It’s rather peculiar how the rare Ithaca sun comes out just as soon as Cornell Days starts. As I watched the doe eyed prefrosh hopping about the Arts Quad taking in the atmosphere of great knowledge, I decided that I should give my two cents advice to the incoming freshman. Lots of people give these new bloods advice about classes and how to make friends in college but I would like to inform the prefrosh, and current students alike, about something that everyone seems to neglects to count as important to having a healthy college life — bathroom etiquette.
Part of the “college experience” is spending freshman year living in a college dorm. That means living with many people. And people always need to answer nature’s call as well as take a shower and all that good stuff. Bathrooms are one of the facilities we share with everyone therefore it is necessary to maintain a certain standard when utilizing these facilities as a show of respect for the wellbeing of your fellow dorm mates. Here are some ways you can brush up on some bathroom etiquette before coming to college.
First of all, never throw room trash in the bathroom trash cans. This might seem like an obvious rule but it’s one that many people seem prone to break in the dorms. In my suite, the service workers got so fed up with people throwing room trash in the bathroom that they emptied the trash bag onto our hallway and stuck the sign “Do Not Throw Room Trash In The Bathroom” on our hallway wall. The lovely stench of trash that welcomed my suitemates and I every time we came back to the dorm was far from pleasant but I absolutely understand the service workers frustration at people throwing soda cans and ramen containers in the bathroom. When people are provided with perfectly functioning trash cans in their rooms there is no need to be overloading the bathroom trash with food wrappers and boxes. Let’s show some respect to the hard workers who ensure our bathrooms are clean and put away our own trash.
Similarly, never use the bathroom sink to wash dishes. As gross as this sounds, many people are guilty of doing this. It’s rather unsettling when I wake up to brush my teeth and they are food particles in the sink, especially when the particles are the gooey green of the previous night’s guacamole. There are kitchens in the dorms for a reason: use them.
The most important thing to remember when you visit a bathroom is common courtesy. We all have busy schedules but it’s rather rude and borderline creepy to hover outside the shower curtain like a serial killer or lean against the stall for someone to finish grooming. Such behaviour is unnecessary. Just be patient or talk to your suitemates about the time they take in the bathroom without invading their privacy. Which leads me to my final point: clean up after yourself and try to leave the bathroom as clean as you found it.
I understand that sharing living spaces with lots of people comes with its unavoidable conflicts but being considerate and keeping in mind that other people use the same facilities as you goes a long way to making your college dorm experience the best years of your life.