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Hygiene in a Dorm -- How to Keep One's Dignity

VinceLestradeVinceLestrade 145 replies12 threads Junior Member
I am looking for tips on how to maintain my dignity whilst in a dorm environment. Is it normal for people to be in states of undress to and from the dorm bathrooms? If so, how can I avoid this at all costs? It sounds heinous. Additionally, how "comfortable" must one get sharing their personal lives with their roommates? I wish to maintain as much privacy as possible.
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Replies to: Hygiene in a Dorm -- How to Keep One's Dignity

  • thumper1thumper1 76586 replies3391 threads Senior Member
    Get a robe, or wear shorts and a t shirt.
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  • VinceLestradeVinceLestrade 145 replies12 threads Junior Member
    I wouldn't really wear a robe. I have heard that one can change in the shower. From your experience, are the showers secure places for such activities? Are there likely to be changing areas elsewhere of greater functionality?
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 811 replies17 threads Member
    Have you ever seen puppies playing in a puppy pile? That’s a lot like dorm life. There is a lot of semi undress. Walking around in towels. Maybe robes. Often boys and girls share the bathrooms and are mixed on the floors. There is very little privacy freshman year.

    Have you visited the college you’re going to attend? I’m a bit worried that you have very specific needs and will not be able to live how you want to in college.
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  • VinceLestradeVinceLestrade 145 replies12 threads Junior Member
    Yes, that is precisely my concern. Honestly, the situation you describe -- one of robes and towels, boys and girls -- makes me a bit nauseous. I cannot imagine myself in such a situation, as I would find it exceedingly awkward. I also would never be able to walk about in such a state -- especially around women! I don't really know what to do. I haven't seen dorm situation yet, as I have not decided on a college yet; however, I do not feel like any college is going to treat its inhabitants as dignified people and not children...
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 811 replies17 threads Member
    Do you have the option of attending a college near your home and living at home? This might be the best situation for you. Dorm life is wild and wonderful but it doesn’t sound like that’s how it will register with you.
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  • VinceLestradeVinceLestrade 145 replies12 threads Junior Member
    edited February 8
    Yes, I have been accepted to a college within commuting distance to me. The academic opportunity is somewhat limited, unfortunately, so I will have to see. Perhaps I can find my way into a nerdier dorm or something. I think your description of dorm life, "wild and wonderful," is very fitting. I know many great people who enjoy dorm life, I just do not think I share that propensity. The crowd, the "chaos," the openness, they are acquired tastes, I believe.
    edited February 8
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 8807 replies85 threads Senior Member
    You may be able to request a single gender dorm. Many campuses still have them.

    FWIW there are no coed bathrooms at my D’s school.

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  • VinceLestradeVinceLestrade 145 replies12 threads Junior Member
    @momofsenior1 — I think that would definitely help. Hopefully I can just learn to live with the guys.
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  • HippobirdyHippobirdy 621 replies1 threads Member
    I wonder if you'd consider going on a service trip or camp this summer, before starting college.
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  • VinceLestradeVinceLestrade 145 replies12 threads Junior Member
    @Hippobirdy — Indeed! I believe such would acclimate me to the natures of the infamous dormitory. I still see public partial nudity as indecent — regardless of my level of comfort with it — though, so I think things may still prove difficult.
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  • HippobirdyHippobirdy 621 replies1 threads Member
    I feel that many others share your views, just they are shy or try to avoid crowded times. But there may be some housing options with smaller suites, with only a handful sharing the bathrooms/showers.
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  • brantlybrantly 4081 replies72 threads Senior Member
    edited February 9
    I still see public partial nudity as indecent — regardless of my level of comfort with it — though, so I think things may still prove difficult.
    Do you ever go to the beach? Or a public pool? It's really no different. In fact, wearing a robe or towel is a lot more coverage than wearing a bathing suit.

