We’ve All Been There: The Public Poop

bathroom stall

Your boxes are unpacked, your bed is made, and your parents have left the building. You are officially a college student.

Woohoo! No more living under their rules. You are a free adult livin’ the dorm life.

It takes a few days of getting used to, but you’re finally feeling settled. You’ve even sorta mastered the cafeteria slop. This whole college thing isn’t so hard after all.

That is, until you need to do a little #2 in the public bathroom down the hall. The one every other girl on the hall also frequents to shower, wash up, dry her hair, and do her business. Girls you don’t know. Girls you want to befriend. Feeling the stage fright, you’ve been unable to go for days and, between the cafeteria salad bar (roughage!) and the frat party jungle juice, it’s been rather difficult.

But now it’s time and you have no choice but to suck it up, drop the pants, and take care of business.

The feeling hits you fast. You drop everything you are doing (read: log off of Facebook) and do a little walk/run to the bathroom. You fumble with your keys as you unlock the door, then quickly pull it closed it behind you. You listen for anyone in the shower. You can hear some water running, so you scurry into a stall before anyone can see your face. After safely securing your door, you crouch down to see if any of the other stalls are in use. Thankfully, you are alone.

You turn to the toilet and notice some splash on the seat. You bend down and get in close to determine if it is some inconsiderate squatter’s pee, or maybe a little splash back from the toilet. Regardless of what it is, you are going to have to wipe it up before you let your precious cheeks hit the seat.

You grab a giant handful of toilet paper and wad it up, creating a thick barrier between your hand and the toilet seat. Then, gagging and turning your face away from the situation, you quickly wipe the seat, toss the paper in the toilet and flush it with your foot.

Phew. Now you’re ready.

You sit down and mentally prepare for your first public poop when you hear the door open and a few girls walk in.

“OhMyGod,” you think to yourself. “I can’t go with these girls in here! What if I make loud noises? What if I make the bathroom smell? They may see me or recognize my leopard print slippers! It’s social suicide.”  You contemplate sitting silently until they leave, but it seems they are doing the same thing. Besides, after 10 days of zero bowel activity, holding out is really not an option. So you go with plan B: distraction.

You begin coughing, tapping your foot, and rolling and unrolling the toilet paper – anything to cover the sounds of what is happening in stall #3. Though it’s not the ideal sitch (and it’s nearly impossible to do your business and cough at the same time), you do manage to complete your task in a timely fashion without any embarrassing sounds or smells (well, really offensive ones, anyway), and even sneak out of the bathroom before anyone in the neighboring stalls can see your face. Success.

Yeah, we’ve all been there and it’s awkward. But if there’s anything we learned it’s that Everybody Poops, so don’t be afraid. By the end of the semester, you’ll be taking magazines, books and even your laptop in there with you and chatting with the girl next door. You may even wonder how you ever did it alone.



    1. Rebecca says:

      LOL. The toilet on my floor gets used a lot. Like I go to the toilet maybe at 2am at night just before I go to bed, and I meet somebody. So I go to the 2nd floor toilet! Where I've never seen a soul. It's all about location and timing.:)

    2. La says:

      That's hilarious, I thought I was the only one. I sort of got into a weird thing where I'd wake myself up in the middle of the night knowing no one would be in there.

    3. grace b says:

      I'm pretty sure that this is why all of the dorms I've lived on campus (two) have a separate one stall bathroom (with a lock!) downstairs. Thank god because you get to avoid that situation.

      And changing pads/tampons never gets easier either.

    4. Maria says:

      I'll admit it, I'm the girl that sits there in silence waiting for other people to leave if someone walks in in the middle of me doing my business.

      Another thing I've noticed girls on my floor doing is that they go into the last stall, which also has a sink in it, and they turn the faucet on…. which to me just screams "GET OUT I'M POOPING!"

    5. Brittney says:

      I haven't read this yet, but was the picture taken in Angell Hall?

    6. Sam says:

      I'm so glad I always had private bathrooms at the colleges I went to. Phew!

    7. R says:

      Wow…I'm so glad my university has us live in apts and not dorms. Although the new dorms do have a private restroom in each suite.

      However when I do stay at my bf's place I dread having to use the restroom because his is between his room and his roommate's. AH! lol

    8. Rose says:

      Reading this post made me literally laugh out loud. What is described above is definitely something I went through during the first few days in my dorm building. I soon learned that the toilets farthest from the door were pretty much designated pooping toilets, so you knew if the door was shut to get out of there as fast as you could as a common courtesy. One of my favorite tricks was turning on a shower before doing the 2 because it drowned out the sound. Or I always snuck down to the 2nd floor bathrooms which were conveiniently separate from the halls with dorm rooms.

