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Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

So, it’s your first year of communal bathrooms -- with a few essential items and helpful hints you will be able to survive the year with no problems, just make sure you never forget your shower shoes! 

Bathroom Essential

Entering your first year of college brings a cluster of different emotions -- excitement, fear, hesitance, and the joys of independence! But there may be one thing lingering on your mind -- how you’re going to make it through sharing a bathroom with an entire floor of people. 

Well, fear not! We’re here to calm your emotions and provide some tips and tricks on how to make your experience comfortable and easy. In no time, you’ll get the hang of using the communal bathroom space and understand how you can make the most of your time. 

We’re sure you’ve heard a few horror stories either from friends, family, or social media videos, and while some people do have unfortunate experiences, yours doesn’t have to be the next YouTube explanation on the terrors of communal bathrooms. 

Sharing a bathroom with a floor of people of the same gender can be a bit unsettling at first, but after a few weeks can become second nature if you’re up for adjusting your normal bathroom routine. 

Unfortunately the truth is, most freshmen get the short end of the stick. They’re placed in older dorm housing that often lacks air conditioning, updated appliances, and unrenovated bathrooms. BUT, the good news is, after your freshman year, upperclass students get to enjoy suite style or apartment living with upgraded amenities! So, all you have to do is make it through this year -- just remember the big picture during this time because sometimes, the grass is greener on the other side. 

We’ve put together a list of the items you’ll need to better your experience as well as some helpful tips that will make it easier to navigate communal bathrooms and ensure that you get your necessary shower time -- because these are some of the only private moments you’ll get during your first year. 

Shower Caddy 

A shower pack comes with everything you’ll need -- caddy, shower shoes, and some washcloths.

First things first, you’ll need a compact storage unit for all of your shower products, otherwise known as a shower caddy. This will become your new best friend since you’ll be using it every day. 

There are a few options for shower caddies -- the first option is a large plastic container with a number of compartments. These usually have two big pockets on the side and some shallow storage in the middle. The side pockets will be for your larger items like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc and the middle can hold items like soap bars or razors. 

Next we have the mesh shower caddy which is usually made with a strong fabric. Multiple pockets line the outside of the caddy and the middle is a catch all compartment, two handles are attached to the outside for easy portability. These can hold a lot more than meets the eye -- the individual pockets on the outside can hold your main shower products and the inner compartment can be used for your towel, washcloth, hairbrush, etc. 

Your last main option for a shower caddy is a plastic container with a single handle. These have one big compartment to hold all of your items. If you’re someone with a knack for organization, this might not be the best option for you since there are no individual pockets or compartments. 

Now you may be asking yourself if this is a necessary purchase and our answer is absolutely! Imagine transporting your items using your arms or better yet a backpack. This is cause for a disaster. Shower caddies are designed to be waterproof and have built in drainage holes to minimize bacteria build up -- and their portability makes for easy transportation to and from the bathroom. This definitely comes in handy when you’re running late to class and only have time to throw the caddy in your room before leaving. 

All college campuses are different, on smaller campuses, your floor mates may get to know each other and become close, so you might feel comfortable leaving your caddy in the bathroom or in the hallway. On larger campuses, if you don’t know everyone on your floor and feel someone may be untrustworthy, you may choose to leave your caddy in your dorm room. The choice is yours, but you’ll typically notice the trend of what others are doing and can base your decision off of that. 


A bathrobe will make you feel comfortable, warm, and cozy as well as make it easier to change clothes.

This item is necessary for your personal comfort. If you feel perfectly comfortable walking to and from the bathroom wrapped in your towel, then you can forgo a bathrobe. But for the rest of us, a bathrobe makes things easier. 

One important helpful tip is you never know who will be in your dorm room or the bathroom. For example, someone in your hall might have a guest over that you don’t know about and they could be using the bathroom when you want to shower. Or your roommate could have a few students over for a group project at the same time when you typically shower. Both of these situations are much easier with a bathrobe because it will protect you and leave you feeling as comfortable as possible around strangers. 

You typically can’t control who your hallmates let visit your dorm, but you can talk to your roommate or resident assistant when it comes to your own dorm room. If you don’t feel comfortable having members of the opposite in your room, especially when you shower, then your RA or campus residence life can help you and your roommate draft an agreement on how the both of you will share the space. 

The bottom line is, we recommend purchasing a bathrobe -- it could become a life saver when you least expect it. 

Shower Shoes 

Shower shoes to keep your feet clean and safe. 

As we’ve already said, you never know who you’ll run into while using your communal bathroom and sometimes strangers will even use your showers. For this reason, you should invest in a pair of antimicrobial shower shoes with drainage holes to prevent the spread of any infections. Your feet hold precious cargo -- you!! So, take care of them. 

You will have to walk all over campus to attend class, visit the mailroom, grab a bite at the dining hall, and sometimes this can even be a few miles. So, you want to protect your feet at all costs, because they’ll be doing a lot of work over the next semester! 

If you haven’t heard of athlete’s foot, we’ll give you a rundown. This is a fungal infection that occurs between the toes after exposure to public areas where other people who have the infection are walking barefoot. This usually results in a scaly rash, blisters, or ulcers that are itchy, sting, or even cause a burning sensation. Please do us a favor and invest in a pair of shower shoes to prevent this from happening, your feet will thank you!

Ditch Your Loofah 

Loofahs are a breeding ground for germs and harmful bacteria, so try another method to wash your body. Image courtesy of Healthline.

If you swear by using a loofah because it’s a great scrubbing and exfoliating tool, you’re right it is, but at a price. Loofahs are a breeding ground for potentially harmful bacterias.

That’s right, loofahs can give you an infection as well. They are made from a intertwining web of natural materials, but in between all those folds and fibers can live some unfriendly things such as mold, dead skin cells, germs, and the dirt, grime, and oil that you scrub off your body everyday. 

Open wounds and pores are how these potentially dangerous germs and bacteria can enter your system. Not only are loofahs a germ breeding ground, but also they are hard on your skin. They can cause damage or irritate delicate skin cells. 

If you can’t part with your loofah, you can boil it after everyday use, but otherwise choose another device to wash your body. 

Other Helpful Hints

Showering in college represents some of your most precious moments of privacy, so try to make the most of it.

Plan your shower times! Don’t shower on a whim, especially if it’s at a popular time. After a few weeks you should start learning the popular shower times and you can use this to your advantage. If you shower during the off times, you’ll be able to shower for longer and enjoy a few extra moments of privacy -- some hard earned you time!

Do your part to not leave any trash behind in the bathroom. Yes, you will have a maintenance staff responsible for cleaning the bathroom, taking the trash out, and making sure that everything is working properly. But don’t make their job any harder, clean up after yourself and encourage others to do the same. 

Getting sick happens, if you end up getting sick in the bathroom, do your best to contain it and clean up after yourself, but don’t get sick and leave a mess behind. If you need help call the maintenance staff, and if you notice someone else has left a mess behind, call for this as well. 

Don’t throw food away in the bathroom! Seriously. If you get a lunch of a burger and fries from the dining hall be sure to throw it away somewhere else. After a few days this will start to smell in a bad way. 

It will take some time for you to become completely comfortable with the dynamics of using a communal bathroom, but don’t fret because you will get the hang of it! With these essential items and helpful tips, you’ll be able to use the communal space to your advantage and get your necessary privacy each time you want to shower. After a few weeks, it’ll begin to feel normal, so don’t stress and remember to wear your shower shoes!