Kainaat Trehan ‘20 is a boarding student from New Dehli, India. She is a member of the girls varsity basketball team, the PEACE team, the Global Awareness Panel (GAP) and is a student ambassador for the Admissions Office. She is also looking forward to playing soccer and travel basketball in the spring. Outside of academics and sports, Kainaat enjoys technical theatre and dancing. She likes to read, pray, write poems and play board games or cards with her friends and family.
Why did you choose to attend Rabun Gap?
My mother wanted me to study and settle abroad (especially the USA) because she feels that the quality of life is better here. So, a basketball coach told my mom about Vishal (‘19) and how he was studying at Rabun Gap. That is how my parents met Vishal’s parents and we got to know about Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School. Even though I did not have the opportunity to visit the campus and get to know about the school, I am so glad that I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of this community because there would be no other institute I would want to graduate from as a high school senior.
What makes Rabun Gap special to you?
It is definitely the diversity of Rabun Gap; that is the jewel of the crown. The fact that I was exposed to people coming from different backgrounds and getting distinct perspectives at a tender age of 16 has helped me grow and understand the realities of life. Moreover, experiences like being able to call a German your best friend without ever visiting Germany are irreplaceable!
What are your plans after you graduate? What are your plans for college?
I want to do something in the field of psychology. However, I’m quite not sure what branch of psychology I want to pursue my career in. As far as my plans for college are concerned inshallah, I get a chance to achieve my dream of studying at an Ivy League school and playing basketball at the next level.
What is your favorite memory from Rabun Gap so far?
My favorite memory at Rabun Gap so far was probably my seventeenth birthday. It was not a fancy affair at all but it was “my kind” of a birthday. I could feel the affection and warmth of my close ones back home and in Rabun Gap, which made me realize that my worries had blinded me and kept me from appreciating the wonderful gifts I have had in my life. I still remember myself tearing up when I went back to my room in the evening and found my table full of unexpected gifts, love, and warmth. That day I realized that even after being so far from my family and friends back home, the fact that I called that birthday my best birthday ever is truly a blessing!
What is it like to be a boarding student at Rabun Gap?
Being so far from what you have called home for so long is definitely not easy. However, boarding at Rabun Gap is definitely worth all the challenges that the process of boarding brings with it. There were times when my homesickness, social anxiety, and introversion kicked in and made me question my presence at Rabun Gap. Those obstacles not only helped me explore parts of myself that I was never aware of, but also helped me bond with the people I call my second family now. Thus, the boarding experience at Rabun Gap is truly an exemplar of a quote by one of my favorite authors, Robin Sharma: “Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.”
What advice would you give to another student who just came to board here at Rabun Gap?
I would like to pass on the piece of advice that my mother gave me before coming to Rabun Gap. She told that an aquatic plant has to be flexible so that it can bend and flow with the currents of the water. If it is inflexible then the strong waves of the water will uproot it from its base. She added, however, if the plant is too flexible and has weak roots then too, the water will uproot it from its base. Thus, she told me to have tons of new, fun experiences, but without compromising my foundations. I like to call it ‘Go with the flow, but never let your morals get low!’
Which Rabun Gap teachers and/or coaches have had the biggest impact on you during your time here so far?
All my life I had believed that there exists no person in this world who can love and guide me like my mother. No one I could trust as much as I trust my mom. But after meeting and spending time around Ms. Green I told myself that I have I actually found the carbon copy of my mom. From her relieving hugs before home games to her unwavering faith in me when I felt hopeless, she has loved, taken care of and guided me like her own. She is truly someone who I know will always have my back. I am so grateful for her presence in my life.
Tell us something interesting about yourself that we don’t otherwise know.
I can speak and understand six different languages (four of them coming from my own country). Apart from representing my state (Delhi) for basketball, I have also represented it in Netball. Lastly, I am claustrophobic and I can neither swim or drive (yet!).
If you could choose to live during any era of history, when would you pick?
I have always been extremely fascinated by Indian Mythology. Whether it is the characters or the storyline, I always find myself being able to relate to them. One of my favorite Indian epics is the Mahabharata. I have always fantasized myself being a part of the story and The Kuru Clan (the clan that the story revolves around). Thus, I would love to live during the Dvapara Yug (the time when the Mahabharata took place according to the Hindu Calender).