Living Free in the Friedman

Tyra Wu ’19
Assistant Features Editor 

While Smith is known for its unique housing system in which students live in houses rather than dorms, the Friedman Apartments provide an alternative for upperclassmen who want to experience independent living. Students living in the apartments are responsible for their own cooking and cleaning – skills essential for post-graduation life.

“I feel like it’s easing me in a little bit to the ‘real world,’” Laura Nunnelly ’16 said.  “Sometimes, if I don’t want to cook, I don’t necessarily have to, but on the other hand ,it’s always an option, and I’m supposed to be doing it for myself.”

The Friedman Apartments were built in 1978 and were funded by Robert and Eugenie Friedman. Each unit houses four students. The apartments are completely furnished, but students must provide their own utensils and cookware. Living in the Friedmans costs less than traditional housing because students pay for room instead of room and board.

Although the Friedmans will no longer be available to students next year, the new Paradise Road Apartment Complex available beginning in the fall semester of 2016 will provide a similar independent living option for students.

For students interested in living in the apartments, choosing roommates is important for an ideal living situation. While close friends may seem like good roommates, in some situations, living with friends can lead to conflicts. On the other hand, sometimes friends make the best roommates. Each situation is different.

“Choosing your roommates is really important because you want to be with people that you can communicate with,” Nunnelly said. “I think that’s probably the most important to make this work.”

Similarly, Meredith Millman ’16 suggested making sure that “you know how each person lives before moving in with them so there are no surprises, such as being a messy person or just being a loud walker in general.”

While living in the Friedmans gives students autonomy, it also means leaving the house community. However, it is possible to maintain a relationship with the house.

“I lived in a really small house, so they have a lot of really cute traditions,” Nunnelly said. “They always invite those of us in the Friedmans back for things, so I still feel like I’m a part of that community, even though I left.”

Millman also enjoyed the Smith housing system, but she wanted to experience a more independent lifestyle. Even though she no longer lives there, Millman remains a part of her house community.

“After being a member of the house community for three years at Smith, I’m not excluded from any of the house events,” Millman said. “Once a member of a house, always a member of a house.”

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