A girl has got to go

Ding, ding, ding. The late bell rings for class and once again, in a matter of seconds, I arrive moments before I am marked tardy. I was waiting in line for the restroom. Personally, I can’t speak for the males on campus, but the line to use the female restroom is out the door and blocking the halls. The girls’ restrooms at our school are home to many girls waiting to finish their business and get back to socializing, meeting with teachers or walking across the school to their next class. 

You would think it would take around two minutes to get in and out of the bathroom, yet for many girls, their whole break is wasted standing in line. Many girls, including myself, don’t even bother to wait in the long lines anymore and hold it until class gets out for lunch. Since I don’t have a class fourth period, I normally wait to use the restroom until I get home after school, yet not all female students have this advantage.

Holding your pee is extremely harmful to the body, and speaking from personal experience, can cause an increase in urinary tract infections (UTIs). When it’s “that” time of the month, I suffer severe cramping, and holding my pee greatly increases my cramps. In class, I am barely able to move due to my pain. My concentration and focus also decrease because I am only thinking about when I’ll get to use the restroom, even when I’m not on my period.

Teachers partially contribute to the reason many girls don’t want to leave class to use the restroom. I have had many teachers assign bathroom passes to try and limit the amount of time we leave the class, and reward students who don’t use them with extra credit. 

This is frustrating because as a student, I never want to leave class because I don’t want to lose the extra points. Furthermore, due to block scheduling, teachers have to fit more curriculum into the class periods and tend to move at a fast pace. Many girls and I have the fear of being gone and missing material.

The number of girls who wait to use the restroom is about triple the amount of stalls in the three girls bathrooms accessible to us, as shown by the long lines seen in the halls. There are only three and four stalls in the B and C buildings respectively, yet over 12 people waiting in line at break.

Our school needs to either reconsider the amount of time in our breaks or build more bathrooms on campus so girls such as myself have the ability to use the restroom as necessary without being punished. This bathroom situation is severe and it affects the psychological and physical well-being of female students at school.

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