Freshman Findings: Freshman faces filthy bathrooms

As an only child, leaving my family all the way back in Lancaster, Pa. to embark on my freshmanyear journey at Rider has been an interesting adjustment. But above balancing schoolwork, having to share a room, and learning New Jersey state geography, the most difficult adjustment has been getting used to the communal bathrooms.
I was told at orientation it was something you would get used to, but I’m still waiting to adjust to the awkward walk down the hall in a robe after I just took a shower or, for that matter, the shower itself. The water temperature of one shower in my residence hall constantly changes from hot to cold for no reason whatsoever. I can’t decide if it has just happened to me or if I am still confused about how to work the showers. Please don’t ask me if I miss my bathtub either, because I really do.
When I think about communal bathrooms, the first two words that come to my mind are: awkward and confusing. The communal bathroom is just that, a bathroom. It’s not the spot where you chat up your friend about what happened Friday night. The bathroom is a place you want to get in and then get out of as quickly as you possibly can.
It’s also incredibly confusing. A trip to the bathroom brings up many questions: Am I supposed to set my toothbrush down next to the sink where I saw about 50 bugs crawling last night? Why is the toilet paper so thin I can see through it? Should I wear my rain boots so I don’t get the bottom of my pants wet as I walk on the floor that is literally a shallow pond?
Upon attending Rider, I honestly wasn’t expecting anything fancy when it came to the bathrooms. During the last few weeks of August, I tried to brace myself for showers the size of coat closets, and tried to accept that I would probably be making friends with some bugs. I expected the communal bathrooms to be exactly what they are — communal. When you are sharing a bathroom with so many people, it is impossible to keep it spotless. For the most part, my hall-mates do at least try to keep the bathroom somewhat clean.
Although they are gross, I expected the communal bathrooms to be only a little dirty. Part of the adjustment to college is understanding that you have to walk down the hall and punch in a code just to brush your teeth. Even if I haven’t acclimated to it yet, I will soon.
-Ali Houghton
Freshman journalism major

Printed in the 9/25/13 edition.

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