April 1, 2018 | Ray Yates

Never be afraid of change! Life is full of change. It is inevitable. One day, it is very possible to wake up and find your life unrecognizable. That is the situation that I have found myself in currently. One year ago, I was lounging beachside on the great Island of Oahu. I was in the military, engaged, and planning my life in Colorado. Everything about my life was different. I had spent the last five years serving in the United States Marine Corps as an Intelligence Analyst. Under the command of 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines, I spent most of my time living in Hawaii, and travelling throughout Southeast Asia.

Flash-forward an entire year, here I am at SHSU. Ultimately, I decided to move closer to family. After five years of missing nearly every holiday, it was of high importance for me be closer. Being only 90 minutes away seemed like the great median! Without being too close, it was close enough to be able to reconnect with everyone. Also, I am now a proud father of two puppies! From this perspective, I could not be more grateful.

RayMarine The transition back to school has actually been a lot smoother that I expected. Reflecting on my first semester back, I find myself a lot more confident towards my future endeavors. To be honest, it still amazes me that I got the job as a SAMbasador in the first place. I was barely back in the state of Texas when they interviewed me. Amazingly, I was hired on my second day as a student here. I could not have been more grateful to have been given this opportunity and privilege.

As I look forward to the future, I hold my past experiences in great regard. I am very thankful for the military, and every opportunity it afforded me. If I could go back in time, I would not change a single thing. Even the negative events played a crucial role in getting me where I am.

RaySnake I would not be the same person without these trials. I have lived in Hawaii, Southeast Asia, and all over the mainland of the United States. Without a doubt, there is no other place I would want to be right now. Fate truly had a plan in getting me to the exact place I needed to be. Lastly, if I could give one tidbit of advice, I would want to emphasize that failing is inevitable; however, it is up to you if failing becomes failure. Learn from your mistakes, and always try to be a better person than the day prior.