Bathroom Etiquette 101

Ziyan_Sha_Bathroom_étiquette1Now that everyone is settled back into Penn State life (or at least fully acclimated to it), some less than awesome habits have been creeping up. For those of us who weren’t able to snag a private bathroom, sharing is caring. Here are a few ways to make to make your bathroom a better place.

Avoid ‘What happened?’ moments

Junior Toni-Ann Smith says that sometimes when she goes into the bathroom, she sees things that make her do a double take.

Smith’s advice is the simple: “Do flush twice. Definitely. The toilets are never flushed,” Smith says.

Check to make sure the toilet looks the same as when you found it. Surprising your fellow dorm or roommates with bodily fluids all over the place is a quick way to earn a few enemies and a lot of complaining. Remember that golden rule of toilet seats: If you sprinkle when you tinkle…. 

Treat the bathroom like nature

Remember how nature tour guides always say to take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints? A communal bathroom works in a similar way. Don’t take anything—like someone else’s silk bathrobe—that doesn’t belong to you. But, more importantly, do take your stuff with you.

Sophomore roommates Jill Kaercher and Rachel Carroll say stuff is left behind, and it makes the bathroom a mine field of dorm life oddities.

“Don’t leave condoms and your granola cereal in the shower or sink,” Carroll says. “There is always something that you wish wasn’t there.”

They spoke of a time when the shower drain was clogged with what looked like a full head of hair, and it caused dirty water to spill all over the bathroom floor.

“This is not arts and crafts time,” Kaercher says. “Please just clean up after yourself. No one wants to deal with that.”

Close the door…seriously

Senior Kaitlin Costello says she recently walked into a bathroom and a girl was sitting on the toilet with the door wide open for everyone to see her lady business.

“She didn’t even try to cover herself or nothing,” Costello says. “She just kept going and wiped herself and everything like I wasn’t even there.”

Costello says that she understands if people do that kind of thing at home but says the bathroom is a public place that requires a little more modesty. Save the nudity for the shower.

What it all boils down to: a little bathroom etiquette can go a long way. It helps you, your neighbors and the cleaning staff if you keep it classy in the bathroom. Everyone will thank you and no one will plot a “Mean Girls”-inspired takedown of your bathroom behavior.

Photo by Ziyan Sha


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