Former Marion High School graduate Jay Dee Schafers is one busy person. Between taking full time classes at Butler Community College, where she is a sophomore majoring in pre-medicine, having a lead in Butler’s fall play, and having a job, free time is scarce. On top of those commitments, she is also choreographing Marion’s fall musical, “Oklahoma,” at the request of director Janet Killough.
She said the key to handling all her commitments is balance.
“It takes a lot of hard work but I’ve learned to focus and prioritize to get things done,” she said.
Despite not wanting to sometimes, when it’s time for homework or class, Schafers said she makes herself focus and get things done. She often works ahead in her classes to help balance weeks when she has less time.
“You get good at figuring out how to manage your time,” she said. “On weeks where there is a night I want to go out with my friends I work ahead on my homework so I have to worry about it less and can do other things that need to be done and don’t have to do it after rehearsal.”
Schafers weekdays begin with class at 8 a.m., followed by a her theater practicum where she works on sets or costumes, a three hour window for homework, and then play “State of the Union” rehearsal from 6 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. or later.
On weekends she works at a fast food restaurant in El Dorado, working in fun time with friends when possible.
Being a part of a small drama department, Schafters said the group is really close and often helps each other study.
“Sometimes we’ll have a study group then go somewhere after, depending on what we get done,” she said.
Despite her college experience being busier than other students, she said she appreciates the experience because of what it has taught her about herself.
“I know that I can handle the stress of multiple things and I know I can manage my time well,” she said. “Both will help me in the future with whatever I end up doing.”