“The main reason that I was even inspired to take psychology in high school, it gave me a deeper understanding of my own people. When you grow up in a South Asian household, there’s a lot of boundaries set in place like “Oh, you’re a girl” or “Oh, you’re a boy”. You take psychology and realize that we are very similar to each other with nuanced differences. It helped me understand, I’m not that different from other people. My experiences don’t set me apart or isolate me, but rather makes me want to be a part of the bigger community. It helped me soften the culture shock I had when I came to Vancouver.

Even though I grew up in a rather conservative household, I feel that the people I was surrounded by gave me a good understanding of accepting differences, like my friends or the schools I went to. I wanted to be the brown person that shows what India truly stands for.

When I was growing up, I realized very quickly that I didn’t want to be like anyone around me. I think that was a good way of becoming the person I am today. Overall, I think coming from India when I see people around me struggle so much, the fact that I have the privilege to not [struggle] it makes me that much more grateful that I am where I am today.

I’m proud to be a representative for the psych community through whatever small role I have. I have so many people of color on my team. It’s so refreshing to see the whole idea of people of color not being representative in psychology, changing slowly and incrementally. There are a lot of things that UBC does wrong, but I’m proud of the fact that they try their best in terms of inclusion and diversity. I’ve never felt more accepted than I have here. The only place I’ve felt I don’t belong in is the Indian Students Association, so that says so much! These people who aren’t necessarily from my own culture, accept me so much more than people who I should have felt I belonged most with.”