Campus Life

What's the Poop on College Dorm Bathrooms?

Question: How bad is sharing bathrooms in the dorms?

For starters, it depends on whom you're sharing with .. Neatnik Nellie or Sloppy Sadie? Then there's your own comfort level ... can you handle a few unidentified hairs or errant squirts of Pepsodent in the sink or will that send you retching toward a toilet stall? And is the sanctity of that stall sufficiently private for you to do whatever you have to do in there?


In some dorm situations, you'll share a bathroom with just a few fellow students while, in others, an entire floor may convene in one facility. Moreover, some colleges have coed bathrooms ... or lenient policies that govern who walks through the door, regardless of what it says on the outside.

As a college student myself, I quickly made my peace with the one-bathroom-per-floor set-up, sharing with nearly 25 other women. (Yes, there were multiple sinks, showers, and stalls so we rarely waited.) But when I sampled the coed bathrooms on other campuses, I was definitely out of my comfort zone.

Here are some conversations about bathrooms from the College Confidential discussion forum that you might find informative ... or amusing:

http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-life/865949-dorm-bathrooms.html

http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-william-mary/868418-dorm-bathrooms.html

http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-life/716614-community-bathrooms.html

http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/cornell-university/883256-mixed-gender-bathrooms.html

I always advise students to check out the dorm bathrooms during college visits, but do keep in mind that there can be a lot of differences among them, even on the same campus. Some can look like they belong in the Ritz-Carleton while others may seem more like a highway rest stop on a holiday weekend. And if you happen to be especially finicky about such things, you will find that you may just have to suck it up ... or hold it in ... until you move to an off-campus apartment.