Karolina Ristevski just celebrated her 40th birthday while studying a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Creative Writing) at the University of Wollongong. After deciding that her life just wasn’t fulfilling her dreams, she quit her day job and started a brand-new chapter in her life.
“I just didn’t feel like I was doing what I loved. I’ve always wanted to be a writer.”
She decided to change her life when she and her fiancé made plans to visit Peru, where her fiancé is from.
“I didn’t want to waste a perfect opportunity to write while overseas, so that was the thing that sort of pushed me over the edge. I was already at the cliff, looking over, but it made me jump into the unknown.”
Karolina knew that this decision was risky, and would change her life forever, but she took it anyway.
“My family was very supportive, but they were worried. ‘What are you going to do about the money, Karol?’ was the question I got asked the most. But I had some money saved, and I knew if I could just make the change I would figure it out as I went along. I’m not silly, but I guess I don’t know many people my age making a big change like this.”
Karolina is loving her university life, and is doing really well. Although she felt a bit lonely at the beginning, she’s made friends and acquaintances with whom she likes to share a laugh.
“Everyone at uni is great. They’re all funny and accepting–it doesn’t seem to bother them that I’m their parents’ age.”
Karolina is so in love with university life that she doesn’t want to go back.
“I missed out on uni when I was younger, but now I feel like I’m in my twenties again! It’s great–the late nights, the close teacher-student relationships, heaps of friends… I wish I hadn’t missed out when I was younger but I sure am glad I’m here now!”
Karolina has a carefree, funny personality. She loves a good joke and is always there for you if you need to ask questions.
“I help people out with their uni work, and in turn, I get help back. It’s really great–there’s nowhere else in life where you have this kind of mutual support.”
When asked what she likes to do on the weekends and in her spare time, Karolina responded:
“I just started yoga, although I don’t think I’m doing it right. The class is ‘Yoga for Beginners’ but I think I need the basics class before I continue! I also like writing–I’m a morning person when it comes to writing–fresh thoughts on a fresh page.
Karolina will graduate UOW in 2017.
“I really will miss university. It’s just got such a great atmosphere–you never want to leave.”
Karolina’s got the sort of personality that brightens a dull day. I know I’ve made a friend for life (well, for the next three years at least! Ba-dum-bah ch!)