I began graduate school at Naropa knowing practically no one in Boulder. My first month and a half in town were pretty lonely, but that changed completely when I moved into Ostara. Living in a co-op provided me with community that would have been much harder, if not impossible, to build otherwise. My housemates supported me when I was recovering from surgery, engaged in political action together, and helped me remember that there was more to life than grad school. While living at Ostara, I earned a Master's degree in mental health counseling, but I believe I learned at least as much about relationships, communication, and conflict resolution from living in a co-op as I did from my studies. This was especially true because of the BHC's mission to provide low-income housing in an increasingly expensive city, which meant I lived with people from a broader range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds than was typical for Boulder. Making decisions by consensus with a diverse group of people particularly encouraged me—and my housemates—to deepen our listening skills, move beyond black and white thinking, and engage in creative problem-solving. Cooperative living has been an invaluable part of my preparation to contribute to a diverse world, and to my belief that alternatives to exploitative systems are possible. In fact, it became such a deep part of how I want the world to work that I have started a new housing co-op and a worker co-op with my partner of five years—whom I met, unsurprisingly, through co-ops!