When I applied for university, it was to engineering programs. I knew my major going in, and that was electrical engineering. It made perfect sense to me at the time—I dedicated all of high school to robotics, and there was nothing in the world I loved more than making things. But there was another thing motivating me, and it took me a lot of soul searching to realize what that was: I went into electrical engineering because it was hard.
I shift between whether I refer to myself as an atheist or an agnostic. Perhaps an agnostic atheist would be the most accurate—it's not so much an active disbelief in any deity as it is a passive lack of belief due to there being no way to prove or disprove the existence of any such deity. On a cultural level, I'd probably consider myself Hindu.
Language. Food. Religion. Tradition. All these things and more combine to create what we think of as cultural heritage. Both of my parents come from India, but I was born in the US. I lived in Canada for most of the formative years of my life before returning to the US for high school and college. When someone asks me where I’m from, my immediate answer is Canada. I sometimes follow that with a, well… Michigan, now, I guess, but instinct tells me to say Canada. That’s always going to be true. What I’m never going to say, not without being asked and intentionally thinking about it, is that I’m Indian.
Two things where opinion has gotten ridiculously polarized and any attempt at nuance will get your head bitten off, especially in the U.S.: Russia and Israel.
I grew up on Harry Potter, like so many people my age. J.K. Rowling shaped my childhood. I literally do not remember a time before I'd read her work. Which is why it's devastating to think about how willfully she now ignores all criticism; behaves in racist, sexist, and homophobic manners; and exploits the deep desire people in marginalized communities have to see themselves represented in what's arguably the most popular piece of media in decades.