As a first-year college student, I have no prior experience with living in a dorm, unless you count the two weeks I spent at a writing camp at an unnamed college in North Carolina. Other than the roommate I had there, who only showered once in that two week period, I didn’t have any experience living in close quarters with a complete stranger. Naturally, given that incident, I was quite nervous to receive my first Vassar roommate assignment.
When I opened that fateful email in late July, I was shocked to find out that I would have not one, not two, but three roommates. I had mentally prepared myself for the worst-case scenario: a tiny room with only enough space for two bunk beds and a weird roommate who kept bugs as pets and never washed their clothes. But I never thought that I would end up living with three strangers.
Despite my initial fears, my roommates and I all get along quite well! We have pretty compatible schedules and are respectful of each others’ space. While living in a single room with three other people has been surprisingly smooth, I was not prepared for my new reality: communal bathrooms.
The best part of my day is when I open one of the shower stalls and see a large hairball on the floor of the shower—what a wonderful surprise! Personally, I love these extra decorations; they already fit the quirky vibe of the communal bathroom. And to the person who uses charcoal toothpaste and never washes it out of the sink: please do. This is not your mother’s bathroom—nobody is going to clean up after you. Also, I hope you know that those charcoal toothpaste products aren’t proven to do anything beneficial for your teeth.
Outside of these two regular occurrences, I have plenty of Main Haus (Best Haus!) bathroom stories. Quite possibly my favorite is the one that took place early in the morning last week. I was standing at the sink before class brushing my teeth. All of the sudden, a shirtless man stormed into the bathroom on a mission. He turned on the shower and stuck his hand underneath the water.
My first thought was, “Oh, he’s just waiting for the water to heat up before he grabs his stuff to shower,” but oh was I wrong. This man, at an hour so early that it’s possible I imagined this whole event, put his red water bottle up to the showerhead and filled it with shower water—despite the fact that a water fountain is located right outside of the bathroom. He then left, and I never saw him again—though, to be fair, I was so distracted by the fact that this unnamed soul was dutifully staying hydrated with shower water that I was unable to get a good look at his face.
One of the girls in my StuFel Group, Katie Lohr ’26, had a similar life-altering experience in the Main bathrooms. “I was brushing my teeth in the fourth floor bathroom at around 10 p.m. when some guy walked over to the sink next to me. I don’t look over, but out of the corner of my eye, I see him pouring something over the sink, so I assume it’s mouthwash. It starts smelling very strong, so I look over and this person is pouring Fireball into a flask over the sink, spilling it onto the counter. He turns around and leaves as soon as the flask is full, leaving Fireball all over the sink,” Lohr recalled. “I was very taken aback by this, but ultimately it made a very funny story to tell my friends.”
One of my other friends stumbled upon a crushed beer bottle in one of the shower stalls on the fifth floor, right before seeing someone leave the bathroom with a very small towel that left little to the imagination.
Another memorable bathroom experience took place during the first week of classes. While in the shower, someone started playing their music very loudly in the bathroom. Props to this person, I would never have the confidence to let other people hear my playlists. The person must have really been going through it because “Rivers and Roads” by the Head and the Heart started blasting throughout the bathroom—a very rude reminder that my family does in fact live in a different state, as the song laments. So whoever this mysterious music player is, I hope you are doing okay. The Metcalf has free appointments.
Aside from the dishes piled up in the kitchen, the occasional bat in the hallways and the trash can on the fourth floor with vomit residue on it, I love living in Main! Though I have had my fair share of strange bathroom experiences, they make for fun stories at breakfast with my friends. There is never a dull moment while living in a building with 300 other students. To the people who use the bathrooms in Main, keep doing what you’re doing! Or don’t! I would rather not look at a ball of someone else’s hair while I’m showering.