      Another trick- When you're caught offguard with the urge, pooping in academic buildings or in libraries where the stacks is divine =)

    9. Casey says:

      I had this problem at work. I work 8 hours in the afternoon every day so I always have to poop pretty bad when I'm at work. Luckily the music in the back is really loud and we have private bathrooms. I'm just always afraid someone will come looking for me, realize I am in the bathroom, and when I finally come out they know I have been pooping. Or opening the door afterward and someone is waiting for the bathroom. I have gotten used to it and now all us full timers announce that we are about to go blow up the bathroom, so we can save ourselves the embarrassment if anyone catches us.

      A trick I learned is if you bend over and practically put your head between your knees it comes out really fast and effortlessly so there's no noise and it takes almost as long as just a piss. So it's pretty discreet. Although then your head is down there with the smell. So take that advice or leave it. lol

    10. sara says:

      Yeah I've found the best thing to do is turn the shower or faucet on. Its not an uncomfortable announcement to the world, but if anyone DOES have common sense they will know whats up. Its a little politer than making an announcement too.

    11. tiffaneydanielle says:

      LMAO iiS ALL ii CAN SAY

    12. […] living on campus, there is nothing that could tempt me back into the dorms. Mostly because of the public bathroom sitch. I’ll just have to live with the memories and hope my on-campus friends score some free stuff for […]

    13. Molly says:

      Yep, I’m pretty sure this is the skankiest bathroom on campus- Angell Hall. lol! Seriously, I think everyone waits to take a dump in there! Pee-yew!

    14. Dina says:

      Please don't turn the shower/faucet on. Think of the wasted water, its not worth it, unless its a real emergency lol. I had a roommate who left the shower on because she didn't want me to think she had left the suite (long story) I was less mad about her leaving than I was about the shower.

    15. Jennifer says:

      Ha, I used to be like this until I met my roommate this year. She came back from the bathroom one day and said, "I don't understand why girls sit in the bathroom silently until I leave. I just want to say, 'I KNOW YOU'RE POOPING – IT'S OKAY, I DO IT TOO! DON'T BE ASHAMED!'" lol ever since that, I've been fine with it:)

    16. cynthia says:

      I don't know how some girls just poop while people are in the bathroom. This is why I gladly pay extra to get my own private bathroom.:)

    17. Bubba says:

      jus pump that load out and light shit on fire

    18. Zyanya says:

      I was lucky to i only shared a bathroom with 6 other girls in my dorm. However i sometimes when people were in the hallway found myself going to the 2nd floor so i didnt have awkwardness. My friends have a joke that i poop hello kitties because i never talk about my "buisness" lol

    19. Talia says:

      I always used to sit there and wait for people to leave, or for someone to flush a toilet – then you have 10 seconds to do the bizz before the sound of the flushing drains away and it's quiet yet again…

    20. Lisa says:

      My shit smells like flowers and perfume so girls love to take a big whiff of it as I blow it out my poop shoot. Even a few of my kinky friends like to watch me crap then wipe my ass and flush for me. One girl wants me to crap on her huge tits and spread it all over her body….mmm

    21. Daze says:

      I think that's the truth with anyone moving into a dorm for the first time. I knew it was for me at least. I remember flushing the toilet if someone were in there then hurrying up before the water stopped. Man, I'm so glad I live in an apartment now. Good times.

    22. Twin XL says:

      I feel the exact same way when I go into a WalMart or any other store. It's the worst!

    23. Rachel says:

      I totally agree – I was on edge the first several days at the dorm when I was a freshman for this same reason, and I think I wasn't alone. I could sense others gals felt the same way. But, nature eventually wins and after a couple of weeks, people began to go pretty regularly around each other, though I still think most of the year the gals would be pretty discreet. Like mentioned earlier, I usually poop in academic buildings or the library since I usually have to go mid-morning or after lunch which is around the time of most of my classes, though those bathrooms have some of the same issues as the dorm bathroom I still have some discretion……

    24. Pete says:

      The cure for all this embarrassment is to go tramping. After you've used a few doorless long drops in front of everybody, you aren't self conscious at all.

    25. vikki v says:

      If I am using a public bathroom and a girl is going #2 I can handle the "natural" sounds, but what bothers me is when a girl will groan or grunt while she is taking care of business. I don't wait until people leave the bathroom if I have to go #2 but I don't grunt or anything like that. If other girls hear me then who cares. everybody on the planet does it.

    26. Jenny B says:

      It's really time fora ll uf girls to grow up. I admit when i first got to school there was the slight embarassment of taking a dump with people around.

