This story originally appeared in Onward: John Carroll Alumni Magazine, which was mailed in early November.
The life of a Division III student athlete can be chaotic. To succeed at a high level, an athlete needs to balance their work on and off the field. Between the papers and exams, there’s practice, travel, and actual games to worry about.
And, if you play softball like Jenn Patterson ’20, there are often variables you can’t control, like the weather. How does Patterson figure it all out? With one simple rule.
“I never go anywhere without my planner,” she laughs. “Every part of my day is in there — what I need to do, where I need to be. I never plan anything before checking out what my priorities are. It helps keep me on track.”
Patterson needs that level of organization; as she enters her senior year, she boasts a schedule that would cause most students stress. In addition to her leadership role as a pitcher for the softball team, Patterson is the president of the Student-Athletic Advisory Council (SAAC), which helps advocate for fellow athletes and plan professional development and service events. She is the vice president of the Boler Business Leadership Society, and works as a leadership coach for Boler and as a peer advisor for Center for Career Services. Despite her level of involvement, Patterson still finds the time to excel in the classroom. She recorded higher than a 3.5 GPA in the spring semester, earning her Academic All-OAC honors.
“She has impressed me with how many things she takes on and how well she balances it all,” says softball head coach Nicole Loudin. Patterson’s JCU journey began as her time at Marysville (Ohio) High School came to an end. When Patterson visited campus, she fell in love.