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College Advice

Dorm Living: It’s Not That Awkward

DormEssentials July 27, 2018

Ah, college: a time when you leave the nest, to set up some an attempt of a comfortable living space in a small room that’s shared with another person. For some, this is the first time even being this consistently close to another human being. Living in a dorm is a important college experience. For others, this is an escape from your childhood bedroom you shared with two other siblings. But for almost everyone this is the first time sharing a bathroom space. Sure, you’ve shared a bathroom with your family members, but not in the sense that all eight of you are packed in there at one time. There are some serious changes on the horizon, no matter where you’re coming from. And you could be apprehensive about this, or you could accept it’s awkward for everyone, so might as well lean in and get over the nervousness early. Here are the realities of awkward dorm encounters:

Communal Showers

Are high schools still forcing kids to get naked in front of each other? In 2018 this seems odd, but hey it might still exist somewhere in this nation. For myself, leaving for college was the first time I experienced “communal bathrooms.” They’re not as crazy as they sound—each toilet and shower has their own door, and the sinks are out in the open. Your first shower is going to feel weird—taking a caddy down the hall or across the suite, wearing nothing but plastic flip flops, and probably cutting your shower time in half just out of pure anxiety. In time this will all become routine and a second thought, you’ll sync up your schedule with your floor or suite mates so that you can grab your favorite shower stall and wash off the puke from last night or the staff infection from the gym. This will be the easiest apprehension to get over—or you’ll stay filthy like Pig Pen until Thanksgiving Break.

All the Adult Things By All The Adult People

Some people come into college ready to raise both their freak flag and their number of sexual partners. Some come in with their high school sweethearts keeping them “faithful.” (Lol I’ve mentioned this countless times, but: get ready for the break up now, and thank me later. You are just beginning to learn what you like let alone who you are.) Either way, we are all human and the best way to avoid walking in on any two (hey, maybe three, wait what you’re just a freshman in a small dorm bed!) people you didn’t want to see naked is communication. Some sort of quick text or signal to your roommate saying you’d like the room for extra circulars would be greatly appreciated by all parties. But don’t be a dick and consistently sex-ile your living partner from their home too. Considerate planning will go a long way in the comfort of your personal life. Scheduling hook ups around things like: your roommate leaving for the weekend, or staying at their own significant other’s, or going to your hook up’s home will make for less stress and—for lack of a better word—friction, between the two of you.

Farts and Burps

…are funny—and they happen to the best of us! Nothing brings roommates together like laughing so hard you fart. Or assuming that because your roommate has headphones in, it is a safe time to pass gas, only to realize there was no music playing through them, causing you to laugh and (simultaneously) fart more.  Believe me you, there are still mornings I wake up next to a guy and contort my body to keep any embarrassing noises in, but with your roommate: it’s probably going to happen a small handful of times. Burps are the same way, and drinking something bubbly like beer usually never helps. Just remember to be considerate to your roommate and make sure you do your best to pass the air outside of the confines of the dorm. And if the unfortunate strikes them, try your best not to tease or bring attention to it- because it’s only a matter of time until the tables are turned.

Remember: we’re all human. Our bodies are big water sacks that do funny things and have hormonal needs, but they’re also intelligent enough to respect the person we cohabitate with!

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