You know what most people don’t consider when they’re thinking about living in a dorm? The bathroom situation. Most dorms have shared bathrooms, with shower stalls blocked with a curtain, and a public toilet situation.
Are you comfortable with public bathrooms? Have a shy bladder? Have issues using a public bathroom for anything besides urination? If so, you’re going to run into some problems. Thankfully, there are some solutions.
First off, consider living in a house of some kind. You can rent with friends, live in affinity housing or whatever your school’s equivalent is, rent an apartment, whatever. In these cases, you can also get some wiggle room for a single bedroom, have your own kitchen, etc.
But some colleges make first years stay on campus. So what are your options if you can’t avoid public bathrooms?
Find bathrooms in low traffic areas and times. The very bottom floor of the library, the guest bathroom in your dorm at a time when there are no guests, etc. Take your showers at off times to avoid meeting people in the hallways or taking them when there are people in the bathroom—because oddly enough, there are people who actually hang out talking and gossiping in the bathrooms in the middle of the day.
Personally, I deal with the bathrooms by taking my showers right before I go to bed, which tends to be at 2 am at the earliest. It tends to be empty, I get the good stall, and I don’t have to deal with people.
Consider buying a few beach towels, also, so that if you end up in a shower with a curtain that doesn’t close very well, you can throw it over the top and maybe block it a bit better than it would be otherwise.