End-of-year-questions (5): Lena Crkvenjakov

05 Jan 2019

Lena Crkvenjakov from Serbia started a crowdfunding campaign to fund her studies in Nijmegen. She now studies at Erasmus University in Rotterdam.

How do you look back on the crowdfunding campaign?

‘My sister and I started the campaign on a small scale, so that friends and family could donate. I had never expected that it would receive so much attention, with interviews on voxweb.nl and in De Gelderlander. It felt fantastic to receive all that support. Unfortunately, I have decided to continue my study at the Erasmus University for financial reasons. The money I raised is being used for my education there.’

What was the highlight of 2018 for you?

‘Studying at the Radboud University was the best thing that happened to me. Especially during the second semester, when I started to settle in. I made some good friends and I hope I will keep in touch with them in the future.’

What is the best thing you’ve seen, heard, or read this year?

‘The beautiful love poem You, Therefore by Reginald Shepherd. It looks accessible, but the deeper you dig, the more layers you find. I love the strange images that Shepherd uses, like flying trees and seas, flowers, and fruit: “strawberries that spread through your name”. The poem fills my heart with warmth, and I feel safe and at home when I read it.’

What is your wish for 2019, for yourself or for others?

‘I want to get to know myself better and to keep growing. I want to meet lots of interesting people and repair mistakes that I made in the past. I also wish lots of hugs for others, because they strengthen the feeling of trust and connection with each other.’

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