First of many – Get to know Katarina

Hi. Welcome – I’m so happy you’re here.

My name is Katarina and recently, after graduating college and embarking on a new chapter in my life as a professional tennis player, I have decided to share my current journey along with my past experiences I have gained around the world.

Over the years and through all the lessons learned, challenges and struggles, I have found that journaling is the only thing that helps me deal with it all, whether good or bad. As I share my thoughts with you, I hope that these stories can put a smile on your face, or help you relate to them, as we all share a similar goal of finding a way through life and enjoying it in our own way.

I’m not a professional writer, I’m actually far from it. Graduated as a double major in Business Administration and Spanish from Furman University, and as much as I have enjoyed Spanish literature, unfortunately it has not helped me with my writing skills in English. Yet here I am, going way outside my comfort zone and sharing my journals with you.

With that being said, one of the first lessons I have learned from a young age is how to be brave and embrace the challenges in life. Without courage and willingness to push our limits, we can’t grow and learn as people. I was lucky to learn that from my momma, who let her only child leave home and move across the world to pursue her dreams when she was only fourteen years old.

Growing up in Serbia, I was living in my own Katarina world. I was very fortunate to grow up in a family that has given me nothing but love and support to do whatever I’d like. Over the years, that turned into an ambition to be good at a lot of things, from tennis, skiing, ballet lessons, to music school, piano, French, and English classes almost every day. All these activities along with hours of school left me no free time to just relax or hang out with friends. After all, it was my choice and my parents were there to support me every step of the way.

I graduated from middle school in Serbia early and at fourteen years old moved to Florida with my dad, to one of the most elite and international tennis academies in the world, IMG Academy. During my four years there, introverted Katarina turned into a social butterfly. From learning the importance of hard work and determination on court and in the classroom, gaining many friends from all around the world, to doing interviews, photoshoots, becoming prom queen, and speaking at two graduations, both my junior and senior year, every experience took a part in shaping me into the person I am today.

However, it wasn’t until I went to college that I got to experience what pushing beyond your limits truly means, mentally and physically. Imagine this, university where academics are rigorous, coach who is ambitious, team of ten girls that are extremely competitive in every way, a community that is very different than the one I was surrounded with in high school, and me, a girl with a dream and determination but not naturally athletic. This resulted in sleepless nights, hours in professors’ office to catch up, many additional morning workouts and runs on the football field, with a mandatory headache post every workout because my body was just not used to pushing that much. I was fortunate enough to have a coach and mentor by my side who believed in me while no one else did and was willing to push me above and beyond even when I couldn’t.

And here we are, after five years of being a student-athlete at a Division 1 school, becoming the two time All American and the most improved senior in the nation. Yet, after all these years, it wasn’t the ranking or the awards that made this experience so special, but the person and leader I have become because of it. I know, sounds cliche, but over these few years, I have had some of the hardest times in my life and it is what we do with those challenges that shapes us into who we are and makes us stronger in the end.

Being a student-athlete or a professional athlete is not easy, it has many ups and downs, mental struggles, physical exhaustions, and emotional breakdowns, but nothing good in life comes easy, right?

Interested to hear more? Follow along as I share more stories about my past and not only sports, but traveling, friendships and life in general, because moving away at fourteen turned me into a generation 1.5. Too young to complete the Serbian personality and too old to only adapt to the American character, so where does that leave me, somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean?


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