By: Simone Clark
Running out of time is nothing new to the typical UV student.
“I feel like I’m constantly driving back and forth from work to school,” said Jackie Larson, 22. “I can barely fit the essentials into my day, much less have time to do the things I love.”
“I used to complain about being busy and too tired in high school because I had to go straight from school to dance for five hours a night. I’d do almost anything for that schedule now,” Larson said.
Without the comforts and financial freedoms of living at home, as well as the gas money spent driving back and forth, Larson said she has to work more hours than she needed to in the past. Working more hours combined with being a student means that she does not have the time to join a dance company or teach toddler ballet classes.
After a full day of work and school, Larson then has to go home to complete assignments and get whatever little sleep she can.
“It’s hard for me to stay motivated and not resent going to school sometimes because I had to quit dancing. Staying awake is difficult too,” Larson said with a chuckle and a yawn.
Larson, who is in the Elementary Education program, is also passionate about teaching little ones. She has known since high school that she has wanted to teach kindergarten, and this strong desire is what keeps her pressing forward with her education. With two years until her graduation, Larson hopes to eventually find a way to fit dancing into her school schedule. Until she finds a way to make that happen, she will continue working at Center Stage Dance Studio.
Larson expressed that if she can’t be doing the dancing herself, it helps to at least be surrounded by what she loves. Behind the counter at work, Larson tries to pass slow days by studying. She said this is especially difficult because doing math problems is exponentially less appealing than watching the classes that are taking place just a room away.
“It’s all about balance. I know getting my degree will pay off in the long run even though it’s really tough for me right now,” Larson said optimistically. “Ideally someday I’ll be able to find time to teach dance to kindergarteners and get the best of both worlds.”