The Perils of Communal Laundry: Dear Freshmen…

Hannah Zeller, Writer - The Reporter

Dear Freshmen,

        Across the internet, there is a sentiment that’s going around which states “You know you’re a college student when you run out of clean clothes, and instead of doing your laundry, you just go buy new clothes.” Friends, I’m disappointed to report that just last week, I truly became a college student. Instead of facing the perils of the laundry room, I went out and bought a new pack of socks.

       It may surprise you to learn that this impulse purchase was not the product of sheer laziness. It was in fact a response to a deep, burning hatred for the community laundry room in my hall. As a freshman in college, I’m aware I’m expected to tolerate a particular quality of living, including microwaved meals, the occasional lukewarm shower, and, yes, communal laundry services. What I will not tolerate is the communal laundry room behavior.

       I’ve found that community laundry rooms are where manners go to die. Even if you follow all of the listed stipulations – only using one machine, setting a timer, and leaving a sticky note telling the exact time you’ll be down to collect your clothes and to PLEASE NOT TOUCH – your laundry will still inevitably be removed from the washer and placed in a wet, slimy heap on the laundry room floor. On the other end of the spectrum, there are those that do not, under any circumstances, follow any of these rules, and leave their clothes in just about every working machine for five days, only going to collect their items when they realize they’re out of clean underwear.

       It is because of this, dear friends, that I despise doing laundry at college, which is a shame, as previously, it was one of my favorite chores. There’s something relaxing, almost cathartic, about washing your clothes (not folding though, my clean clothes will live in a laundry basket unfolded until the day I die). Doing your laundry should be a relaxing, healing time. A time to find peace and mindfulness. Instead, it has become a wasteland of slightly damp free t-shirts and hostility.

       Therefore, my advice to you in regards to communal laundry is to follow the golden rule: do to others what you want them to do to you. Don’t let laundry sit in the machine for days at a time. Don’t move clothes in the middle of the cycle. And please, for the love of god, don’t eat the laundry pods. As the phenomenal Ellen DeGeneres says: “Be kind to one another.”

                                                                                                       Your Fellow Freshman,