It’s not that difficult to be hygienic 

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By Tyler Panlilio, Columnist

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The modern bathroom. Everyone who has lived since its inception has, in one way or another, used it to maintain proper hygiene. It’s one of the few things that unites the human race. It is perhaps one of the most ingenious ideas since rubbing sticks together to make fire, simply because of the many amenities it provides.

And yet, here at the University, students still ignore the importance of basic hygiene and bathroom etiquette.

This week was the third time I’ve seen a student in my residence hall bathroom walk out after doing business — without washing their hands.

Is it really that much of a nuisance for people to lather some soap on and rub their hands together for 20 seconds? Think about it. You’re not only helping yourself, but everyone else who you come in contact with.

And those students who halfheartedly wash their hands for three seconds aren’t really solving anything, either. The point of hand-washing is to remove dirt, bacteria and whatever else one’s hands came in contact with to help prevent and minimize the spread of disease. Running your hands under a faucet without actually putting the effort to clean them doesn’t cut it.

Unsurprisingly, students find other ways to be unhygienic. I’ve sat next to fellow Illini that smelled like garbage and talked to classmates who clearly skipped brushing in the morning.

It’s not that hard to take a shower everyday. It’s even easier to rub a stick of deodorant on before you go to class. But students, especially freshman, think that deodorant — or even cologne —  is an easy substitute to the old lather and rinse.

Let me say from personal experience that it is not. If anything, it ends up smelling like a mixture of odor and a person’s pitiful attempt to mask it with cosmetics. Smelling good is so much better if you actually make the effort to clean yourself before you apply everything else.

Brushing twice a day is no different. Students think that a little mouthwash or chewing some minty-fresh gum in the morning is a perfectly acceptable replacement. While those may rid students of the horrendous morning breath, it’s nowhere near as effective as brushing your teeth.

Students need to understand that they need to physically scrub, with a toothbrush, whatever food particles and bacteria they’ve accumulated over the course of the day. And there’s no harm in cranking it up to after every meal, either; it’s actually even better.

Of course, if you’re one of the many students who already have good hygiene habits, bless your heart. Being clean and presentable should be a given in this day and age, especially since practically all students have access to running water and basic toiletries.

So please, for the sake of yourself and everyone around you, be hygienic. It makes it so much more of a difference when I’m stuck sitting next to you in class.

Tyler is a freshman in Media.
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