after returning to the United States from teaching English in China. Her interest in international education, sparked initially by her own study abroad experience in Wales, led her to the company. Bryanna is originally from Missouri and is a graduate from the University of Central Missouri.

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