Jasmine Latney Uses Balanced Attack to Battle School, Sports, and Anxiety
Four years ago, Chowan University was the smallest school then-high school senior Jasmine Latney had applied to. Coming from Arlington, Virginia, Jasmine wasn't sure how the small town of Murfreesboro and the rural, but quaint Chowan campus would fit into the bustling senior's city life. One day-trip to Chowan's campus was all it took for Jasmine to feel at home.
"When I came here for Leadership Scholarship Day, I immediately felt welcomed. I got to meet a women's lacrosse player who put me in touch with the coach. The main reason why I chose Chowan is because of their small community and low teacher to student ratio", said Latney.
Since arriving on campus in the fall of 2015 Jasmine has made a name for herself not only on the lacrosse field but also in the classroom and in the community. The Sport Science major came in her freshman year as a Chowan University Leadership Scholar and member of the Honors College. She excelled academically and also thrived on the lacrosse team that year, playing in 14 matches and netting four goals and nine ground balls as a midfielder.
Just like any other college student, Jasmine has had her fair share of setbacks. The biggest of which came during her sophomore year.
"My biggest challenge at Chowan would have to be overcoming my sophomore year. That year my anxiety took a toll on my academic, athletic and social life. My GPA dropped below a 3.0 and I began to withdraw myself from classes, practices and my close friends. I had to work hard my junior and senior years to raise my GPA. By taking over 18 credit hours a semester, and retaking and completing the coursework I needed to graduate, I was able to reach my full potential," Jasmine stated.
Jasmine still managed to play in 15 matches for the Hawks and score seven goals in 2017. Instead of letting adversity take over her life, Jasmine reverted to her athletic instincts to push through the tough times. Instead of letting her anxiety take over, Jasmine used the energy to battle back from behind.
Jasmine is not alone in dealing with anxiety. The pressures of maintaining high marks in the classroom, on the field, and in social circles is enough to cause stress in more than 30% of college students nationwide. More than 85% of college students reported that they felt overwhelmed by everything that was expected of them. In fact, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health concerns on college campuses today.
"I am more open about speaking about it [anxiety]," said Jasmine. "I realize that it is more common that I once thought, especially for young adults."
Since 2017, Jasmine's balanced attack on tackling the everyday pressures of college has worked in her favor. She is a member of five honor societies, is active in four campus clubs, is a mathematics tutor, and is active in community service and engagement programs through athletics and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She has used the skills she learned on the lacrosse field to help manage each area of her life.
"Playing lacrosse has taught me a lot about time management, discipline and communication. Being a student-athlete consists of early morning condition and lifting, going to classes throughout the day, afternoon practices along with squeezing in time to get involved on campus. Lacrosse has taught me about respect, punctuality, and how to communicate with my teammates, coaches and athletic staff members," elaborated Jasmine.
Jasmine's hope is to someday put these same skills to use in the medical field following graduation from Chowan in May. In fact she has already stacked her resume with two medical internships that she hopes will put favor in her corner.
In the summer of 2017, Jasmine had the unique opportunity to travel to Spain to complete a pre-medical fellowship that allowed her to shadow physicians in the pediatric surgical and psychiatric unit in a Spanish hospital. She followed that experience up with another medical internship in the summer of 2018, this time a little closer to home.
"Last summer I had the opportunity to work in the pediatric cardiac and ICU unit at a hospital in Fairfax, Virginia. While working there I got to aid the nurses in that unit, translate from English to Spanish or Spanish to English, and interact with patients and their families. My favorite memory while working at the hospital would have to be scrubbing my hands for two minutes at a special sink in the ICU to then be able to swaddle a week old infant that had to have surgery. The infant would stop crying whenever I came around and it was the best feeling in the world to know that I helped someone escape their pain."
Jasmine hopes to complete some course requirements for medical school when she graduates in May while working towards becoming an EMT.
"When I graduate in May I plan on taking a year off then applying to medical school. During that year off, I will complete my EMT certification in July and hopefully apply to work as an EMT in Arlington County by August. I will also be studying for the MCAT that I plan on taking in October in order to submit my medical school applications by November of 2019."
Jasmine is not only a success story, but a true Chowan success story, who has taken advantage of each opportunity she has been given, while also dealing with adversity and setbacks along the way. In doing so, she has fought with integrity and dignity to leave an indelible mark on both the school's athletic and academic programs.
Jasmine's advice to anyone dealing with the pressures that come with being a collegiate student-athlete at Chowan, "Stay focused and remember why you chose Chowan. There are many distractions here and where ever you go in life, but at the end of the day you have to remember what brought you to Chowan and how would you like your peers, teammates, classmates, coaches, and professors to remember you. Do something great in the classroom and/or on the field or court that causes you to leave your mark at this school. And overall enjoy your time here."