      By the second month of school I had to get used to it though. My farts and poop smell, so do yours, so do our moms. Its part of life.

      Are any of you planning on being married one day? Or having kids? Are you gonna go to another room to fart or wait for the kids to go to bed?

      Get real. Grow up. We all do it

    27. cassie says:

      I have to agree with Jenny B, everyone does it so why be embarrassed? I have used so many public restrooms when I have to poop and I just let it out. Whether the restroom is empty or all the stalls except 1 are open, even when it makes a lot of noise I am not really embarrassed. I have even done it in a public restroom that didn't have walls between the toilets and other people were there. My friends don't really seem to mind either because we all go together when we are out shopping and they don't hold back if they have to poop. whats the point in trying to hide the fact that you are pooping anyways? if someone says something about you pooping then they have their head up their ass and tell them that they poop too and grow up.

    28. J.C says:

      haha i was in the walmart bathroom and me an my cousin were washing our hands and we didnt know anyone else was in there an suddenly we heard a fart coming from the stall fallowed by a series of splashing and the sound of pouring water along with more farts and fast splashes. My cousin and I just bursted out lauging so hard LOL then the person was couging an the person in the stall kicked the stall door an was fixing to come out an we took off runing and lauging

    29. Ashleigh says:

      i love using public bathrooms! i have walked in to public bathrooms in the past and be welcomed to the stench of other women using it! i always use the third stall. that increases your chances of someone going right next to you! i like to take as long as i need when using the public bathrooms! its entertaining to leave the tiolet unflushed!

    30. E says:

      “its entertaining to leave the tiolet unflushed!”
      is that a joke?

    31. Megan says:

      Yeah, pooping in a public restroom is always an issue for me. I currently work at a large shopping mall and rarely can you be alone without someone else coming in. Sometimes it takes me a while and I have to push and even though I try to be at least a little discreet with my pushing sounds it still seems loud. But at the same time I have heard other women who come rushing into a stall and aren't embarrassed at all when they moan and push a BM out. To be fair though, I think some of these women have had urgent bowel needs at the time and they have been waiting until the last minute to use a toilet. Yeah, (regarding comment above), I have seen several unflushed public toilets at the mall; my guess is some teens may find it amusing. The only reason I wouldn't flush is if I had done a thick BM and I was concerned it would clog.

    32. Bethany says:

      I don't think it is that big of a deal if the girl doesn't flush after shes goes poop, what bothers me is if a girl poops outside of the toilet. I work at a department store and one time when I was cleaning the restrooms it seemed as if a girl thought it would be funny to poop on the floor next to the toilet. That incident made me mad but if they poop in the toilet and they don't flush… I just flush it first thing before I clean them. One time I was at the mall and I went to the restrooms to go poop and the stall I went in had not been flushed. She obviously put her used toilet paper in the small trash bin next to the toilet and left her work in the toilet for someone to see. lets just say it seemed like she let that one build up a couple days before she released it. Anyways I had been holding it in for a while so i just sat down and let it go without flushing first. I didn't have to wipe but once and I also put the used toilet paper in the trash bin next to the toilet. I looked in the toilet and now there was quite alot of poop in it. I decided it would be funny to leave it so the next person would think "damn what did she eat?". little did I know that when I walked out of the stall a little girl was waiting to use it. I was so embarrassed when I was walking out of the stall and I heard the little girl walk into the stall and say "WOW" before she flushed it. I washed my hands quickly and left the bathroom fast, that plan backfired on me.

    33. eesha says:

      Ehh…I think we were pretty lucky in that sense. Our floor had two private half-bathrooms (toilet and sink) and one toilet stall in the common washroom (and there were two of those too) so I didn't really have to worry about being overheard. Though sometimes, people would love to hang out in the hallway so I'd be worried then but other than that…meh:)

