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Freshman 101: Laundry Etiquette

Freshman year is a whirlwind of new faces, clubs, classes, and of course — new environments. That’s right, we’re looking at you East Halls. With your first sylly week under your belt, you’ve probably gotten a taste for what dorm living will be like. Whether you love the communal lifestyle or despise it, you might as well make the best of it.

Though the closeness and intimacy of dorm living can inspire friendships and great memories, there are inevitable obstacles. Whether it’s shower shoes, lack of privacy, or obnoxious neighbors — you just have to make it work. One of the biggest obstacles? Laundry.

Ah, yes. We all took for granted our effortless laundry facilities from home. Heck, maybe some of your parents even did your laundry for you! Whether you’re a laundry wizard or a diva who’s never washed a mere sock, it’s time you follow some guide lines.

Know The “Rush Hours”
Just like any facility, there are times of day when it’s packed. Your job is to find out when the laundry room is practically dead. Avoid mid-afternoon when everyone is returning from classes, evening times when most freshmen have down time, and of course, weekends (specifically Sundays). Whether it’s bright and early after your 8 am, or that obscure break you have between classes, figure out when the washers and dryers tend to be open.

Budget Your Time
The washers in the dorms take about 35 minutes, while the dryers will last for as long as 40 minutes. Give yourself well over an hour and a half from start to finish. You’ll want to factor in: the time it takes to waddle down the hallway with your dirty clothes, potential time it takes to wait for an open washer, and whether you plan on folding your clean laundry. (Definitely consider doing that!)

Set A Timer
This is the most important! If you put your clothes in the washer, IMMEDIATELY start a timer with the appropriate amount of time so that you aren’t late. College students are busy and ruthless and WILL remove your damp clothes and place it on top of the washer for all to see. Do you want your classmates marveling in the sight of your freshly washed undies and leggings? We didn’t think so. (Note: if someone is hogging the washer with clothes that are finished for over 10 minutes, you reserve the full right to remove them. Onward State honor.)

Have Enough LionCash
The laundry rooms in the dorms take LionCash, so always make sure you’re well stocked. The machines will also show how much you have remaining, which is a helpful tip.

Know The Basics
Maybe your mommy always did your laundry for you, or perhaps you were raised by monkeys — but certainly know the basics of laundry before you embarrass yourself. For example: separate your darks and whites, unless you’re aiming to achieve a subdued gray look. Another one? Dryers often shrink things! If you have a particularly promiscuous frat outfit, consider how many inches you can afford to lose off of that lil’ number.

Don’t Wait Forever
We’re all guilty of waiting a little too long to do laundry. However, it’s in your best interest to start your good habits early. If you try to lug too many clothes down the hall in that cheap hamper from Walmart, it will definitely break. However, be realistic. You can wear your jeans more than once. Spilled some Natty on them? Maybe not. Use discretion.

Be Courteous
If you have some obnoxious kids on your floor, their irritating actions will probably translate to the laundry room. So prepare to be annoyed from time to time. Don’t be the guy who leaves clothes and socks all over the place, or makes a public service announcement about a forlorn thong in the dryer. Things are just easier when everyone acts like adults.

So there you have it! Just some basic tips for surviving the dreaded laundry rooms of the freshman dorms. Once you master these guidelines, you’ll be a pro. Too lazy to even approach the laundry room? Consider Lazy Lion.

About the Author

Carolyn Popescu

Current senior studying Advertising and Visual Arts, Carolyn has a passion for entertainment and music. She also loves photography, film, graphic design, social media, and all things in between. She's the current Sony Music Marketing Representative for State College, so be sure to reach out to her with any local music scene questions, ideas, proposals, or if you just need someone to geek out about music with.

(Contact her through [email protected] or [email protected])

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