I am 5 feet 10 inches tall (I’m actually 5 feet 10 and ¾ inches but I like to round down), and during my four years at Colgate I’ve had to crouch under three out of the four showers I’ve had here. You’d think this wouldn’t really be a problem a prospective student would have to consider when touring schools their junior year of high school, or at least I certainly didn’t. Was I supposed to be asking my tour guides if I could get a glimpse of the dorm bathrooms to make sure I would be comfortable when I was showering? If so, no one ever told me, especially not my college advisor.
My freshman year I lived in Curtis Hall, a lovely establishment that left me with great memories and, amazingly, showers that I could actually stand under! But I was a young and naïve freshman then, and I certainly wasn’t aware of the pure privilege that a standing shower had to offer me.
My sophomore year I lived in the 113 Broad Street dorms, and I will never forget move-in day. During my drive up, one of my friends who arrived at school a couple hours earlier than me sent a text in our group chat saying she couldn’t stand under the showers in our new dorm. The funny thing about this is that she is 5’ 7” (reminder that I am ~5’ 10”). I don’t think it really hit me how big of an issue this would be until I saw the showers with my own eyes. Let me tell you, I don’t know who in their right mind could ever design a shower head as low as the ones in 113 Broad, but I do know that whoever they are certainly has a vendetta against tall people. Every time I showered, It felt like that scene in Elf where Will Ferrell has to use the elves’ showers, crouching and splashing water onto his face.
A week after move-in day, it was discovered that B&G would install shower head extenders if you sent in a work order. My three suitemates and I thought our problems would be forever solved, but alas, they were not. The design of 113 Broad in general is so obscure, and because the rooms are designed so oddly, the showers are very narrow. With the new extender, the water shot directly at the wall because you couldn’t adjust it to point downwards, and we couldn’t try to step forward because of how narrow the shower was. The water was too high up even for me to reach, let alone my suitemates who were all shorter than me. But I guess beggars can’t be choosers. For a whole year, we had to shower standing on a rickety five dollar stool from the Dollar General, and we lived to tell the tale. Sort of.
After spending my junior fall abroad, I came back to Colgate in the spring with high hopes that I wouldn’t have a repeat of my 113 Broad Street shower experience, and that my new home in 104 Broad would have something, literally anything, better to offer me. Can you guess where this is going? I bet you did. Once again I was wrong, and I faced another semester of shower-crouching.
Finally, I’m in my senior year here and I live in an apartment with my friends. I live in the only double in the apartment. The perk of the double was that it had its own bathroom. While it is convenient to have our own bathroom, the feng shui is all off. It’s narrow and the shower is behind the toilet, so you essentially have to complete an obstacle course by stepping over the toilet to get into the shower. But the best part has yet to come, and I’m sure you’ll see it coming. Once you finally make your way into the shower, you’re met with a showerhead that is fit for someone who is, at best, five-foot-two. You’d think with three years of shower-crouching experience under my belt I would be an expert by now, yet I still manage to slam my head against the showerhead almost every time I shower, and it’s just as awful as it was when I was doing it sophomore year. All I’m saying is, I feel like there must exist a happy medium when it comes to showerhead heights, and somehow I have so successfully managed to avoid it in the last three years.