Besides the people I have come to know and love, one of my favorite things about life in a cooperative is getting to try new food.

For those unfamiliar with the co-op system at UT, we are hinged on two basic principles. The first is that we vote on issues democratically, and the second is that we all take part in shared household labor.

On my own, I am a terrible cook who will probably be confined to a life of sandwiches and pasta. However, many of my housemates have bravely taken on the task of cooking for twenty people and I am happy to clean up afterwards.

What is fantastic about life at a place where different hands chop the vegetables every night is that newness becomes routine. Almost every night I find myself asking what exactly it is that I’m eating, and just about as frequently I have a new favorite food.

I think that making newness routine should be a goal for computer scientists as well. This semester, I have written code in more languages than I can count on both hands, and began working for an organization that I expected wouldn’t even interview me without a PhD.

Now that I’ve began to add more variety to my life as a computer scientist, I wonder why I was so fearful to do so in the past. After all, even the hardest projects have only required me to sit at my computer doing one small task at a time.

There are two things I encourage everyone to do. First, remove the intimidation surrounding your next project and just get started. Second, try tortilla soup with radishes.

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