By JADE RHODE
As you enter Jody-Ann Michaels’ room, you are greeted with a smile that warms the soul. The words “You owe it to yourself to become everything you’ve ever dreamed of being”, along with pictures of her mom, nephews, friends and cats, are plastered on either side of the room. Her bookshelf is filled with files and books, and a single pot plant takes centre stage on the top shelf.
Jody is a 21-year-old third-year Rhodes University student and Makhanda native. Although a small town, she has no complaints about the area that raised her. “There are little things that I enjoy about living [here], like having cars wait for you to cross the street because that is something that does not happen in big cities,” she says with a chuckle.
Apart from going to her many Linguistics, Literary Studies and Afrikaans classes, Jody is a brand affiliate selling skincare products, a girlfriend, a friend, a woman of God and a sub-warden. How does she manage it all?
At the beginning of the year, it was not all sunshine and roses as she tried to balance her social, business, personal and school life. However, with every daunting problem, there is an encouraging solution.
Jody decided to plan her life actively. She marked specific days on her calendar that allowed her to exit the grips of coursework. Doing this means she can spend time with family and friends and focus on Bible studies. Thankfully, her job as a brand affiliate does not take up too much of her time, yet it is still attended to.
It takes an emotionally strong human being to balance every aspect of life. Looking at the motivating quotes you can find in Room 57, one stands out in particular: Dear self. Remember why you are doing this.
“Remember why you started, where you want to be, what you want to become, the life you want to live,” says Jody. “[I want] the financial freedom that my mom didn’t have… and [I want to] give her the life I know she deserves.”