In this installment of Our Stories, Sashoi describes how she gained a better understanding of courage and the strength of her own convictions as she courageously tangles with the woes of university. For many people, Jamaica is pictured as an island paradise – white sandy beaches, a beautiful and vivacious culture, rich and wholesome food, and attractive people. And while that image is not far from the truth, if the lens is focused on the inspirational stories of ordinary Jamaicans, you’d find a sharper, richer and truer image of the Jamaican experience…this is Our Stories!

Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage does not always look like running into a burning building, speaking up for someone who has no voice or even facing a soon forgotten fear. Sometimes, courage is believing in yourself and holding on to that, despite what may come.

Meet Miss Sashoi Nichols – Second-Year Marketing Student at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus

Emancipation Park, November 2019
  1. If your life was a play, what genre would it be considered as?

If my life was a play, the genre it would be classified as would be melodrama.

2. What would you describe as the open “climax” thus far?

The climax is being in university, so everything that comes with that – the trials, the hardships,    the good times – that would be the climax.

3. How did that affect you?

It has affected me positively. I don’t want to answer – you know, I don’t want to give you the political answer: how it has taught me how to be patient, it has taught me all the good stuff. There have been good times and there have been bad times, like really bad times. However, it has affected me in a way where I can now tell myself that the tasks ahead are only as hard as I make them see. Because I’ve had very distressing times where the workload, everything about school has just been– it has made me feel distraught and stressed and everything that has been bad, while, you know, there have been times when I can feel proud of myself – when I get good grades and a good G.P.A. It has just taught me that whatever you want, once you’re pursuing it with an intentful heart, you’ll be able to achieve it.

4. How did you overcome it?

Well, seeing that I am at the climax now, how I continue to overcome is remembering why I started. The aim was always to start with the end in mind so whenever I feel down, whenever I feel disheartened, whenever I feel like,

‘this is just too much for me’, ‘ambition is just costing me a lot right now’ – I just look at myself and say,

‘Why did you start? Remember why you started; remember that. You need a fulfilling future and this is a stepping stone to all that you want’…

So that is how I overcome it; I just constantly remind myself that I’m here for a reason; that I have a purpose; that I have to start with the end in mind. I have to continue to keep that at the forefront of my head. I have the end in mind and I’m almost at the finishing line so that is how I continue to overcome all the obstacles that come.

5. What lesson would you want the audience to live with?

Everything comes with a price. And it’s really how much you are willing to pay in your pursuit of whatever it is. It will come with a price but it’s how much you are willing to give. It doesn’t matter how hard the cost will affect your pocket; it doesn’t matter how hard it will affect your well-being or your lifestyle at the moment or whatever it is that you think you’re cherishing and holding onto. There is always better ahead. QQ, he had this song that said ‘Better must come’ so there’s always a better that will come and the best is always yet to come so it’s really just the price, the amount that you’re willing to pay for that ‘better’. That’s what I would want the audience to leave with.

ELR Towers Hall, U.W.I., October 2019

6. How do you believe that challenge has helped you become the person you are today?

Okay, so this challenge has been helping me to become the person I am today.  In that, I’m able to step out of my comfort zone more willingly and just try new things. This internship, this training in digital media, these are the things that have been a fruit of stepping out of my comfort zone. Being in the university space, it has taught me that you either be a lump or you be active. Is either or either. And if you want good, ‘yuh nose affi run’. So it has helped me to become the person I am today because I am now more willing to step out of my comfort zone and it’s easier for me to do things that I wouldn’t have normally done before so that’s what has been helping me.

7.What values do you possess that you think will help you overcome future challenges?

Okay so, one, being understanding; two, being able to accept constructive criticism, and three, being observant, and an offspring to that would be having an eye for detailing. So those would be my three top contenders for what I use to overcome future challenges.

8. What inspires you?

I think that’s so vague because a lot of things inspire me but since it is being asked in a general way, I’m going to answer that generally. My future inspires me. My future inspires me because I think that there– I have so much purpose within me; I think that there’s just so much that I can achieve and so just the thought, just the idea of being successful, just idea of knowing that my adult – and when I say adult, I’m already an adult – but my accomplished self would be able to look back at my past and say that, you know, you ran a good race, the journey has been fulfilling. I think that’s what inspires me –  just to know that I have a future ahead of me that I’m working towards.

9. If you could ask for advice from anyone, dead or alive, who would you ask and why?

I would ask God for advice on everything, on every single thing. Anything that there is to be asked on anything that has to be known – I would just ask God.

10. Who would you send in your closing credits?

In my closing credits, I would thank God; I would thank my parents and every person who has assisted me along the journey.

“Start with the end in mind.” It’s easy to become distracted or even discouraged when times are tough.  Sometimes it’s even harder to want to begin in the first place when the road ahead looks daunting. If ever you should feel like that,  I hope you come back to this interview to gain a little courage; and understand that you might be by yourself but you are never alone.