We’ve All Been There: The Public Poop

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.

Duke It Out: Should Universities Ban Smoking?
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