Student Spotlight: Stephanie Phillips

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Full-time student, employee, dancer and bride-to-be


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Carrying a handful of textbooks with an extra bag on her shoulder for dance rehearsal, a certain IU South Bend senior takes pride in her crazy busy schedule—and the shiny piece of jewelry that sits perfectly on her ring finger.

When crossing paths with Stephanie Phillips on campus, one would never guess her life is as busy as can be, considering the smile that’s wrapped across her face and her carefree spirit.
However, Phillips is in the midst of her last semester before she’s completely done with her undergraduate career, all while balancing a few other large parts of life.

In order to be done at the end of the semester, Phillips is enrolled in 17 credit hours while working full time outside of school. As if that doesn’t seem like enough, she is also a lead in the IUSB Dance Company’s debut performance of Swan Lake. To top it off, Phillips is planning the wedding of her dreams, which is less than three weeks away!

“When we picked the wedding date it seemed like it would be perfect, now I have no idea what I was thinking making it in the middle of my last semester!” Phillips said.

Phillips and her fiancé William Strutner, who is also in his last semester, met each other in class on campus a year ago and instantly fell for each other. The two were excited to start the next chapter of their lives together and didn’t want to be engaged longer than six months.

Between all of her homework, balancing a full-time work schedule and wedding planning, while trying to give it her all at dance rehearsal, Phillips feels like she has no time off. However, she truly feels like she’s finding joy in every moment of her life right now.

“Everyone says to enjoy this time because the actual wedding will go by so quickly,” Phillips said. “At first I was really stressed out about it and everything else I had going on, but now I just try to enjoy every aspect of this craziness because I know the planning won’t last forever and the day will go by so fast.”

While the college senior, ballerina, full-time worker and soon-to-be wife enjoys what she’s doing, she also has moments where she feels completely overloaded. It is in those times that she realizes that, although she is stressed, she knows that the end of every day is only one day closer to marrying her best friend and love of her life.

With a whirlwind of a life right now, Phillips knows that come December, her life will be drastically different. She will be done with school, married, possibly still dancing and looking for a new job.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do with all my extra time. I guess just really start living,” Phillips said. “And look forward to being able to sit next to my husband at the commencement ceremony in the spring because we will finally have the same last name!”

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