For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Sep 15 2017
by Celia Janes

6 Surprising Reasons Having a Private Bathroom Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be

By Celia Janes - Sep 15 2017

My entire life I watched movies about college and listened to my mom talk about her dorm experience. From what I’d heard I would have to learn to live with the dreaded “communal bathroom.” Although they seem extremely inconvenient, they seem to be typical for most college students.

Finally, it was my turn to attend college. I was expecting to live in a dorm with a communal bathroom, but to my surprise, I was placed in a triple with a private bathroom. My roommates and I were shocked but eventually decided to keep the room with the private bathroom. However, I found that it was extremely inconvenient for the following reasons.

1. This room was more expensive.

Although I currently attend a state school, college still isn’t cheap, and having a private bathroom only added to that cost. My room was about $3,000 more expensive than the cheapest option, a triple with a communal bath. While a private bathroom is a luxury, it is an expensive one. I wish I could have saved that $3,000 on something more important, like tuition.

2. My ability to use the bathroom was limited.

I lived in a triple, which meant that when one girl needed to shower, the other two couldn’t use the bathroom for the next twenty minutes or so. While this works for some people, it wasn’t very easy to wake up for my morning class to find that my roommate had just decided to take a shower when I needed to brush my teeth. Scheduling can help, but it can’t solve every problem.

3. My hall was less social in general.

Our rooms had AC and a private bathroom which meant that there was hardly any reason to leave. This meant that I met very few people on my floor. In addition many of the people who lived on my hall were older and specifically chose that building so they could focus on studying instead of socializing. While I did meet some people on my floor, I didn’t meet many, and I sort of felt like I missed out.

4. Cleaning was a hassle.

Fortunately my school has people clean the private bathrooms once a week. However, every time it was cleaned we had to take EVERYTHING out of there. That included the bath mats we had to buy so we could open the shower door without getting the floor soaked, as well as all of our supplies. And if we forgot, the bathroom wouldn’t be cleaned. Since the bathroom was only cleaned once a week, we still had to avoid making messes the other six days so we wouldn’t be living in a mess.

5. Yes, you can survive with a communal bathroom.

Hey, I get it. You are used to living with a private bathroom and sharing one with the thirty people on your floor doesn't sound too appealing. Trust me, that is what almost everyone thinks! And believe it or not, thousands of people have lived in dorms with communal bathrooms – even people from your parents' and grandparents' generations! Thousands of college students go through it every year and very few people complain about this particular living situation.  

6. There are more important things to worry about.

You have classes, grades, clubs, parties and many other things on your mind. So the type of bathroom your dorm has should be the least of your worries! Ten years from now that won't matter to you as much as your fun and awesome experiences.

I’m sure there are plenty of college students out there who felt that their private bathroom was worth it. I’m sure it’s common in many places. However, it was not the best decision for me. This year, I will happily be living in a triple dorm with a communal bath. I will save money, hopefully meet new people and have a very different college experience.

Lead Image Credit: Pixabay

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Celia Janes -

Celia Janes is a sophomore at UCLA. She is majoring in Human Biology and Society with a minor in History. She enjoys running, reading, and watching Netflix. Her favorite classes include Journalism in high school and Italian Film in college. She is involved in Bruin Scouts, Honors Fellows, and HOOLIGAN Theatre. She loves trying new food and exploring LA (especially new hikes) in her free time.

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