You’ve done it. You’ve made it through a 90-square-foot Frosh Quad double with bunk beds, a large but leaky Tyler Annex single in the far hinterlands of campus and a teeny tiny Greylock Quad room right next to noisy Route 2. The housing lottery owes you, big time. And so this year, you’re one of the lucky few soon-to-be seniors to get a co-op, the College’s closest approximation to living in a real, adult house.
There are seven co-ops in total and so the Record has comprised this very official, not-at-all subjective (i.e. completely subjective) ranking to help you make your decision. This process wasn’t free from hardship, however: You can’t swipe into a co-op unless you live there. This brave reporter risked the social awkwardness of loitering outside each and every co-op, waiting to be let in (or never let in), all in the effort of saving you the time and trouble (and dignity) of doing the same. Below are the results.
Doughty is, to put it simply, grand. Its common spaces are spacious and light-filled, boasting large windows and high ceilings (and a piano, which actually may be a con for those who don’t love random piano solos at all hours of the day). There is an entire wall of glass cupboards in the kitchen, which should give you a pretty good idea of the opulence we’re talking about here. Not only can you host glamorous, piano-accompanied soirees with all your friends in this place – you can display all your curios and cookware there, too! Additionally, Doughty is a 30-second walk from Lickety Split. Some may knock this point as “irrelevant” or “stupid,” especially since the ice cream shop is only open a couple months of the school year, but for this reporter, it’s akin to snagging a New York apartment across the street from Central Park.
Lambert is cute and blue, with a front porch that makes the extra walk down the entirety of Hoxsey St. entirely worth it. It has a well-furnished kitchen, a pleasant living area and spacious bedrooms. It’s also directly across the street from the Health Center, which means no more trudging across campus in the snow when you catch that winter cold.
3. Susie Hopkins
Susie Hopkins has much of the splendor of Doughty, with the added cuteness of a breakfast nook. Its bedrooms are big and beautiful, and two even have direct access to a backyard-facing balcony. (All the romance of Romeo and Juliet with none of the senseless violence!) Susie sadly must be knocked down to third place, though, because it sits upon a hill all the way behind Spring St., a location that is convenient for no one and difficult for lazy legs.
In the interest of full disclosure, it must be noted that this reporter did not actually go inside Chadbourne, and the information here is a combination of secondhand intel and observations made while wandering around the co-op’s front yard like a vagrant. Chadbourne is certainly beautiful from the outside, and outward appearances are always more important than what’s on the inside, right? Currently this co-op is smack dab in the middle of construction, but next year it will be next-door-neighbors with the campus’s only brand new dorm, helping to spearhead a new housing neighborhood. Its backyard area is also highly conducive to barbecues and lawn games, always a plus at the end of a long, BBQ-less week.
Milham’s charming, closed-in front porch and convenient Hoxsey St. location secured it a modest fifth place in this ranking. Its downstairs interior is entirely dark wood, from floor to ceiling. For some this may be a plus, as the look is reminiscent of an old-time-y hunting lodge or some other woodsy place. For this reporter, however, it felt a little cold in comparison to the coziness of the other locations.
Woodbridge can thank its location and little else for dodging last place. Its downstairs living room and kitchen area are welcoming and intimate, but the ceilings are low, even for this five-foot-four reporter. Most of its bedrooms are fairly large, but – and this is a pretty big but – the floors are slanted. While living on an incline may not actually impact those who don’t practice their golf putting before bed, it’s definitely a weird and off-putting structural flaw. That being said, Woodbridge nonetheless is the most centrally located of all the co-ops, and as they say in the real estate world, it’s all about location, location, location.
7. Poker Flats
If you’ve been paying attention, you know that in the real estate world, it’s all about location, location, location. Poker Flats is across campus from the majority of the other co-ops as well as upperclassman dorms, and its isolation puts it in last place. The apartment-style living, however, is surprisingly pleasant and cozy, and since they all connect through the basement, you can avoid pointless forays outdoors in the winter. Let’s not forget Poker Flats Field either, which might be better titled “The Ultimate Backyard.” Poker Flats’ redeeming features should thus serve as a reminder that, when it comes down to it, you can’t go wrong with a co-op.