We asked Cambridge students about their peeing habits

Guess just how far Cambridge students are willing to go to save water

In a first-of-its-kind investigation, The Tab Cambridge asked its Instagram followers about their peeing habits. 98 of 219 responders peed in the shower (just under 50 per cent) and 78 of 313 responders (about 25 per cent) said that they had peed in their sinks.

Yes, peeing in sinks is apparently a thing – but let’s break down peeing in the shower first.

Responses to a follow-up question asking whether a roommate could pee in a shared shower were more widely split. 145 of 227 responders said they would be uncomfortable with it – about 64 per cent.

When asked what they’d do to someone who peed in a shared shower, one student said that “water washes it away… oh well.”

Another said that it was “fine since [they] do it and the bath gets cleaned every other day.” A third simply expressed gratitude for their climate-conscious roommate: “Thank you for saving water.”

Image credits: Camfess 

On the other side of the spectrum, two students emphasized their desire not to be told about it at all. The first student stated that they “hope [they] didn’t find out” because “it’s none of my business if they clean it fully.” The second asked, “why did you tell me?”

One responder summarized what they’d do in the hypothetical scenario using a single word: “cry.”

Responses thus indicate that if you intend to pee in a shared shower, it is most suitable to leave your roommates in the dark about it, lest you bring them to tears. However, this author is themselves a user of shared showers and does not endorse that philosophy in the slightest.

One invested responder suggested that students who do pee in the shower should “put some bleach down it.” The response also pointed out that their shower drains quite slowly, “so it would be grim” if someone did choose to relieve themselves there. If you absolutely must multitask while showering, clean up after yourself.

Did you know that Ricky Gervais used to pee in the sink too? If you’re one of the 78 responders who have peed in the sink, you’re in famous (or infamous) company. It’s also worth noting that there exists a global community of individuals that you may belong to: r/Sinkpisssers. For better or for worse, your habits are not unique to you.

A vibrant, inspiring community. Image credits: author’s own screenshot

Should you pee in the sink?

As with everything, there are pros and cons. It’s quieter and can be more convenient if you don’t have an ensuite in your accommodation and, as mentioned previously, it uses less water. The cons really just boil down to the ick factor, including hygiene, the risk of making a mess, and the smell of urine.

Image credits: Camfess 

Regardless of whether you pee in the shower or the sink – or both, because there’s likely some overlap between the two groups – bear in mind that your actions might just have consequences. According to one plumber, “you’ll be harming your pipes in the process.”

They continued, “over time, these layers will build upon themselves until your pipes can end up constricted, requiring snaking or acid treatment with some nasty chemicals to dissolve the sediment.”

Plus, there are arguably more effective ways to conserve water – “installing low flow toilets and shower heads, using rain barrels, limiting showers to 5 minutes,” for instance.

Granted, you may have to lobby your college rep – but if climate consciousness was why you were making your bladder gladder in the sink and the shower, this’ll be a snake you’re happy to wrangle.

Remain wary of all other plumbing in your accommodation. Camfess is littered with descriptions of student behaviour that you may find seriously concerning. If you’ve got a sink in your room, maybe it’s worth cleaning when you first move in. Even if you’re at Medwards or Newnham. 

Feature image credits: Max Pixel via Creative Commons Licence and Camfess Facebook (1 and 2)

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