Hold your nose, grab your rubber flip flops, and proceed with caution. If you dare pass through the grimy gates of a communal restroom, I salute your bravery. There is some seriously gross stuff you will find in every dorm bathroom, and if you have a weak stomach or faint heart, you won't make it out alive.
College really was the best four years of my life, but one aspect of my on-campus glory days I'll never miss was the time in freshman year when I shared a washroom with 40 other girls. I can still see it now: abandoned hairbrushes with scraggly hair left on the counter for days at a time, dull razors piling up in the showers, and trashcans overflowing with soiled scraps and bottles of Bud Light. I spent as little time in there as possible, but some people got so comfortable that they left their exposed toothbrushes and toiletries by the sink overnight where anyone could do unspeakable things to them. Blech. I mean, take one look at the contents of the bathroom trashcan to understand just what kind of nastiness takes place in there. If it weren't so gross, it would honestly be kind of fascinating.
I remember seeing this College Humor video back in high school, and thinking the level of uncleanliness was an obvious exaggeration, and that college couldn't possibly be like that — but boy, was I wrong. In my first semester alone, I kid you not when I say I found poop in the shower, and puke on the stall door handle. One time, the bathroom was sealed off by caution tape because some drunk kids decided to arbitrarily set off the fire extinguisher everywhere, and even when it was "cleaned up" by maintenance, it was a huge mess for weeks.
Maybe not everyone has crazy disgusting neighbors like I did, but I have visited enough friends at different college campuses to know they're really not all that different. Here are seven unsanitary things I have personally seen way too much of in dorm bathrooms throughout my university years.
1. Wads of hair
It's everywhere: on the floor, on the counter, in the sink, and don't even get me started on the small animal that has started to form from clusters of it near the shower drain. It comes in all colors, too. With brown, blonde, red, and maybe the occasional purple strand, it's almost like an art gallery, except the artists forgot to clean up their mess afterward, and it's a permanent exhibit we're all tired of seeing.
2. Used feminine products
I seriously don't understand how the sight of soggy, scrunched up tampons and pads can be so common. We are adults, people, and that's, like, sixth grade immaturity status. There are disposal containers in every stall, and two additional trash cans in each bathroom. How hard is it to use them?!
3. Questionable stains
I'm not just talking about the ever-present skid marks or dried up crusty shaving cream on the shower walls. Bathrooms are supposed to be places where we freshen up in a hygienic environment, but good luck with that in communal college dorms, where sticky black gunk, spots of hair dye, and who-knows-what else reside in virtually every nook and cranny of the WC.
4. Bodily fluids
If you see colored chunks residing by the sink, puddles of yellowish liquid on the floor, or pellets of a certain brown substance in places it's not supposed to be, you will know what they are right away. You'd think aiming for the toilet three feet away would be easy enough, but the pungent smell left by your dorm's night prowlers says otherwise.
The only thing more pleasant than watching beetles, spiders, and other creepy crawlers trailing your feet while you sit on the toilet is... you know, just about everything. It's impossible to survive an entire year without seeing at least one bug while you're trying to do your business.
6. Dirty dishes and food
Each floor in a dorm usually has a sort of lounge or kitchen area where sinks can be used to wash dishes, but no — no, people insist on washing their bacteria-ridden plates and silverwear in the bathroom sink. And if it's not dishes, it's moldy bananas or murky Froot Loops. Who in their right mind would bring food into the bathroom in the first place?
7. Used condoms
The thought of getting it on in the dorm bathroom is absolutely revolting, but it happens, and when it does, the evidence is not always disposed of correctly. If your dormmates do get down and dirty in the lavatory, I suppose the foul sight of a crinkled up rubber is slightly better than the discomfort of being sexiled.
Image: Mark/Flickr; Giphy