Smith’s unique housing system is a big draw for many students, and they are rarely disappointed. Rather than dorms, there are more than 30 residential houses on campus. Some are converted mansions, and others are newer and built exclusively by Smith. Some of the houses have as few as 12 residents, while the largest houses approximately 100 students. Each house has its own traditions, history, and self-government, and although many say that the houses are not very different from one another, it is important to find a house that suits your personality. Some students argue that particular houses are drama-filled and noisy, while others are quiet and have a laid-back atmosphere. But, truthfully, since older students graduate and new students arrive, every house community is different each year, which makes the Smith houses an incredible and dynamic place to live. All class years live together, which means students can make friends of every age and stage in their college experience. The houses force students who might not usually be friends to get to know one another and to be respectful of everyone’s space.
While the housing system cultivates a great sense of community, it can be hard to make friends outside of your house. Also, if a student is stuck in a house that she feels doesn’t fit her personality, it can be an isolating experience. However, the overwhelming majority of students say the housing system is one of their favorite parts of Smith. Complete with pianos, fireplaces, and often their own dining rooms and kitchens, the houses are intimate communities and are truly beautiful places to live! Living in a Smith house is a fantastic experience that gives students an immediate support system, and many alumni say the friends from their houses are the ones they keep in touch with for years after they graduate.