Now that we're well into the spring semester, it’s expected that most of us on campus have become well acquainted with the communal spaces in our dorms and elsewhere. The library, the student center, the study rooms, the lobbies. The most visited of communal spaces might be your dorm kitchens. 

Surely everyone has microwaved a few cups of noodles by now and surely everyone has left a mess or two in their dorm kitchen. Perhaps you’ve spilled some water on the floor, or you’ve somehow let your ramen explode in the microwave. Don't worry, it happens to the best of us. 

However, my biggest hope is that you didn’t leave it there. 

If you clean up your messes, congratulations! You have human decency! Tell your mom how thankful we all are for your common sense when it comes to using shared spaces. 

If you're the person who leaves a pool of orange juice on that microwave plate, we've got serious plights with you. Expect a spiteful letter on your door (if we ever find out who you are). 

This feels like a topic that honestly shouldn't even need addressing. You make a mess, you clean it! It's the rock bottom, bottom of the barrel, bottom of the pyramid, bare minimum. 

For those of us who come to microwave a five minute frozen meal, it turns into a 20 minute cleaning for the remnants of broth and noodles you've left behind. It’s embarrassing to be that inconsiderate to others. 

We know how annoying it must be to have to take the microwave’s plate out and scrub it over the sink, especially with a bottle of dish soap that is now 90 percent tap water and 10 percent actual soap. However, imagine how much more disgusting, let alone annoying it is to the rest of us. It’s not like we've been dealing with a pandemic for over a year now. In fact, we just adore having to spend more time than we need to using a space that has been used by hundreds of other students, sick or healthy. Wiping away at your soap broth totally doesn't make us want to burn our hands off. 

Let’s not leave out those of you who just leave wrappers and trash when you bake or cook food either. With a trash can mere inches from the stovetop, you should be able to throw that empty canister from your cinnamon rolls away. You should be able to throw your ramen wrappers in the trash as well. 

I desperately hope this isn’t a problem for everyone. Maybe it’s just a cereal offender in one or two dorms. Perhaps this is the origin story for a new villain that leaves dorm kitchens in disarray. But to whoever is doing it, please just grow up. Get some sense. If you’ve got some hatred against cleaning, maybe actual check on your food while it’s in the microwave? If it starts bubbling over, that usually means you need to stop it. 

If nothing else, at least start choosing better flavors for your cup noodles. It gets tiring retching over the kitchen sink while scrubbing away at the mess you left.

 

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