I lived in the dorms for the first three years of my college career, and I’m now living in an apartment. I think I speak for many other college students not living at home (and maybe some who do) when I say that communal laundry rooms are the absolute WORST.
As long as I still have clean clothes and unless I have something specific that I need to wear one day, I try to put off doing laundry for as long as humanly possible. I cannot tell you how badly I yearn for the day I’m living in an apartment that includes its own washer and dryer — because the good Lord knows it’s going to be a minute or two before I own a house.
Allow me to elaborate why I hate the shared laundry rooms so much.
My first year in the dorms, I lived in Cedar Hall. There aren’t any laundry rooms in that building, so I had to check out a key into another hall to access the facilities — a bit inconvenient right off the bat. Then, after separating my laundry and lugging the heavy bag to the other building and sometimes even upstairs, imagine how upset I was to find that all of the washers were being used. ANNOYING.
My second and third years in the dorms, I worked as an RA. The free room and board only partially made up for the laundry room situation.
Because of course, sometimes the washers and dryers would break down, and then I’d have a million residents complaining to me about it. As if I had control to fix it right then and there!
Believe me, I wish I could have. But I would have to wait just like everyone else until maintenance staff was able to have them repaired. (Have patience, guys, they work hard!)
When I began my search for an apartment, I really wanted one that included a washer and dryer in the unit. But alas, none were in my price range or close enough to campus, so I had to settle for one with a communal laundry room that was conveniently right by my own apartment.
The nice thing about laundry in the dorms was that because only residents had access to the halls, they were open 24/7. And to be honest, I took advantage of this and did my laundry after midnight on multiple occasions because I knew the machines would be free to use.
At my apartment, the laundry rooms are closed by 10 p.m., which is why doing laundry at pretty much any hour is a nightmare. Everyone else is trying to do their wash before it’s locked for the night, and even though it only takes 30 minutes to wash, it takes 45 to dry. And SOME PEOPLE like to leave their laundry in the dryers even after they’re dry, making poor souls like me come back to the laundry room every five minutes to see if the clothes have been retrieved only to be extremely peeved when they’re still there.
As annoying as it may be waiting for an empty dryer, few things compare to paying for a load and waiting the 45 minutes only to come back and find that the dryer is BROKEN. Yeah. I have paid many a dollar expecting dry clothes to come out of a dryer that either doesn’t blow heat or doesn’t spin.
In one instance, I was beyond angry standing there in bright pink sweats and a random t-shirt because I thought I was going to have clean (and normal) clothes to change into in two hours. HA. AS IF. I went into the laundry room and found that all but two of the washers and one dryer were broken.
Other times, the machine will take my money but say that it still needs more quarters to run. So many quarters have gone to waste. At least the dorms would reject my debit card on occasion instead of stealing my money.
And I’ve called the maintenance company and politely informed them about the repairs needed, but I swear…
In life, things break. I get that. But Murphy’s law has been strong as all get-out in every one of my laundry room experiences.
So yeah. Don’t give college students a hard time for taking their laundry home on the weekends every once in a while. It’s a lot cheaper and less stressful than competing for a broken dryer or a washer that doesn’t drain all the water.