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Living With Dorm Community Showers

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Communities showers are no laughing matter in college dormitories. Two necessities are shower shoes, meaning sandals or flip flops, and a caddy to hold all belongings. Shower shoes protect your feet from harmful chemicals and germs. Shower caddies have multiple compartments for placing the following items:


Toothbrush travel case





Hair comb/brush


Shaving cream


Soap/body wash

Hand towel

Shower cap

Saline/contact solution

Not all of these items will be placed into a caddy, especially if a dorm room already comes equipped with a sink, as some do. Some roommates will share a suite or bathroom area with another dorm room or multiple dorm rooms. Etiquette for residents sharing suite-style restrooms is just as important as if it were a community restroom. Without proper consideration, arguments or sour behavior may erupt about a person’s minimal effort to purchase or replace toilet paper and certainly to contribute toward maintaining its cleanliness. Being able to resolve these situations decreases the sizable workload of the campus maintenance team. Residents should take precautionary steps to unclog drains using a strainer device to collect fallen hair and then remember to manually collect fallen strands from the strainer after taking a shower.

Community showers and suite mates are all part of the college experience. At times, it feels like a traffic jam given all of the people waiting in line for either a toilet, sink to brush their teeth or a quick shower before early morning class. Or, waiting for maintenance to finish tidying up. Once you get a shower, remember these rules of thumb:

Bring an extra toothbrush in case yours or the person next to you drops theirs on the tiled floor. Having a spare is perfect because a trip back to the room may be inconvenient during long lines.

Bring enough soap or body wash for two showers, just in case a body part accidentally touches the shower wall or curtain.

Keep personal thoughts or conversations to a minimum because community showers echo. One person’s attempt to listen translates into everyone listening.

Now, try as you might, some community shower experiences are more opportunistic than anything else. Consider yourself lucky if you are never caught showering during a routine fire drill. Like everyone else in the dormitory, you and your towel wrapped body will be forced to exit the building – shower shoes, freshly shampooed hair, shower caddy and all – making for quite an embarrassing moment.

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