Christchurch woman Paula Dockrill changed her life after the Canterbury earthquakes taught her to "live in the moment".
After the September 2010 quake, Dockrill "didn't cope very well".
"I got really worried about everything and was constantly on edge waiting for the next big one to hit. I let it consume my life."
When she was on the eighth floor of a central-city building when the February 2011 quake hit, she decided it was time to make a change.
Dockrill quit her administration job and went back to university to pursue her passion, psychology.
"I never went to university after high school.
"I had a gap year that turned into a gap 12 years," she said.
"After the earthquakes, I suddenly thought, 'I've got to do it now'. I just knew I couldn't afford to wait another 12 years. It was now or never."