    34. Světlana says:

      I work part-time (I’m a student) at a cafe which has unisex toilets – three in all. I was on my second shift at work and had been holding my poop in for about thirty minutes before being able to nip out the back to the toilets to relieve the pressure in my bowels.
      Heading inside, I noticed that they were all vacant, and I opted for the far end toilet. After wiping down the seat (an automatic process with me), I sat down, jeans down to my knees, and started peeing. About fifteen seconds later, the door opened and the sound of footsteps announced the arrival of company, with this anonymous person taking the toilet right next to mine. After the fumbling with jeans, and taking up position on the seat, my ‘next door neighbour’ sat in silence for some few seconds, prompting me to think that ‘she’ was waiting for some sort of cue from me to get the show on the road.
      To my surprise (or was that horror) a cough emanated from next door… and it was that of a guy! Well, there I was, sitting on a toilet with a poop beginning to emerge from my butt, and a guy sitting literally inches from me. I can distinctly remember closing my eyes and sort of ‘willing’ (or was it just plain hoping) that my turd would miraculously disappear into oblivion, soundlessly sliding into the nether regions of the bowl beneath me. No such luck… and to cap things off, two more followed in rapid succession, followed by an involuntary fart. (I did say that I’d been holding back for about a half hour.)
      The strange thing is that, I discovered I wasn’t embarrassed so much as simply mortified. But oddly enough, the sensation of what had just occurred gradually subsided, and I completed the mission that I had set out upon, feeling somewhat liberated, and purged (no pun intended) of any form of discomfort or unrest.
      Roughly five minutes had elapsed, and upon completion of the necessary paperwork, I flushed, exited the cubicle and after washing my hands, I exited the space that I’d just recently shared with my pooping partner of the opposite sex, leaving him to his thoughts, and the lingering smell of my recent efforts.
      I’ve no idea who he was (likely a customer) and nor do I harbour any wish to discover his identity, but the point is this. It brought home the fact that we all poop, it’s a fundamental element of life and, the experience such as I have just described proved something of a learning curve in terms of getting over the silly prudishness that so many of us experience with this sort of thing (not to say that I’ll be champing at the bit to repeat the episode any time soon). Get over your shyness and just accept that old time worn, hackneyed cliche: everyone poops…

    35. […] post walk-of-shame look under the unforgiving fluorescent lights. If you walk into the bathroom and smell/hear something coming from the corner stall, be polite, take your caddy, and leave. You’ll be thankful for this rule on the one day you take […]

    36. Lila says:

      I've devised the perfect system. If you scoot forward a little bit, it hits the side of the bowl instead of the water, so it doesn't make a splash sound. I still need to figure out what to do when you have a stomach ache, though.

    37. […] Finding the secret bathroom so you can poo in private: We’ve all been victim to the poop wars in college dormitories.  You enter the community bathroom at the same time as another innocent pooper and each of you sit […]

    38. Megan says:

      Get a wad of paper and put it in the toilet first that way it covers the sound of the poop hitting the water
      dont get it so big it wont flush tho

    39. […] when you have to go. Nothing is worse for your intestines than holding it in because you’re embarrassed to go while someone is brushing her teeth. We assure you. Everyone in your dorm poops. Follow College Candy on Twitter Fan College Candy on […]

    40. […] most embarrassing thing to ever happen to you or a “friend” in your dorm bathroom.  (I mean, we’ve all been there…the public poop.) The answers came pouring in and surprisingly enough, most were in first […]

    41. Sabrina says:

      I have the hardest time going. I share two toiletsandtwo showers with 6 girls and the 4 girls on the other side ofour bathroom seem judgemental and raunchy so i get scared to poop. I already think they don’t like me or something…they just don’t talk to me and the 2 girls on my side Nd i have no roommate and dont really talk to anyone in my suite so i cant even feel comfortable pooping in iur bathroom. Worst part…our toilet “stalls” dont have doors…they have shower like curtains so theres barely any privacy…. Fml…i have to poop right now too..

    42. mark says:

      if you gotta poop you gotta poop. women are such wusses when it comes to this… who cares where you poop! just get it in the toilet.. privately and personally, appreciate a large noisy and smelly poop. those indicate that you're healthy lol

    43. JerkMcguirk says:

      I’m totally that person who deliberately hangs around a little longer when someone is clearly sitting silently in a stall, waiting for the room to be empty so they can poop.

    44. pooinpublic says:

      I poo But /its scary i live with 5 Adults Im a teenager

    45. Geoff says:

      Shoot commercials and examples based on female bowel wastage defecation movements influenced by the slimming routine of laxatives and yoga urgently needing to use the toilet desperately pooping after yoga work-outs and laxative doses at the gym. Desperate large loads of Diarrhea is a healthy bowel clean-out. Roll models show methods of examples on how to use a toilet. People learn from these example commercials shown how to poop. It’s toilet training for the people who have never seen it before.

    46. Adrian says:

      I've never actually 'been' in a public bathroom, if I lived in a dorm like that, it would be the old get up half way through the night and hope no-one comes. If someone came in, that would be it, I just would never be able to go. Even at home, if someones in the next room its impossible for me to go,

    47. jake says:

      omg, when i have to go now in college though, barely anything comes out.. idk why.. when im in my room though it feels like im gonna explode and my stomach makes so much noise… so embarrassing

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