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Delaney Ray

How to Survive Communal Dorm Showers

by Delaney Ray | Sep 12, 2016

Don’t Be Afraid — if you are finding yourself in fear of the white-tiled cubicles in your bathroom, I understand. But you must not be too scared, for fear is an overwhelming emotion and we do not want it to consume you enough that you refuse to shower. THIS IS NOT AN OPTION. Showering is a must. Since I know you may be dreading such an awful cleaning experience, here are some pointers to help you in your mission.

  1. Shower Shoes Are a Must — There is no way of knowing what may lie in or on the floors of these lavatory shower stalls. These floors may be host to bacteria. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want any weird growths on my feet. Anyway, if you have no shower shoes in your possession, get some ASAP! I don’t care if you have to use your brand new, designer brand, expensive, adorable flip flops or sandals, use them and buy a new pair…or buy a new foot. Just Kidding.
  2. Feel Free to Switch Stalls — If you walk into a stall and see an unidentifiable foreign object (UFO) anywhere in that shower stall, turn your behind around and find another one. I know some people prefer to use the same stall every time they shower because they like consistency, and I like it too, but don’t sacrifice your sanity — or gag reflex — just to use your favorite stall. So back on out, mosey on down the line, and pick a new favorite.
  3. Stay Within A 3-inch Radius — While in the shower, I recommend remaining in a tiny 3-inch radius so as to not touch, well, anything at all. I know you need to tough out touching the handle to turn on the water and the tiniest little bit of the curtain to close it, but other than that, stay away. Those walls and the inside of that curtain may be filled with secrets and lies, you never know.
  4. Play Music — In order to not think about where you are and who has possibly been there before you, play some music. I find it easy to just lay my phone on my clothes and play a little music. BUT, whatever you do, do not repeat the actions of some fellow females on my floor they took a 4-foot speaker (yes, you read that right) into the bathroom one day, plugged it into the wall IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BATHROOM and blared music. I mean, honestly, blared music. I like loud music and all, I like to dance around and sing at the top of my lungs, too, just like the next girl, but I consciously restrain from doing such in the communal bathroom, and you should too.
  5. Don’t Look Around — I know I said earlier to quickly survey the stall for an “unidentifiable foreign object,” but once you have decided on a stall, stop looking around. One of the worst things you can do is be totally undressed, soaking wet, with shampoo in your hair, and notice something you never wanted to see…ever. This pointer also goes along with: get in and get out as fast as possible. I understand that people sometimes like to take long, warm showers, but your dorm is not the place for that. Get In, Get Out, and Don’t Look Around — sounds a little like a top secret mission from a movie. Woah! You are now basically an action movie star, look at you go.

Finally, and I feel like this should go without saying, please clean up your messes. We do not want your stray hair or forgotten bar of soap to turn into some other girls’ nightmare over an “unidentifiable foreign object.” And never forget that the janitorial staff must come in and clean up your mess. So please make it a little easier on the staff. Plus, they are probably the #1 group of people you do not want to anger. They are the superheroes of the bathrooms, the only ones standing between you and the disgusting disaster left in stall 3, so be kind.


Delaney Ray '19 is a Psychology and Sociology double major with a minor in Criminal Justice. She works as a Student Orientation Leader and a Library Desk Assistant in addition to blogging for MU. She never thought she would be a blogger, and her dream job is to work for the FBI in the behavioral unit.