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College Life | Undergraduate | Between Classes

Dear Younger Me — It’s OK To Change Your Plans

Hope Osborn is a senior human development and family studies major with a minor in theatre from Milbank. She’s involved with Pius XII Newman Center, State University Theatre, SDSU Concert Choir, Jacks for Life and Alpha Psi Omega.

Two years have come and gone and I can hardly believe I’m beginning my final year at South Dakota State University. Since beginning college in 2019, I have shared various tips, experiences and advice on Rabbit Food. However, there are some things I wish I’d known when I was younger.

I hope this year’s incoming students can learn from me and find the advice I’d give myself helpful to them as they begin this new, exciting chapter in their lives.

Dear Younger Me … It’s OK to not get an A. Or a B ...

Growing up, I got an A in every class and on a lot of assignments. I studied hard, and I was naturally good at academics. However, I got an F (below a 60%) on my first college exam in Honors Biology 151.

I was distraught! However, most first-year students fail their first test. College is an adjustment and academics are different. It’s totally OK to not do as well in school as you had hoped, whether that be on an assignment or in a class. Just don’t give up completely!

Thankfully, SDSU has great resources for academic assistance including the Wintrode Student Success Center, supplemental instruction, tutoring, the writing center and more.

Dear Younger Me … You CAN change your plans, and you should if you need to.

When I was a high school senior, I always said I’d be the one to not change my major at all.

Here I am two years later after changing my major twice, and I’m still graduating in three years. My career plans have not changed, but I’ve discovered new and better paths towards that career. So, yes, I changed plans.

If you’re like me, change can be scary, especially with big decisions like college majors. It’s normal to change more than once; some people have careers that have nothing to do with their college majors. As long as you are studying something that interests you and that you can do well in academically, you will be just fine.

Dear Younger Me … Fail. A lot.

A wise professor once told me to look back every year on our successes and failures, and if our list of failures wasn’t long, we weren’t trying enough.

That piece of advice opened my eyes: if you don’t try, you’ll never succeed. But you must accept that risk of failure. Each one helps you improve and prepare for the success that will come.

You will fail tests, but you will learn how to study more efficiently. You will apply for jobs and get rejected, but you’ll learn better interview skills for the next one. You may get rejected from a graduate school or medical school, but you’ll learn how to improve your application.

Failure is OK and encouraged. So don’t be afraid of failure. Use it to your advantage.

Don’t worry, new Jackrabbits. I know this step seems daunting. You will learn so much in the first year, month, and even day of being on campus. One day you can look back and think about what you’d tell your younger self.

For now, learn from me, and remember: it’s always a great day to be a Jackrabbit.

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