    Some solutions:
    --All male dorm
    --All male college
    --A college that lets freshmen live off campus
    --A commuter college
    --Tufts University Tilton Hall, where each floor has 8 private, single bathrooms. You still have to walk from your room to the bathroom (not very far), but once inside it's all yours. Maybe other colleges have similar set-ups.

    edited February 9
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  • VinceLestradeVinceLestrade 145 replies12 threads Junior Member
    @brantly — Yes, for some reason it just feels different. I think, when it’s recreational, being shirtless or the like feels a bit more palatable, whereas a residential setting feels to me more vulnerable.

    The solutions you mention are very wise. I feel a male dorm would halve my problem at least, as I cannot possibly imagine being around girls in such a vulnerable position personally. A commuter college, as well, would be the utmost ideal for me, as much of dorm life proves unsuitable for me. Thanks for the recommendations.
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  • VinceLestradeVinceLestrade 145 replies12 threads Junior Member
    @Hippobirdy — I certainly hope so. I feel so alienated in my views, because everyone always acts so comfortable with just about anything in a college or dorm setting. People live their entire semesters of life packed together, sharing nearly every intimate detail of their residential lives with strangers, and I’m just here questioning it all. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying dorm life — it has much to offer socially, for one — but it’s just not my cup of tea, I’m afraid. I hope to meet others more individualistic, like myself, with which I may form some camaraderie.
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  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 1055 replies100 threads Senior Member
    edited February 9
    You can live at home, live in an apartment near college or request a single room. In my opinion, stories sound more weird than reality as most people are in rush and doing their own thing, not over-analyzing human anatomy much. However, you can give it a try for a semester and if it bothers you too much, move off campus.

    It’s a different life experience and worth trying, there is much more to college living than half dressed people walking from the shower to their room. However, if you rather commute and keep living in your childhood bedroom at home instead of venturing out then you are totally in your right to do that.

    May be you can go to a Christian college, they probably have a more conservative set up. Ideally, all colleges should provide single suit option and standard privacy.
    edited February 9
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  • VinceLestradeVinceLestrade 145 replies12 threads Junior Member
    @CupCakeMuffins — I am optimistic in hearing your recommendations. I do hope I can overcome my many apprehensions with dorm life, but, even if not so, I know there are perhaps other options still. Thank you for the advice.
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  • 3scoutsmom3scoutsmom 5648 replies338 threads Senior Member
    edited February 9
    Not all dorms are the same. University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) has very nice freshman dorms Three individual bedrooms with locking doors share a common area, a toilet room and shower room, there are also 3 individual sinks. You can request same sex room mates. The University of Oklahoma (OU) freshman dorms are more traditional suites with two people sharing a large bed room on each side of a shower and sink and toilet with locking doors. In housing this is often called a 'Jack and Jill" bath Each hall is segregated by sex so you'd only be sharing a bathroom with 3 other students of the the same sex.
    edited February 9
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  • UGG2023UGG2023 255 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Some schools have special “living communities” such as “sober living” or “quiet living” where an entire dorm wing or floor is dedicated to students who opt in. I would also suggest you request a single room and definitely get a robe to wear from the bathroom where it will be too humid to get dressed immediately after showering to your room.
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  • VinceLestradeVinceLestrade 145 replies12 threads Junior Member
    @3scoutsmom — I think a scenario such as what you describe would be perfectly fine. If it’s just two, three, maybe four people, then I can get to know them and the awkwardness will inevitably pass. I think I’d have way more reservations if I was to be around strangers in a state of vulnerability.
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  • VinceLestradeVinceLestrade 145 replies12 threads Junior Member
    @UGG2023 — Absolutely. I think I single room would be ideal for my tastes. They are rather competitive, but it’s worth a shot. Also, I would definitely pursue dorms targeting groups, such as if there’s a dorm for STEM majors, one for non-drinking, one healthy living, etc., especially if I research it and find that it suits my fancy. Thanks
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